SAALT Declines to Attend Today’s Department of Justice Hate Crimes Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al civ­il rights and racial jus­tice orga­ni­za­tion, will not par­tic­i­pate in today’s Hate Crimes Sum­mit orga­nized by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice due to the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion’s ongo­ing efforts to dis­re­gard and under­mine the civ­il rights of all Amer­i­cans, regard­less of our appear­ance, how we pray, or where we were born. Illus­trat­ing a con­tin­ued denial of civ­il rights on the part of the cur­rent Admin­is­tra­tion, today marks the first day that par­tial imple­men­ta­tion of the Mus­lim Ban resumes after the Supreme Court’s announce­ment ear­li­er this week.

SAALT and oth­er invit­ed orga­ni­za­tions for today’s Sum­mit learned only 36 hours ago that Attor­ney Gen­er­al Jeff Ses­sions will pro­vide open­ing remarks this morn­ing and will not answer ques­tions from press or atten­dees. Giv­en that this serves as a pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ty, we are not con­vinced the Sum­mit will be a forum for sub­stan­tive dia­logue. Com­bat­ing hate vio­lence is cen­tral to SAALT’s mis­sion, and we have been deeply com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing solu­tions that stem the tide of vio­lence tar­get­ing South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern Amer­i­cans since our incep­tion.

Fur­ther­more, SAALT is pro­found­ly dis­turbed by the infra­struc­ture this Admin­is­tra­tion has cre­at­ed to com­bat hate crimes. Estab­lished in a Feb­ru­ary 9 exec­u­tive order, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s Task Force on Crime Reduc­tion and Pub­lic Safe­ty has made it a top pri­or­i­ty to crim­i­nal­ize undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants. Uncon­scionably, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice has embed­ded a “Hate Crimes Sub­com­mit­tee” into this task­force, equat­ing the crim­i­nal­i­ty of per­pe­tra­tors of hate vio­lence with those who are undoc­u­ment­ed.

Among their many trans­gres­sions, this Depart­ment of Jus­tice has deeply under­mined the trust that is foun­da­tion­al for com­mu­ni­ties to feel com­fort­able report­ing hate crimes to law enforce­ment. From issu­ing and repeat­ed­ly appeal­ing an uncon­sti­tu­tion­al Mus­lim Ban to pub­li­cal­ly sup­port­ing Texas’ dra­con­ian state immi­gra­tion enforce­ment law, SB 4, to rolling back police account­abil­i­ty mea­sures, this Admin­is­tra­tion has broad­cast a very clear mes­sage to all of our com­mu­ni­ties. Giv­en this real­i­ty, we believe that the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s remarks and the sub­se­quent dis­cus­sion today will only amount to win­dow dress­ing.

South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab Amer­i­cans are expe­ri­enc­ing lev­els of hate vio­lence not seen since the year after 9/11. In the sev­en months since the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed 104 inci­dents of vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties. We believe dis­crim­i­na­to­ry gov­ern­ment poli­cies, exec­u­tive orders, and lit­i­ga­tion have active­ly con­tributed to the very rise in hate vio­lence that the Depart­ment of Jus­tice will attempt to dis­cuss today.

SAALT has a long and suc­cess­ful his­to­ry of engage­ment with the Depart­ment of Jus­tice on behalf of our com­mu­ni­ties across numer­ous admin­is­tra­tions. How­ev­er, the cur­rent Depart­ment of Jus­tice con­tin­ues to be at the cen­ter of poli­cies that crim­i­nal­ize our com­mu­ni­ties. We have worked with our allies with­in and out­side gov­ern­ment for over fif­teen years to improve poli­cies on report­ing and inves­ti­gat­ing hate crimes. SAALT remains deeply com­mit­ted to being root­ed in com­mu­ni­ty and build­ing our pow­er with every­one impact­ed by the ris­ing tide of vio­lence in our nation. We will con­tin­ue to fight the dis­crim­i­na­to­ry poli­cies, exec­u­tive orders, and lit­i­ga­tion com­ing out of this Admin­is­tra­tion.

