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LGBT Asians/South Asians Urge U.S.  Supreme Court to Strike Down Trump’s  Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

Read the LGBT Amicus Brief at bit.ly/17-956

Tomorrow on April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Donald Trump’s third iteration of his anti-Muslim Travel Ban. The ban, issued by Executive Order, bars people from certain majority Muslim countries from coming to the United States.

LGBT Asian/South Asian groups submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, spearheaded the brief illustrating the impact of Trump’s travel ban on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Brief is here: bit.ly/17-956.

Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director and Counsel on the Amicus Brief, said, “Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and tears families apart. The defense relies on some of the cases and legal theories that supported the internment of Japanese Americans.”

He continued, “We’ve been here before. In 1987, President Regan instituted an anti-HIV Travel ban. In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court banned homosexuals because they were persons of ‘bad moral character.’ In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese from immigrating to the United States. Let’s never forget. Never again.”

Arguments

The amicus brief details the oppressive conditions for LGBT people living in the countries named in the travel ban, where homosexuality is criminalized and LGBT people are persecuted. The brief explains how Trump’s ban prevents LGBT people in those countries from joining their families and loved ones in the United States, increasing their exposure to persecution in their home countries.

Moreover, the brief argues that the ban deprives U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of their constitutionally-protected liberty interests in maintaining familial relationships with their loved ones whose safety is jeopardized by their sexual orientation or gender identity. Because the ban’s narrow—and legally required—exceptions lack meaningful rules guaranteeing equal treatment of LGBT visa applicants, Trump’s travel ban disproportionately denies LGBT people the ability to reunite with their loved ones in the United States.

Co-Signers

8 signed-on organizations

Seven (7) LGBTQ South Asian and Asian Pacific Islander organizations across the country join as co-amici to sign on to the brief:

  • API Equality-Los Angeles
  • API Equality-Northern California (APIENC)
  • Invisible to Invincible (i2i): Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago
  • KhushDC
  • Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA)
  • Queer South Asian Collective (QSAC)
  • South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association of New York City (SALGA-NYC)
  • Trikone Northwest

In addition to these groups, the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti Violence Project; Immigration Equality; LGBT bar associations in New York (LeGaL), Chicago (LAGBAC), San Francisco (BALIF), and Los Angeles; and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston also joined.

Shristi Pant, a member of QSAC in Boston, said, “As an organization for South Asian queer and trans folks, we have a duty to support our Muslim community members, as well as Muslim folks from other areas of the world. This travel ban is just one aspect of the anti-Muslim violence that is being perpetuated in and by the U.S. and one that deeply affects Muslim LGBTQA+ folks in need of refuge from the violence they already face.”

Sammie Ablaza Wills, Director of API Equality-Northern California, commented that, “The anti-Muslim and anti-refugee ban is political fear mongering, directly impacting many in our communities. As LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander people, we understand that we cannot accept policies that dehumanize our Muslim and refugee family members. APIENC is dedicated to working towards safety and freedom for our people, and we will fight the Muslim ban at the airports, on the streets, and in the courts.”

Anne Watanabe, i2i core member in Chicago further elaborated, “As Asian Americans, we remember the disgraceful U.S. history of 120,000 Japanese American and Japanese people being forced into detention camps as a result of wartime hysteria filled with racism. We are now seeing this racist history repeat itself against Muslims and other targeted communities.”

Prior Actions

API Equality-LA works in solidarity with LGBTQ Muslims and those affected by racial profiling. In 2017, API Equality-LA took action on 9/11 highlighting the experiences of queer and trans Muslims and South Asians through a vigil hosted at Los Angeles City Hall. Its Indi(visible) Campaign advocates for a holistic approach towards immigration equality that encompasses challenging Islamophobia and the Muslim Ban, defending DACA and undocumented communities, and protecting LGBTQ immigrants, particularly trans immigrants of color.

Last fall, before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments on Trump’s second version of the travel ban, NQAPIA and several of the co-signing groups organized awareness raising actions in seven (7) cities—Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—protesting the violence, harassment, and profiling that LGBTQ South Asians and Muslims have endured since 9/11.

“For the past two years, on the anniversary of 9/11, KhushDC has participated in and organized direct actions to raise awareness of Islamophobia. These actions bring attention to the increased profiling and discrimination faced by Muslim people in the U.S.,” said Anish Tailor of KhushDC.

The effort, entitled “#QueerAzaadi,” featured community funerals to lift the names of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, trans women, African Americans, and undocumented immigrants killed in hate crimes; storytelling speak outs of LGBTQ Muslims and experiences of violence in the last 16 years; and mock checkpoints targeting white people to replicate the profiling that South Asian, Muslim, API, and people of color experience at airports and government buildings. 300 people participated in the actions in seven (7) cities that unveiled the interlocking systems of Islamophobia, Transphobia, Xenophobia, and Anti-Blackness.

