On September 9, ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, scheduled 67 Islamophobic rallies across 36 states under the theme “America First.” After thousands of Americans came out in peaceful resistance to white supremacy and racism in Charlottesville and Boston, ACT decided to call off its rallies and shift to an online campaign, a clear signal that messages of love are drowning out messages of hate nationwide. This is in no small terms a victory and emblematic of the power of standing together, united from all faiths and backgrounds against bigotry.
Why Mobilize Now?
Hate violence against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern American communities continues to be an epidemic in the United States. Since the election of President Trump, the nation has seen an upsurge in hate violence, white supremacy, and anti-Muslim hate. SAALT has tracked over 150 incidents of hate violence against those who identify or are perceived as Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Asian since election day. The FBI’s 2015 hate crimes statistics, the most updated data available, shows a 67% increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015.
This spike is due in large part to the steady rise in white supremacist hate groups, emboldened and encourage by this administration. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), white supremacist groups grew by over 54% from 2001 to 2014, Klan groups grew from 72 to 190 in number between 2014 and 2015, and anti-Muslim hate groups grew by 197% in 2016.
What We’re Doing
SAALT and our partners are planning several waves of resistance in the coming days. We are organizing a social media push back to ACT for America’s September 9 online campaign, using the hashtag #CounterACTHate. We are working with our national partners in Washington, D.C. on resistance events through September 12, including Congressional briefings and rallies.
Information on all these actions are below.
Social Media Guidance to RESIST ACT for America’s Online Hate Campaign
- Forced to back out of rallies, today @ACTforAmerica is taking their hate online instead. Hate has no place in the US. #CounterACTHate
- We’re proud to stand w/ over 200 organizations opposed to @ACTforAmerica’s online hate campaign. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Messages of love drowned out ACT for America’s first campaign. Let’s beat them again. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- We stand for ideals of the US, not @ACTforAmerica’s hate campaign. Retweet this if you agree. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Online or off, we must push back against ACT for America’s anti-Muslim hate campaign. #CounterACTHate here: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- ACT for America’s anti-Muslim campaign is anti-American. #CounterACTHate with us here: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Here’s a toolkit to push back against ACT for America’s anti-Muslim online hate campaign: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM #CounterACTHate
- ACT for America attracts violent hate groups like the ones in #Charlottesville. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- In the face of an online anti-Muslim campaign, are you ready to #CounterACTHate. Learn how here: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Join us as we resist @ACTForAmeria’s anti-Muslim hate campaign today and everyday! #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Visit the #CounterACTHate toolkit for resources to push back against Islamophobia: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Love must trump @ACTforAmerica’s online hate campaign. Join the resistance. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- White supremacists like @ACTforAmerica think Islam has no place in the West. We KNOW racism has no place in the US. https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
Sample Facebook Post:
ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim group, recently backed out of 67 “America First” rallies to be held across the country on September 9 and is now hosting an online rally. We need your help to overshadow their day and send an unmistakable message that there’s no room for intolerance and hate in America. Check out this social media toolkit to help #CounterACTHate with us. Let’s #TakeOnHate today and every day! https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
September 10-11, 2017 Direct Action
#QueerAzaadi // Queer Liberation:
A National Call for Action, Mourning and Celebration on the weekend of 9/11
Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17 years old.
Nabra Hassanen, 17 years old.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18 years old.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 years old.
These are just a few of the people that our communities have lost to hate crimes and state violence this year. 2017 has seen a rise in the murders of Black trans women, of Black people killed by police violence, of Muslims and those mistaken for Muslim killed in Islamophobic hate crimes. As queer and trans Muslims, South Asians, and APIs, we know that these forms of violence are connected. We cannot separate being harassed because of our gender identities from being harassed because of the color of our skin. Transphobia, islamophobia, anti-Blackness, and xenophobia all reinforce each other in our lives.
This is the year of Trump’s election and the Muslim Ban. This is a year that trans people have fought multiple attacks on our humanity. This is a year that anti-Muslim hate groups have multiplied in a way we haven’t experienced since September 11th, 2001. 9/11 is certainly not the only moment that marks the policing, profiling and surveillance of our communities. Yet agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), policies such as the PATRIOT Act, and registries such as the National Security Entry – Exit Registration System (NSEERS) grew from the Islamophobia that followed that day. These policies are Islamophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, anti-Black forms of state violence that have only multiplied in the last 16 years.
For this reason, we will mark the 16th anniversary of 9/11 with a national day of
to lift up our voices and create empowering space led by trans and queer Muslims
for all those who have been taken from us too soon
our resistance, resilience, and survival
We will lift up the names of all of our people who have been lost to state-sanctioned violence and hate crimes—whether at the hands of law enforcement, immigration enforcement, vigilantes, or white supremacists. And we will celebrate ourselves on 9/11: our lives, our stories, and our resistance as LGBTQ people of color, in struggle towards #QueerAzaadi / Liberation.