Con­tact:  Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, SAALT.  suman@saalt.org

SAALT Objects to the Supreme Court’s Partial Reinstatement of the “Muslim Ban”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian racial jus­tice and civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, strong­ly objects to the Supreme Court’s deci­sion to rein­state part of Pres­i­dent Trump’s “Mus­lim Ban”. It is dis­ap­point­ing that the high­est court in our land will hear the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s appeal despite fed­er­al appel­late courts repeat­ed­ly strik­ing down and stay­ing key parts of the “Mus­lim Ban” as unques­tion­ably uncon­sti­tu­tion­al.
“Rein­stat­ing any part of this admin­is­tra­tion’s patent­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry ‘Mus­lim Ban’ is con­trary to the val­ues of the Unit­ed States and the ideals this coun­try was found­ed on,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The Pres­i­den­t’s exec­u­tive orders, and the Supreme Court’s deci­sion to par­tial­ly rein­state the ban, amounts to gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned dis­crim­i­na­tion. It does not make Amer­i­ca safe, it makes Amer­i­ca afraid.”
Indi­vid­u­als from the six major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries iden­ti­fied in the Pres­i­den­t’s exec­u­tive orders who do not have a “bona fide” rela­tion­ship with a per­son or orga­ni­za­tion in the Unit­ed States will be barred from enter­ing the coun­try. This admin­is­tra­tion’s dogged pur­suit of a “Mus­lim Ban” has pro­vid­ed a promi­nent plat­form for white suprema­cists and anti-immi­grant voic­es.
The “Mus­lim ban” dis­crim­i­nates against trav­el­ers as well as any Mus­lim or indi­vid­ual per­ceived as Mus­lim in the Unit­ed States.  These indi­vid­u­als have the right to walk down the street with­out fear of harass­ment or vio­lence by virtue of how they pray, what lan­guage they speak, or their nation of ori­gin. Today’s Supreme Court announce­ment is cou­pled with the Admin­is­tra­tion’s announce­ment on Fri­day that it will no longer active­ly sup­port efforts to counter Neo-Nazis, white suprema­cists, and oth­er far-right hate groups as part of the “Coun­ter­ing Vio­lent Extrem­ism” pro­gram. This change is divorced from the real­i­ty of ter­ror­ism in the Unit­ed States, as Klan groups con­tin­ue to mul­ti­ply and feel embold­ened in the cur­rent polit­i­cal cli­mate.
South Asians are the fastest grow­ing demo­graph­ic group in the nation, yet this admin­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies, under the guise of nation­al secu­ri­ty, paint mil­lions of peo­ple with sus­pi­cion and make our com­mu­ni­ties ques­tion their place in this quin­tes­sen­tial nation of immi­grants. SAALT calls on Con­gress to over­turn the Pres­i­den­t’s “Mus­lim Ban” to safe­guard our nation­al integri­ty and to state clear­ly and con­vinc­ing­ly that hate and fear will not be allowed guide our coun­try’s poli­cies now or in the future. We reject any attempt to dis­crim­i­nate and divide us base upon how we pray, what we look like, and where we come from.
Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

SAALT Mourns Death of Muslim Teenager, Calls on Police to Investigate Possible Hate Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian racial jus­tice and civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, mourns the death of Nabra Has­sa­nen, a 17-year-old Reston, Vir­ginia res­i­dent who was killed as she left her All Dulles Area Mus­lim Soci­ety (ADAMS) mosque on Sun­day morn­ing. Though police swift­ly arrest­ed and charged a local man with the killing, on Mon­day Fair­fax Coun­ty Police stat­ed on Twit­ter, “We are NOT inves­ti­gat­ing this mur­der as a hate crime.” This ear­ly and impul­sive deci­sion to rule out racial or reli­gious bias as a pos­si­ble fac­tor in this killing sends the wrong mes­sage to South Asian and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try who con­tin­ue to face vio­lence and intim­i­da­tion every day. SAALT calls on law enforce­ment to vig­or­ous­ly inves­ti­gate all pos­si­ble motives that led to this trag­ic loss of life.

“Giv­en the pan­dem­ic of hate vio­lence aimed at Mus­lim and South Asian com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States, it is noth­ing less than tone deaf for the police to cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly dis­miss hate as a pos­si­ble fac­tor in the trag­ic killing of a young Mus­lim girl who was attacked while walk­ing out of her mosque dur­ing Ramadan,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The police have a sworn duty to pro­tect and serve every­one, includ­ing Mus­lim and South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. A com­plete inves­ti­ga­tion into the facts is the only way to achieve jus­tice for Nabra.”

SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed over 100 inci­dents of hate tar­get­ing Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian Amer­i­cans in 2017 alone. Shoot­ings in Kansas and Wash­ing­ton State, along with van­dal­ism and arson attacks of mosques, homes, and busi­ness­es across the coun­try are only a few of the trag­ic inci­dents our com­mu­ni­ties have expe­ri­enced this year.