Voices of Queer Muslims

NQAPIA has also published the personal stories of LGBT Muslims and South Asians sharing their experiences of policing and profiling in writing at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-stories and in video at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-videos.

Historical Timeline

1882 – Anti-Chinese Travel Ban
In 1882, Congress adopted and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first piece of federal legislation that singled out a minority group for invidious discrimination and barred their entry. It was not until 1943 that Chinese people could naturalize to become U.S. citizens. The Act was passed after many Chinese people had built the transcontinental railroad which unified the United States East and West.

1952 – Anti-LGBT Travel Ban
From 1952 to 1990, LGBT people were excluded from the U.S. because they were deemed to be of “psychopathic personality.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law and its application to homosexuals. Lower courts further denied the naturalization of LGBT immigrants because they were persons of “bad moral character.”

1987 – Anti-HIV Travel Ban
From 1987 to 2010, President Reagan issued an Executive Order, which President Bush extended, barring people with AIDS or who were HIV+ from entering the United States. Congress then codified the HIV+ exclusion into federal law in 1993. It was not until 2010, under President Obama, when the travel restriction was eliminated.

2017 – Anti-Muslim Travel Ban
Trump issued an executive order preventing people from 6 majority Muslim counties (Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia) and all refugees from entering the United States.

# # #

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.

#NeverAgain nomuslimbanever.com #QueerAzaadi

Not Another Death Threat: Queer and Trans Muslim Realities in America

By Almas Haider

There should be a name for the particular depression of living as a queer trans Muslim of color in America. A specific PTSD of walking the streets in constant fear of being racialized as Muslim and have your gender and sexual orientation questioned. The pleasure of not just having one day a year, September 11th, to expect extra harassment, but surprise holidays like “Punish a Muslim Day.” The joy of calling your mother and father, asking them their plans for the day, and telling them to “be mindful, keep your phone charged, and go home and call me if you don’t feel safe outside today.” Because to be a queer trans Muslim of color in America means to live in a state of anticipation of what hate violence we can expect next.

In the past two years since Trump’s campaign and subsequent election, there has been a surge in anti-immigrant legislation and hate violence. According to a study conducted by South Asians Americans Leading Together (SAALT), from Election Day 2016 to Election Day 2017 there have been “302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities in the United States.” 82% of these incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment, a “45% increase from the year leading up to the 2016 election cycle, levels not seen since the year after September 11th.” [SAALT]

This rapidly escalating level of hate violence was not created in a vacuum. This cycle of violence is directly tied to the racist and xenophobic legislation and systems of the United States. The latest manifestation of this has been the Muslim Travel Ban which will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 25th. The executive order, “bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, suspends the entry of all refugees for at least 120 days, and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely,” creating yet another form of institutionalized Islamophobia in the U.S. [ACLU].

In response, on March 26th the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and seven LGBT South Asian and API groups submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Donald Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban. The brief showed how the ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBTQIA people and tears families apart.

This brief is in part a direct response to an attempt to pinkwash the Muslim Travel Ban. Language included in the Ban says it will protect Americans by barring entry to “those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation” [Human Rights First]. This insinuates that people living in Muslim-majority countries are queerphobic and transphobic, a marketing and political tool most infamously being used by Israel to justify Palestinian genocide.

How quintessentially American: the Ban would bar queer and trans immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from seeking a complicated form of “safety” in the U.S., while claiming that the ban will help keep queer and trans people safe. This will in turn further the narrative of queerphobic and transphobic tyrants reigning in Muslim majority countries, justifying ongoing U.S. imperialism and intervention in the Middle East and creating more refugees. And the amount of physical and verbal violence queer and trans Muslims of color experience within the U.S. will continue to increase.

As the policies of the state become normalized in our everyday lives, the next turn in this cycle of queer, trans, and gendered islamophobia is the increase in hate crimes against our communities. For queer and trans Muslims of color, these attacks target multiple identities that we hold. According to the 2016 FBI Hate Crimes Statistic report, hate crimes against racial and ethnic minorities drastically increased in 2016. 25% of incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim bias alongside 18% anti-queer and anti-trans bias incidents. This makes queer and trans Muslims of color disproportionately likely to be victims. [FBI report]

Through our organizing as queer and trans Muslims, we aim to change that.

For the last two years, on September 11th, we have been crafting actions across the U.S. The purpose of these actions has been to educate, empower, and hold our community who experience the nuances of being profiled as queer Muslims of color. Our actions, drawing inspiration from Black Lives Matter and the movement for Palestinian liberation, have ranged from mock “security” checkpoints to guerilla performance art.