Will you join us?
Click on your city to get involved. Email email@example.com for more details, and if you or your organization is willing to lead an action in your city!
September 12, 2017 – Congressional Briefing
Washington, DC: On September 12, one day after the 16th anniversary of tragic attacks of September 11, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) will host a Congressional briefing to address the rising tide of hate violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans nationwide. SAALT will be joined by Congressional leadership, as well as our community partners, to discuss this administration’s xenophobic political rhetoric and policies that explicitly target our communities, and to explore how to chart a path towards a more just and inclusive country for all.
When: Tuesday, September 12, 10-11:00 am EST
Where: Senate Visitors Center (SBC 203-02) – First St. NE, Washington D.C.
Who: South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), in collaboration with
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).
Honorary Co-Hosts to date:
Senator Ben Cardin (MD);
Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL);
Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Additional Co-Hosts to follow
House Co-Sponsors to date:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27);
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43);
Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17)
Additional Co-Sponsors to follow
Suman Raghunathan, SAALT
Shikha Bhatnagar, Executive Director of South Asian Network;
Fahd Ahmed, Executive Director of Desis Rising Up and Moving;
Sim J. Singh, National Advocacy Manager of Sikh Coalition
RSVP: Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Subject Heading: SAALT Congressional Briefing
More info: (301) 270-1855, email@example.com
September 12, 2017 Rally at Capitol Hill
As a Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations, we recognize that the strength of our neighborhoods and our country is its diverse people. The current climate of hate violence, religious discrimination, and anti-immigrant sentiment are counter to the communities we strive to create. This administration’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policies have dragged our country backwards, and encouraged and emboldened hate against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, and Arab American communities across the country. We envision inclusive thriving neighborhoods, where all people can live safely in their homes and communities, regardless of their religion, race, or ethnicity. Join National CAPACD and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) as we stand together against racism, Islamophobia, and hate, and call for a safe America for all of us.
- The US has every race, religion, nationality, and identity. That’s why we’re great. That’s why we #CounterACTHate: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- There is no room for hate in America. Retweet and say it with us! #CounterACTHate: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Our vision of America says NO to racism, hate and fear. #CounterACTHate: https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- Anti-Muslim hate has no place in America. We are all created equal. Say it with us loud: #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- There are only two sides to white supremacy. We stand firm against it. @ACTforAmerica is on the WRONG side. #CounterACTHate https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
- We rally with National @CAPACD and @SAALTweets to #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods -As immigrants, we are #HereToStay, in our homes, our communities, and #OurNeighborhoods.
- #OurNeighborhoods should be safe for all Americans. No to Islamophobic, white supremacist violence! #CounterACTHate
- #NoBan #NoWall; invest in real infrastructure for us All! #OurNeighborhoods #CounterACTHate
- We should all feel safe to live in #OurNeighborhoods, regardless of the color of our skin or our religion. #CounterACTHate
- #OurNeighborhoods are great, because of the immigrants and people of color who created them. #CounterACTHate
- Stand with us to demand a country that is home to us all. #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods
- Stand with us to rally for inclusive, thriving neighborhoods for all communities, #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods
Sample Facebook posts:
We rally with @CAPACD and @SAALT to #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods. The current Administration continues to demonstrate that it is not invested in a vision of America that is inclusive of people of color, immigrants, and Muslim communities. Stand with us to demand a country that is home to us all. #HereToStay https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
In the wake of 9/11, we join @CAPACD and @SAALT to rally for inclusive, thriving neighborhoods for all communities, free of hate, fear, and violence. Stand with us to #CounterACTHate in #OurNeighborhoods https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
We stand with South Asians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Arabs, who have a right to live safely in their homes and communities, free of fear, hate, and violence. Rally with @CAPACD and @SAALT on the steps of Capitol Hill to demand #NoMuslimBan in #OurNeighborhoods https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
We stand with all immigrants, who have a right to live safely in their homes and communities, free of fear, hate, and violence. Rally with @CAPACD and @SAALT on the steps of Capitol Hill to let the Administration know that we are #HereToStay in #OurNeighborhoods https://goo.gl/dkRGKM
Resources to RESIST
To read SAALT’s latest policy report, “Power, Pain, Potential,” examining hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern American communities, please click here.
#TrackHate – If you experience or witness hate incidents, please report them to the police and help SAALT document these incidents in our Acts of Hate database at www.saalt.org/trackhate.
SAALT’s Community guide on hate crimes provides information on identifying and reporting hate violence as well as resources for legal and mental health support. Click here to read the community guide.