Nabra’s killing is not the first inci­dent that leads our com­mu­ni­ties, and com­mu­ni­ties of col­or writ large, to dis­trust law enforce­ment. In recent years the police have repeat­ed­ly bru­tal­ized our com­mu­ni­ties with impuni­ty. In 2015 Sureshb­hai Patel, a senior cit­i­zen with lim­it­ed Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy, was par­tial­ly par­a­lyzed after being slammed to the ground by an Alaba­ma police offi­cer. Dur­ing a traf­fic stop in 2016, Phi­lan­do Castile was shot dead by a police offi­cer while the entire inci­dent was live-streamed by Castile’s girl­friend. Despite video evi­dence in both cas­es, the accused offi­cers were acquit­ted of all charges.

On the oth­er hand, the police are equal­ly quick to the trig­ger when dis­miss­ing hate as a pos­si­ble moti­vat­ing fac­tor in vio­lence aimed at our com­mu­ni­ties. Our com­mu­ni­ties have expe­ri­enced far greater hate vio­lence than has been doc­u­ment­ed due to severe under­re­port­ing of hate crimes by local law enforce­ment. In 2014, the Bureau of Jus­tice Sta­tis­tics sug­gest­ed the actu­al num­ber of anti-Mus­lim hate crimes was like­ly 6,000 or more than what was reg­is­tered, despite the FBI only report­ing 154 hate crime inci­dents.

The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has also been whol­ly inad­e­quate in pro­tect­ing our com­mu­ni­ties. A May 2, 2017 Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee hear­ing on “Respons­es to the Increase in Reli­gious Hate Crimes” did not include a sin­gle Mus­lim or Arab orga­ni­za­tion or expert wit­ness to pro­vide tes­ti­mo­ny, despite dra­mat­ic spikes in anti-Mus­lim hate vio­lence across the coun­try that are near­ing lev­els not seen since the year after 9/11. This era­sure of real­i­ty and unwill­ing­ness to under­stand the prob­lem on the part of our gov­ern­ment is com­plete­ly unac­cept­able.

Nabra’s trag­ic death rat­tles our already embat­tled com­mu­ni­ties, and should shake the entire nation. Par­ents should not fear for their child’s safe­ty because they wear a hijab or attend a mosque. Every young per­son should be guar­an­teed a life free of hate. This is the promise our coun­try con­tin­ues to break every day. We as a nation must col­lec­tive­ly pledge, ear­ly and often, with words and actions, that we are NOT going to com­pro­mise the prin­ci­ples of reli­gious free­dom out of fear or hate, and that we will pro­tect the rights of all Amer­i­cans always.

CONTACT: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

SAALT Welcomes Latest Court Ruling Blocking “Muslim Ban 2.0”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian racial jus­tice and civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, wel­comes the 9th Cir­cuit deci­sion to uphold a nation­wide injunc­tion on Pres­i­dent Trump’s “Mus­lim Ban 2.0” exec­u­tive order.

“What the Pres­i­dent called ‘watered-down’, the Court of Appeals called uncon­sti­tu­tion­al,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The 9th Cir­cuit, along with numer­ous courts, have made it abun­dant­ly clear that dis­crim­i­na­tion on the basis of reli­gion and nation­al ori­gin are offen­sive to the ideals of our democ­ra­cy. While wel­comed, today’s rul­ing could not block the hate the Pres­i­den­t’s poli­cies have already cre­at­ed and val­i­dat­ed. Vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties is on the rise. Visa issuances have slowed dra­mat­i­cal­ly. These are the grim real­i­ties our com­mu­ni­ties expe­ri­ence in pub­lic every day.”

SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed increas­ing hate vio­lence inci­dents since the Pres­i­dent took office, num­ber­ing over 100 inci­dents tar­get­ing Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian Amer­i­cans alone. Trag­ic shoot­ings in Kansas and Wash­ing­ton State, arson attacks and van­dal­ism of mosques, homes, cam­pus­es, and busi­ness­es across the coun­try, and anti-Mus­lim ral­lies in 30 cities over the week­end demon­strate the fer­tile envi­ron­ment for hate this admin­is­tra­tion has cul­ti­vat­ed.

Data released by the State Depart­ment also sug­gests that the num­ber of visas issued to peo­ple from six major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries tar­get­ed by the Pres­i­den­t’s exec­u­tive order appears to be slow­ing down dra­mat­i­cal­ly. The num­ber of non­im­mi­grant visas issued to cit­i­zens from the six major­i­ty-Mus­lim coun­tries in March and April have decreased by near­ly 50% from the 2016 aver­age.

