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South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

This past winter has been brutal — it marked one year since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and it also marked several anniversaries and memorials of pandemic-driven xenophobic violence across the globe.

On the one-year anniversary of the Delhi pogrom, we noted the Modi administration’s role in institutionalizing, facilitating, and inhumanely justifying violence against Muslims, Dalits, Christians, Adivasis and women. Even if Modi himself did not physically harm anyone during this pogrom, his words and actions explicitly encouraged others to do so, and resulted in devastation — from which our brethren in India are still recovering. …

Welcome to the SAALT’s Voices from the Community series, where we feature posts from community ​members on key issues and their intersections.

Today we mark the one year anniversary of the pogrom in Delhi. In light of this passage, we’re highlighting a piece by Shivani Parikh, an aspiring movement lawyer and advocate in the U.S., which highlights the importance of transnational solidarity when fighting fascism, especially within the South Asian American diaspora.

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It has been one year since Delhi caught fire. Hindu supremacist mobs attacked and vilified their Muslim neighbors, resulting in a pogrom…

SAALT and our allies spent 2020 strategizing to combat rising fascism. From Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks and xenophobic refusal of human rights, to Narendra Modi’s employment of Islamophobic policies and his encouragement of Hindutva violence, right-wing extremism dominated 2020 — all with a global pandemic of unforeseen scale happening simultaneously.

When the attempted insurrection occurred on January 6 of this year, the world saw just how united supremacists of all tenets are, as Hindutva supremacists and Zionists joining hands with white supremacists to endanger democracy. Unfortunately, for many, it was no surprise; fascists are united in their hatred of equality.

Welcome to the first of our Voices from the Community series, where we’ll be featuring posts from community ​members on key issues and their intersections.

Over the past few days, South Asians around the world have organized in solidarity with Punjabi farmers to demand justice and better protections for their land and labor rights. (Check out these U.S. based solidarity actions organized by Jakara Movement, SALDEF, and Sikh Coalition).

In light of the recent protests, we’re highlighting this piece by Kirndeep Singh, a researcher and recent graduate from Columbia University, ​which explores the impact of climate change on the mass…

On November 7, people of color caught their breath as they received news that President Donald Trump would no longer office past January 2021; finally, after four years of increased and public attacks on immigrants, Black Americans, queer folks, and Muslims, we have a moment of respite.

But state sanctioned hate violence and xenophobia is far from gone as President-elect Joe Biden continues to engage with heads of states with known nationalist ties, ignoring any ties to Hindutva ideology. …

It’s less than two weeks away from Election Day, and racist rhetoric from public officials and hate violence continues to impact communities all over the country.

From the local level to the federal level, candidates from Laura Loomer to Marjorie Taylor Green who have public track records filled with Islamophobic remarks are winning the praises of President Trump. The president himself, in the first presidential debate of the election, won the admiration of white supremacist groups after he failed to openly denounce white supremacy, instead calling on known hate group, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by.”


This time, four years ago, the U.S. was in the heat of the election cycle. The Trump campaign was regularly using Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric to promise discriminatory policies like the Muslim Ban and a border wall. We documented a dramatic rise in hate violence targeting Muslims and those perceived as Muslims during and after the 2016 election.

And this election cycle, we are just as vigilant. This week, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced his pick for Vice President: Senator Kamala Harris. As a woman of Jamaican and South Asian heritage (see our take on this in this NBC article…

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and continues to claim thousands of lives, hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric targeting our communities continues without pause. In SAALT’s June hate report, we tracked multiple incidents of vandalism and verbal and physical harrassment targeting Muslims everywhere from Texas to Florida to Minnesota to Massachussetts to New York.

Since June 1, 2020, SAALT has tracked 13 incidents of hate violence targeting Muslims and those racialized as Muslim:

Policing State and Interpersonal Violence

On Monday, May 25th, 2020, George Floyd became the 1,014th person to be murdered by the U.S. police force over the last year.

While we focus on hate violence targeting South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities, we must not do so in absence of the larger context of Black communities being the overwhelming target of all hate violence and state violence in the U.S. And, we cannot exceptionalize the violence aimed at our communities. As South Asians, we must acknowledge, confront, and dismantle anti-Black­ness in our own communities and decrease our reliance on the racist criminal…

Courtesy of Shireen Hyrapiet

Over the last month, we’ve seen hate and vitriol run increasingly rampant through our communities, at times outsizing the powerful acts of solidarity, unity, and compassion we have also observed during this time of global health crisis.

In the U.S., there have been more than 3000 reported incidents of hate violence targeting Asian Americans in the last month. A recent poll found that 60% of Asian Americans say they have seen or been affected by a xenophobic reaction to COVID-19. This xenophobia is being fueled by racist rhetoric and policy from public officials, like Senator Cotton’s…

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

A national social justice org working on policy analysis/advocacy on issues affecting the South Asian community: immigration, post 9/11 backlash.

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