Kinfolk from Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh American communities have been particularly affected facing unprecedented incidents of hate, racism, and bigotry as backlash from 9/11. In the past few months, we have witnessed arson at an Islamic Center in Florida, two gunned down in Queens, another stabbed to death also in Queens, a woman wearing a religious garb set on fire in New York, the murder of a man on his way to morning prayer, and many others whose stories go unnoticed by mainstream media and the larger national conversation.
“Even after 15 years later, we have seen too many hate crimes against our communities. It saddens and angers us to know that my friends and family can’t feel safe at home, work and in their communities,” stated Maf Misbah Uddin, APALA National Executive Board Member and Founder and President of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL). “We have so much more work to do to overcome this entrenched hate and racism within our society.”
“From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Japanese American internment to the Southeast Asian deportation crisis, our communities have endured the impact of profiling, criminalization and scrutiny,” stated APALA Executive Director Gregory Cendana highlighting the shared struggle. “Moving forward, we need to train and uplift more leaders at all levels of government, in our community, and in our schools who will stand up against all forms of xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hate.”
National President Johanna Hester added: “An individual’s experience in this country shouldn’t be based on one’s proximity to blackness or whiteness. APALA continues to rise for freedom -- freedom from surveillance, profiling, hate crimes on brown and black lives. The conflation of what it means to be American with anti-Muslim hate and Islamophobia must come to an end, and that includes reforming government policies that both exacerbate a climate of fear and encourage the mass criminalization of our bodies.”
APALA continues to partner with ASAAL, Muslim Advocates, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) to put an end to hate crimes and violence against Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh American communities. Below please find some helpful resources and recent actions in our shared struggle for freedom:
- Track hate crimes with these resources from Muslim Advocates, SAALT, and Huffington Post.
- Read more reflections on the 15th anniversary in Colorlines, Medium, and Huffington Post.
- Read about NQAPIA’s joint action in Washington, DC this past weekend against legalized profiling.
- Make a commitment to stand on the side of freedom by taking APALA’s #NotYourModelMinority Pledge.