WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 17, 2010) – In a press release issued today, the ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICSJ) addressed a shocking report on national poverty statistics in 2009.
Staggering figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau in its annual report on poverty, income and health coverage pin the national poverty rate at 14.3 percent, its highest level in the past 15 years.

43.6 million Americans, 1 in 7 people, lived below the poverty line in 2009. President Obama said the administration’s proposed economic recovery package prevented millions more from falling into poverty.
Naeem Baig, Executive Director of ICSJ said, “While we commend the efforts of charities and the federal government in providing aid, we must not rest on our laurels in the fight against poverty. We must ask why despite all efforts the world’s richest nation still espouses a system in which every seventh person is living below the poverty line and millions go hungry every day. Such matters must be brought to the forefront of national dialogue.”
Statistics from Thursday’s report indicate that the economic downturn continues to worsen, with income levels, jobs and health coverage also on the fall. The ICSJ demands that elected officials and congressional hopefuls outline their plans to address these dire issues. We also urge American Muslims to contact their respective representatives and local government officials to push for progress against poverty.
ICSJ and ICNA Relief, both social services branches of ICNA, served nearly 70,000 people in the United States through various projects in 2009. In October 2010 ICSJ and ICNA Relief will host the National Campaign Against Hunger, a month-long campaign to tackle hunger from both social service and justice perspectives. The initiative is inspired by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and his compassion for the needy, as well as ICNA’s goal to “strengthen the bond of humanity by serving all those in need anywhere in the world, with special focus on [local] neighborhoods across North America.”
The ICNA Council for Social Justice is a research and advocacy branch that aims to keep the American Muslim community and broader public informed about and involved in pertinent civil and social issues in America. ICSJ also represents the Muslim voice on social justice issues in America.
Picture by John McCabe, from AliceBernstein.net

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