Despite strong rul­ings by var­i­ous courts on the “Mus­lim Bans”, hate and divi­sion con­tin­ue to be a fact of life for our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT main­tains that immi­gra­tion reform that upholds the rights of all, leg­is­la­tion such as the No Hate Act and End Racial and Reli­gious Pro­fil­ing Act that cod­i­fy pro­tec­tions for all of our com­mu­ni­ties, and strong hate crimes laws in all 50 states are key pri­or­i­ties we must demand from all of our elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials.

As the 9th Cir­cuit not­ed, “immi­gra­tion, even for the Pres­i­dent, is not a one-per­son show.” Nor is the strug­gle for civ­il rights and lib­er­ties. We must applaud today’s order, but we must con­tin­ue to demand jus­tice and full inclu­sion in our Amer­i­ca.

Con­tact:  Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

58 South Asian organizations condemn today’s multi-city Islamophobic rallies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO), a net­work of 58 South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try, con­demns the local anti-Mus­lim events orga­nized by ACT For Amer­i­ca on June 10. These events are an alarm­ing part of a larg­er wave of white suprema­cy tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide.

ACT for Amer­i­ca, report­ed­ly the largest anti-Mus­lim hate group in the Unit­ed States, has brand­ed their cam­paign a “March Against Shari­ah,” a divi­sive fear mon­ger­ing effort to man­u­fac­ture hatred against the nation’s already-embat­tled Mus­lim Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. The orga­ni­za­tion’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has made her bias and oppo­si­tion to an entire reli­gion clear, stat­ing “every prac­tic­ing Mus­lim is a rad­i­cal Mus­lim” and that Mus­lims are a “nat­ur­al threat to civ­i­lized peo­ple of the world, par­tic­u­lar­ly West­ern soci­ety.” While ACT for Amer­i­ca remains a fringe orga­ni­za­tion, not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the major­i­ty of pub­lic opin­ion, the June 10 protests are a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of the ongo­ing effort to sow hatred against our com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide.

Gabriel’s state­ments are trou­bling and rem­i­nis­cent of Pres­i­dent Trump’s, who has declared on the record, “I think Islam hates us.” The Pres­i­den­t’s “Mus­lim Bans” and divi­sive rhetoric have val­i­dat­ed and ampli­fied the views and actions of vio­lent white suprema­cists and white nation­al­ist extrem­ists in recent months.

Recent­ly in Port­land, OR, a known white suprema­cist, Jere­my Joseph Chris­t­ian, spewed racist com­ments at two com­muters, one of whom was a young Mus­lim woman wear­ing a hijab. When oth­er pas­sen­gers attempt­ed to inter­vene, Chris­t­ian stabbed two of them to death and injured anoth­er before being arrest­ed. At his arraign­ment Chris­t­ian reaf­firmed his white suprema­cist beliefs, declar­ing, “Death to the ene­mies of Amer­i­ca. Leave this coun­try if you hate our free­dom.”

This bru­tal big­otry builds on a ris­ing tide of vio­lence and intim­i­da­tion that has defined much of the last sev­er­al years and accel­er­at­ed dur­ing the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle. Trag­ic shoot­ings in Kansas and Wash­ing­ton State, ongo­ing arson attacks and van­dal­ism of mosques, busi­ness­es, and homes across the coun­try, and the per­sis­tent tar­get­ing and harass­ment of South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, and Hin­du com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide con­tin­ue to be a fact of life.

“While white suprema­cists believe Islam is incom­pat­i­ble with West­ern soci­ety, we believe racism and fear mon­ger­ing are incom­pat­i­ble with core Amer­i­can val­ues,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er. “ACT for Amer­i­ca’s anti-Mus­lim ral­lies, sched­uled dur­ing the month of Ramadan, are an affront to the core reli­gious free­doms enshrined in our Con­sti­tu­tion and encour­ages divi­sive rhetoric that paints Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in our nation as un-Amer­i­can, which could­n’t be far­ther from real­i­ty. We call on all elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials to denounce ACT for Amer­i­ca and its anti-Mus­lim protests as un-Amer­i­can and unac­cept­able.”

“Much of ACT for Amer­i­ca’s gath­er­ings are the sum result of exist­ing prac­tices and poli­cies by local and fed­er­al gov­ern­ments that harm front­line com­mu­ni­ties such as sur­veil­lance, racial pro­fil­ing, and col­lab­o­ra­tion between local and fed­er­al enforce­ment agen­cies that com­mit vio­lence, accel­er­ate depor­ta­tions, and allow for con­tin­ued unac­count­abil­i­ty from law enforce­ment offi­cers,” stat­ed Roksana Mun, Direc­tor of Strat­e­gy at Desis Ris­ing Up & Mov­ing. “Racist, Islam­o­pho­bic, and xeno­pho­bic actions like these are the rea­sons why all front­line com­mu­ni­ties need to join togeth­er and build our com­mu­ni­ty defense which builds our own peo­ple pow­er.”

