SAALT Applauds Blocking of Muslim Ban 2.0, a Stimulus Package for Hate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al South Asian civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, applauds today’s rul­ing by a fed­er­al judge in Hawaii that blocked nation­wide imple­men­ta­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump’s revised exec­u­tive order set for tomor­row.

“Today’s rul­ing under­scores that no one, not even a Pres­i­dent, can green light dis­crim­i­na­tion and racism,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “Despite the admin­is­tra­tion’s legal gym­nas­tics, the Mus­lim Ban 2.0 remains a stim­u­lus pack­age for hate that has already fanned the flames of fear, vio­lence, and tragedy in our com­mu­ni­ties. We call upon the Pres­i­dent to rescind this exec­u­tive order in full and begin the work of heal­ing our divid­ed and wound­ed coun­try.”

Vio­lence against South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, and Hin­du com­mu­ni­ties has sky­rock­et­ed across the coun­try in recent weeks, with numer­ous acts of hate occur­ring in the wake of the Pres­i­den­t’s announced Mus­lim Bans.

This Feb­ru­ary saw the dead­ly shoot­ing of two Indi­an men in Kansas by a gun­man scream­ing “get out of my coun­try,” leav­ing one of the men dead and two nations in hys­te­ria. Days lat­er in Wash­ing­ton State, a Sikh man was shot in his dri­ve­way by a gun­man report­ed­ly yelling “go back to your coun­try” before open­ing fire. Last week a Flori­da man tried to set fire to a con­ve­nience store owned by Indi­ans in order to “run the Arabs out of our coun­try.” In Ore­gon a man assault­ed employ­ees at a Mid­dle East­ern restau­rant with a pipe, call­ing them “ter­ror­ists” and scream­ing “get out of Amer­i­ca” dur­ing the attack. Mean­while, white suprema­cist groups con­tin­ue to mul­ti­ply nation­wide.

In Jan­u­ary SAALT released “Pow­er, Pain, Poten­tial,” a report doc­u­ment­ing over 200 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric against South Asian, Mus­lim, Hin­du, Sikh, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern Amer­i­cans dur­ing the 2016 elec­tions. 95% of the inci­dents doc­u­ment­ed were moti­vat­ed by anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment. Pres­i­dent Trump was respon­si­ble for 21% of the xeno­pho­bic rhetoric we tracked.

In response to the ongo­ing and esca­lat­ing threats to our com­mu­ni­ties, SAALT coor­di­nat­ed a vig­il on March 10 to hon­or the vic­tims of hate vio­lence on the steps of the Capi­tol in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Speak­ing at the event were part­ner orga­ni­za­tions and Mem­bers of Con­gress includ­ing Con­gress­woman Prami­la Jaya­pal (D‑WA), Con­gress­man Ami Bera (D‑CA), Con­gress­man Joe Crow­ley (D‑NY), and Con­gress­man Ro Khan­na (D‑CA), who took this moment to mourn the vic­tims of hate vio­lence and demand more account­abil­i­ty from Pres­i­dent Trump. “One of the mes­sages I want to send to peo­ple who are out there lis­ten­ing,” not­ed Con­gress­woman Jaya­pal, “is that Amer­i­ca is your coun­try, you belong here, and we will stand up to pro­tect your rights.”

Today’s rul­ing declares that Amer­i­ca has a place for and indeed wel­comes us all, regard­less of state­ments by xeno­pho­bic gun­men and the Pres­i­dent. SAALT will con­tin­ue demand­ing jus­tice for our com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide until all of our com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and their rights are pro­tect­ed.

Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org