SAALT Responds to Orlando Shooting

June 12, 2016
Contact: Lakshmi Sridaran,

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.