“Many south­east­ern states such as North Car­oli­na are on the front­lines of the jux­ta­po­si­tion of South Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion growth and the growth in white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tions,” stat­ed Chavi Koneru, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of North Car­oli­na Asian Amer­i­cans Togeth­er (NCAAT). “Giv­en these dynam­ics, it is crit­i­cal for grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions like NCAAT to work with our local part­ners to sup­port smart, inclu­sive pub­lic poli­cies that take a stand against divi­sion.”

As grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions, NCSO mem­bers work on numer­ous issues includ­ing domes­tic vio­lence, immi­grant rights, civ­il rights, civ­il lib­er­ties, and LGBTQIA rights. We have con­front­ed hate vio­lence, advo­cat­ed for major shifts in law enforce­ment, gov­ern­ment doc­u­men­ta­tion, and respons­es to hate crimes, as well as pol­i­cy solu­tions to antic­i­pate and pre­vent these hor­ri­ble inci­dents. With South Asian Amer­i­cans the most rapid­ly grow­ing demo­graph­ic group in the nation, the NCSO con­tin­ues to work on inclu­sion and com­mu­ni­ty build­ing as we mobi­lize in the face of hate. In this urgent moment, we com­bine our voic­es and join our hands in oppo­si­tion to the orga­nized big­otry and racism tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties every day. We demand our rights and free­doms.

Dur­ing his arraign­ment, the Port­land attack­er declared with zeal, “You got no safe place.” This is the world that white suprema­cists, with their pow­er­ful allies, want to speak into real­i­ty. This is the world we will nev­er stop oppos­ing, because love must always trump hate.

Con­tact:  Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

In Kansas, SAALT demands a response to hate crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On June 6, South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian racial jus­tice and civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, par­tic­i­pat­ed in a crit­i­cal hate crimes forum facil­i­tat­ed by the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice Com­mu­ni­ty Rela­tions Ser­vice in Kansas. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from gov­ern­ment agen­cies, diverse com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers, and advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions gath­ered at the Hin­du Tem­ple and Cul­tur­al Cen­ter of Kansas City to exam­ine and address the big­otry and hate vio­lence tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide.

The Kansas com­mu­ni­ty is still reel­ing from the Feb­ru­ary killing of Srini­vas Kuchib­hot­la by a gun­man who screamed “Get out of my coun­try” before open­ing fire. This attack was nei­ther the begin­ning nor the end of the epi­dem­ic of hate vio­lence tar­get­ing South Asian, Hin­du, Mus­lim, Sikh, and inter­faith com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.

“The Unit­ed States was found­ed on reli­gious lib­er­ty, yet our coun­try is flood­ing with hatred and vio­lence explic­it­ly tar­get­ing com­mu­ni­ties based on their reli­gion, race, nation­al­i­ty, and per­ceived iden­ti­ty,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The Pres­i­den­t’s respons­es to the tragedy in Kansas along with many oth­ers have been deeply prob­lem­at­ic. Mul­ti­ple attempts at a ‘Mus­lim Ban’, care­less words or com­plete silence fol­low­ing attacks on our com­mu­ni­ties, and his fail­ure to name white suprema­cy as a clear and present dan­ger to our coun­try all com­bine to sig­nal the lack of nec­es­sary inter­est, will, and lead­er­ship to address these fun­da­men­tal issues.”

SAALT’s lat­est report, “Pow­er, Pain, Poten­tial,” doc­u­ment­ed 207 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties dur­ing the divi­sive 2016 elec­tions. While we know this num­ber accounts for only a frac­tion of actu­al inci­dents aimed at our com­mu­ni­ties, 95% of the inci­dents doc­u­ment­ed were moti­vat­ed by anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment.

Suc­ces­sive waves of hate con­tin­ue to crash against our com­mu­ni­ties. On June 10 ACT for Amer­i­ca, a not­ed hate group, is host­ing a series of mul­ti-city anti-Mus­lim ral­lies to man­u­fac­ture fear and hatred of our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT and our part­ners call on all nation­al, state, and local lead­ers to denounce fear-mon­ger­ing and xeno­pho­bia as unac­cept­able and demand the vig­or­ous enforce­ment of our civ­il rights and lib­er­ties. These respon­si­bil­i­ties are not option­al.

With tragedy upon tragedy accu­mu­lat­ing rapid­ly in our nation­al mem­o­ry, the time for our lead­ers to respond must be now.

CONTACT:  Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org