SAALT Responds to Orlando Shooting

For Imme­di­ate Release
June 12, 2016
Con­tact: Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, lakshmi@saalt.org

SAALT Responds to Orlando Shooting

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) joins the nation in mourn­ing the vic­tims of the dead­ly shoot­ing in Orlan­do’s Pulse gay night­club. Dur­ing the month of Ramadan and a month ded­i­cat­ed to uplift­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the Les­bian, Gay, Bisex­u­al, Trans­gen­der, Queer, Inter­sex, Asex­u­al (LGBTQIA) com­mu­ni­ty, it is espe­cial­ly heart­break­ing to mark the dead­liest mass shoot­ing in our nation’s his­to­ry. We join our part­ners and allies, includ­ing the Mus­lim Alliance for Sex­u­al and Gen­der Diver­si­ty (MASGD), the Nation­al Queer Asian Pacif­ic Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and SALGA-NYC in stand­ing against the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of entire com­mu­ni­ties in the face of this tragedy.

We take this time to hon­or our part­ner­ship with LGBTQIA com­mu­ni­ties to take on hate vio­lence and domes­tic ter­ror­ism direct­ed at our com­mu­ni­ties. We will con­tin­ue to stand shoul­der to shoul­der to speak out, demand pol­i­cy change, expect law enforce­ment to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties, and lift up each oth­er’s human­i­ty. We can­not allow tragedy to divide our com­mu­ni­ties when sol­i­dar­i­ty is more impor­tant than ever. And, for every­one who stands at the inter­sec­tion of Mus­lim and LGBTQIA iden­ti­ties, we offer you extra love and sup­port. We see you and we stand with you.

LGBTQIA com­mu­ni­ties have been unique­ly tar­get­ed for hate vio­lence. Sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion is the sec­ond high­est bias moti­vat­ing hate crimes, accord­ing to the lat­est FBI sta­tis­tics. The media and politi­cians have already begun char­ac­ter­iz­ing the Orlan­do shoot­er as a “ter­ror­ist” in the absence of any facts. The col­lec­tive racist, Islam­o­pho­bic, and homo­pho­bic rhetoric and sen­ti­ment from our lead­ers, gone large­ly unchecked, have cre­at­ed an envi­ron­ment that ratio­nal­izes back­lash and it can­not con­tin­ue. We will con­tin­ue to fight against poli­cies that jus­ti­fy pro­fil­ing and sur­veil­lance of our com­mu­ni­ties that ulti­mate­ly make us all unsafe. Please uti­lize this list of LGBT Mus­lims who can speak to media.