SAALT Statement on 18th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sep­tem­ber 11, 2019 

Today, 18 years after Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, we mourn the lives lost that day, and the thou­sands who were and con­tin­ue to be vio­lent­ly tar­get­ed in the ensu­ing “War on Ter­ror.”

Just four days after 9/11, Bal­bir Singh Sod­hi, a Sikh busi­ness own­er, was plant­i­ng flow­ers out­side of his gas sta­tion in Mesa, Ari­zona when he was shot and killed.  We lat­er learned that his shoot­er had report­ed­ly told a wait­ress at Apple­bees “I’m going to go out and shoot some tow­el heads,” and “We should kill their chil­dren, too, because they’ll grow up to be like their par­ents.” This was the first of 645 inci­dents of vio­lent back­lash aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab Amer­i­cans in just that first week after 9/11.

Over the last two decades, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has enact­ed poli­cies repeat­ed­ly jus­ti­fy­ing the racial pro­fil­ing of South Asian, Mus­lim, and Arab Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties and those racial­ized as such. This includes the very cre­ation of the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, the Patri­ot Act, the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Entry-Exit Reg­is­tra­tion Sys­tem, Coun­ter­ing Vio­lent Extrem­ism, and the Mus­lim Ban to name a few.  These state sanc­tioned poli­cies were his­tor­i­cal­ly per­fect­ed on the backs of oth­er com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, and we can­not sep­a­rate them from the con­tin­ued vio­lence our com­mu­ni­ties face from orga­nized white suprema­cist action. 

Ear­li­er this year, a white suprema­cist killed 51 peo­ple at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Just last month, a white suprema­cist shot and killed 22 peo­ple in a Wal­mart shop­ping cen­ter in El Paso, Texas. SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed over 500 acts of hate vio­lence tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and over 270 instances of xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric since Novem­ber 2016 alone.

Despite the par­al­lel efforts to ban, deport, crim­i­nal­ize, and tar­get our com­mu­ni­ties with vio­lence, we still have oppor­tu­ni­ties to reclaim our pow­er:

  • Demand that your Mem­ber of Con­gress REJECT the cre­ation of NEW domes­tic ter­ror­ism charges to fight white suprema­cy. This would only serve to fur­ther harm com­mu­ni­ties of col­or who have always been the tar­gets of such poli­cies.  
  • Join the fight to repeal the Mus­lim Ban by sup­port­ing the No Mus­lim Ban Ever cam­paign and DEMAND Con­gress to pass the NO BAN Act. Stay tuned for more infor­ma­tion on the Sep­tem­ber 24th Con­gres­sion­al hear­ing on the Mus­lim Ban.
  • URGE your Mem­ber of Con­gress to sup­port the Khalid Jabara Heather Hey­er NO HATE Act, a com­pre­hen­sive bill that pro­motes more accu­rate hate crimes data col­lec­tion and would pro­vide sup­port for hate crime vic­tims and their fam­i­lies. It is named in hon­or of two recent vic­tims of hate crimes, whose deaths were omit­ted from the FBI hate crimes sta­tis­tics.

Con­tact: sophia@saalt.org

###

9/11 Eight Years Later: A Message from South Asian Organizations

NCSO sepia

9/11 Eight Years Lat­er:  A Mes­sage From South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions
This state­ment is issued by the fol­low­ing mem­bers of the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions.
Today, mem­bers of the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO) join the coun­try in mark­ing the  eighth anniver­sary of the tragedies of Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2001. We solemn­ly remem­ber and hon­or those who lost their lives or loved ones that day.

Like every­one in Amer­i­ca, South Asians in the Unit­ed States were deeply affect­ed by the events on and after Sep­tem­ber 11th. From the days and months after the tragedy to now, our orga­ni­za­tions have addressed a range of issues in our com­mu­ni­ties relat­ed to the post-Sep­tem­ber 11th envi­ron­ment — from help­ing indi­vid­u­als who lost fam­i­ly mem­bers or their liveli­hoods to advo­cat­ing on behalf of those who faced dis­crim­i­na­tion, hate crimes, pro­fil­ing, and arbi­trary deten­tions and inter­ro­ga­tions.

Although it has been eight years since 9/11, many of the poli­cies imple­ment­ed in its after­math con­tin­ue to affect South Asians, such as spe­cial reg­is­tra­tion, bor­der and air­port pro­fil­ing, and arbi­trary deten­tions and depor­ta­tions.

Today, we encour­age all South Asians to hon­or the mem­o­ry of Sep­tem­ber 11th through reflec­tion, ser­vice, and a renewed com­mit­ment to pre­serve jus­tice and equal­i­ty for all.

For more infor­ma­tion about the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions, please vis­it the NCSO web­page here or con­tact saalt@saalt.org or 301.270.1855.

Addi­tion­al Resources and Infor­ma­tion: