13 year old in Critical Condition after Alleged Hate Crime in Northern California

May 3, 2019

Dear Friends, Com­mu­ni­ty Mem­bers, and Allies,

On April 23rd, 13 year-old Dhri­ti was walk­ing back home from the library with her father and broth­er, when a dri­ver plowed into them and sev­er­al oth­er pedes­tri­ans at a busy cross­walk in Sun­ny­vale, Cal­i­for­nia. Dhri­ti is in a coma after suf­fer­ing major brain injuries and is cur­rent­ly on life sup­port. At least sev­en oth­ers were injured in the crash, all of whom are in sta­ble con­di­tion.

Short­ly after the arraign­ment of the dri­ver, Sun­ny­vale Police Chief Phan Ngo said, “Based on our inves­ti­ga­tion, new evi­dence shows that the defen­dant inten­tion­al­ly tar­get­ed the vic­tims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Mus­lim faith.” The FBI and local law enforce­ment are both inves­ti­gat­ing the crash as a hate crime.

This trag­ic and dis­turb­ing news comes at a month when report­ed hate crimes have been at an all time high. In April alone, SAALT tracked 10 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and 6 instances of xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric. Just days after the Sun­ny­vale crash, a shoot­er killed one woman and injured three oth­ers at the Chabad of Poway syn­a­gogue in San Diego. The same shoot­er is accused of set­ting fire to a mosque in Escon­di­do, CA in March. Glob­al­ly, the impact of hate vio­lence in March and April has been shat­ter­ing. Ear­li­er this month, near­ly 300 peo­ple were killed in church­es and hotels in Sri Lan­ka on East­er Sun­day. The hor­rif­ic attack occurred just weeks after at least 50 peo­ple were killed by a white suprema­cist in New Zealand who named Trump as his “sym­bol of renewed white iden­ti­ty.”

SAALT’s “Com­mu­ni­ties on Fire” report draws a direct line between The Trump Administration’s anti-Mus­lim agen­da and increas­ing attacks, reveal­ing that of the 213 inci­dents of hate vio­lence doc­u­ment­ed, one in five per­pe­tra­tors invoked Pres­i­dent Trump’s name, his administration’s poli­cies, or his cam­paign slo­gans dur­ing attacks.

This hate survives—and in fact thrives—against a back­drop of racist poli­cies from the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion like the Mus­lim Ban and fam­i­ly sep­a­ra­tion. This hate knows no bor­ders, race, or creed. This hate is a threat to Mus­lims, and to those racial­ized as Mus­lims. Sim­i­lar to the mur­der of Srini­vas Kuchib­hot­la in Olathe, Kansas who was pro­filed as Mid­dle East­ern, Dhri­ti and her fam­i­ly were alleged­ly tar­get­ed because they were per­ceived as Mus­lim.

To Dhri­ti and her fam­i­ly, we stand with you, demand­ing jus­tice and an end to poli­cies and hate speech that have cre­at­ed an ecosys­tem for hate crimes to increase.

Donate to Dhriti’s health­care costs at:  https://www.gofundme.com/helpdhriti

Sin­cere­ly,

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er

Alliance of South Asians Tak­ing Action

Coun­cil of Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions — San Fran­cis­co Bay Area 

South Asian Work­ers Cen­ter, Boston

Sad­hana: Coali­tion of Pro­gres­sive Hin­dus

Hous­ton Coali­tion Against Hate

Cal­i­for­nia Immi­grant Pol­i­cy Cen­ter

South Asian Youth Action

Nari­ka: Chang­ing the Way We Live Vio­lence-Free

Sikh Fam­i­ly Cen­ter

 

Standing with the Victims and their Families in Sri Lanka

April 22, 2019

At least 290 peo­ple in Sri Lan­ka were killed and more than 500 injured from the hor­rif­ic attacks on East­er Sun­day in St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colom­bo, Zion Church in Bat­ticaloa, and three hotels in the cap­i­tal city of Colom­bo: the Shangri-La, the Cin­na­mon Grand and the Kings­bury.

Our hearts are aching for the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies. We are stand­ing with them in this time of immense tragedy and with all of our Sri Lankan com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers here in the U.S.

Mur­der is wrong. Tar­get­ing peo­ple because of how they choose to wor­ship is wrong.  This is true whether it be church­es in Sri Lan­ka, mosques in New Zealand, or a syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh.  

The Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment has said that Nation­al Thowheed Jamath is respon­si­ble for the mur­ders. As the inves­ti­ga­tion ensues, it is crit­i­cal that Mus­lims are not crim­i­nal­ized in the process.

No one should lose their life or loved ones from acts of hate. We must stand strong and unit­ed against hate in all its forms.

 

Intro to ISNA

This past July 4th week­end, the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) host­ed its 46th Annu­al Con­ven­tion in DC, fit­ting­ly named “Life, Lib­er­ty and the Pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness.” It was my first ISNA expe­ri­ence, and I was in awe of the huge crowd. Thou­sands of peo­ple were in atten­dance as var­i­ous speak­ers and pan­elists dis­cussed top­ics rel­e­vant to the mod­ern Amer­i­can Mus­lim. Many of those infor­ma­tive ses­sions were geared towards young peo­ple, as part of the MSA Nation­al and MYNA por­tions of the con­ven­tion. While there was def­i­nite­ly a strong inter­est in the ISNA Mat­ri­mo­ni­als event, many atten­dees were drawn to the DC Con­ven­tion Cen­ter by the dynam­ic speak­ers and the vari­ety of goods and art avail­able at the Bazaar.

It was excit­ing to see the num­ber of Mus­lims who came to DC for the event, and I was par­tic­u­lar­ly impressed by the num­ber of South Asians I observed attend­ing the con­ven­tion. Throngs of desis could be found in Chi­na­town restau­rants, out on DC streets, and strolling the Nation­al Mall. My own cousins came to DC for the first time from Cal­i­for­nia and Okla­homa specif­i­cal­ly for ISNA week­end, and they were sur­prised by the num­ber of South Asians in DC. So was I! While there are many South Asians liv­ing and work­ing in and near the Dis­trict, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many in one place before. ISNA had a strong pull for our com­mu­ni­ty, with ses­sions geared specif­i­cal­ly towards South Asian Mus­lims, fea­tur­ing South Asian speak­ers or mod­er­at­ed by South Asians, as well as many, many bazaar stalls that were put up by South Asian small busi­ness own­ers and artists.

I liked that there were net­work­ing events, such as the Mus­lim Lawyers net­work­ing social that I attend­ed Fri­day night, and info ses­sions, such as the one about get­ting jobs at fed­er­al agen­cies, that involved Mus­lims help­ing oth­er Mus­lims. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, many of the faces at both those events were South Asian. It’s great to see peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty tak­ing inter­est in men­tor­ing oth­ers!

Daily Buzz 5.19.2009

The Dai­ly Buzz is Back After a Brief Hia­tus for Uni­ver­si­ty Finals!

1.) Lak­sh­mi Menon’s 12 Page Spread in Amer­i­can Vogue Begs The Ques­tion: Why Don’t More Indi­an and South Asian Mod­els Book Top Jobs?

2.) Retreat Offers Hope for Indi­an Amer­i­can Women Alco­holics

3.) Read­ing Rec­om­men­da­tion from the Blog Intern: Taqwa­core Webzine

4.) US Uni­ver­si­ty Hon­ours Indi­an-Amer­i­can Eco­nom­ics Pro­fes­sor

5.) Remem­ber “Sig­na­ture” From Britain’s Got Tal­ent? They Were on Oprah!

Daily Buzz 4.20.2009

1.) Oba­ma names Aneesh Chopra first US Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer

2.) U.S. to Sit Out U.N. Con­fer­ence on Racism

3.) From Racia­li­cious. Hoagland’s Hog­wash: Islam­o­pho­bia in the Wash­ing­ton Post

4.) An Indi­an Amer­i­can Oberves East­er in India

5.) “Being Indi­an” and “Being Amer­i­can”: A study of how sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Indi­an Amer­i­cans approach dat­ing

Daily Buzz 4.9.2009

1.) Oba­ma Adm­nis­tra­tion: Anju Bhar­ga­va, Eboo Patel join a Pres­i­den­tial Coun­cil

2.) Con­flict Over Space: Kore­ans and Bangladeshis Vie in Los Ange­les Dis­trict

3.) Sikh Coali­tion Reports on US Army Deny­ing Sikh Men the Right To Serve

4.) Vio­lence, and Change, from With­in: Piece on Anti-Domes­tic Vio­lence Mus­lim Group

5.) The Dark Twin of Our Amer­i­can Dream