We are questioned and detained not just because of the languages we speak, our ancestral homes, and places of worship and communal gathering, but also because of how we express our gender and sexual identity through our appearance and the political movements we align with. Through these actions we have focused on the ways that Islamophobia and transphobia reinforce each other, how Black Muslims are particularly impacted by queer and gendered islamophobia, and building solidarity internally within our LGBTQIA community.

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, we spearheaded 20 local organizations to create “checkpoints” in high-traffic areas of Washington, D.C. The Washington Post showed how we aimed to replicate various “checkpoints” and experiences that Muslim Americans and those perceived to be Muslims have to go through every day, including being stopped by the Transportation Security Administration, being verbally and physically harassed in businesses, and routinely called terrorists.

In 2017, after a year of direct and blatant attacks on our communities by the Trump administration, we focused on creating spaces of not only resistance, but also of healing and safety. We named the Muslim Travel Ban and other forms of state violence as the root cause of queerphobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic hate crimes. We drew connections between queerphobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia. We questioned how we show up for one another. And we committed and successfully created spaces for all of our communities to mourn both the lives and the safety that has been taken from us since the election.

Through this work we as queer and trans Muslims of color have recognized and grown our power in a country that seeks to alienate, imprison, and murder us within and outside its borders. And as we wait in anticipation for the the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Muslim Ban, we begin our plans for an annualized and formal nationwide series of actions on September 11th. We now look to September 11th and every day, not with fear, but with the resolve and strengthened ability to create a different world. And ask our accomplices to be ready to join us.

Almas Haider is the Racial Justice and Immigrants’ Rights Committee Chair of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and Community Partnerships Manager at South Asian Americans Leading Together.

You can learn more about and get involved with the work of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance to combat Islamophobia, transphobia and queerphobia at www.nqapia.org.

#QueerAzaadi: A National Call for Mourning, Action, & Celebration on 9/11

 #QueerAzaadi // Queer Liberation

A National Call for Action, Mourning, & Celebration on the Weekend of 9/11

Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17 years old.
Nabra Hassanen, 17 years old.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18 years old.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 years old.

These are just a few of the people that our communities have lost to hate crimes and state violence this year. 2017 has seen a rise in the murders of Black trans women, of Black people killed by police violence, of Muslims and those mistaken for Muslim killed in Islamophobic hate crimes. As queer and trans Muslims, South Asians, and APIs, we know that these forms of violence are connected. We cannot separate being harassed because of our gender identities from being harassed because of the color of our skin. Transphobia, islamophobia, anti-Blackness, and xenophobia all reinforce each other in our lives.

#QueerAzaadi

This is the year of Trump’s election and the Muslim Ban. This is a year that trans people have fought multiple attacks on our humanity. This is a year that anti-Muslim hate groups have multiplied in a way we haven’t experienced since September 11th, 2001. 9/11 is certainly not the only moment that marks the policing, profiling and surveillance of our communities. Yet agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), policies such as the PATRIOT Act, and registries such as the National Security Entry – Exit Registration System (NSEERS) grew from the Islamophobia that followed that day. These policies are Islamophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, anti-Black forms of state violence that have only multiplied in the last 16 years.

 

For this reason, we will mark the 16th anniversary of 9/11 with a national day of

ACTION

to lift up our voices and create empowering space led by trans and queer Muslims

MOURNING

for all those who have been taken from us too soon

& CELEBRATING

our resistance, resilience, and survival

 

We will lift up the names of all of our people who have been lost to state-sanctioned violence and hate crimes – whether at the hands of law enforcement, immigration enforcement, vigilantes, or white supremacists. And, we will celebrate ourselves on 9/11: our lives, our stories, and our resistance as LGBTQ people of color, in struggle towards #QueerAzaadi / Liberation.

Will you join us?

We have actions planned in Austin, Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.

Click on your city to get involved. Email sasha@nqapia.org for more details, and if you or your organization is willing to lead an action in your city!

Virtual Support

Want to support this weekend of action for #QueerAzaadi, but can’t come to an event in person? We would love your support by amplifying our work through social media!

We’d love for trans and queer Muslims to take over social media on Sunday 9/10 at 5PT / 7CT / 8ET. Can you join us?

Click this link to find sample tweets and posts. We’ll also have pictures from our actions in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, and Austin on our social media by then as well – we’d really appreciate a repost!

Click to view select photos and reflections from many of the actions.

In the News

Check out these articles from Colorlines, Huffington Post, Asian Pacific Forum, the LA Blade, and the Washington Blade.

Our Goals

  • Reclaiming spaces in which we are normally terrorized: creating spaces that feel empowering for QT Muslim/South Asian/Brown/Black folks on 9/11
  • Lifting up Queer Muslim voices: creating a narrative shift by centering queer and trans Muslim voices in our communities and in media on 9/11
  • Shifting narrative around hate crimes: connecting systems of Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and anti-Blackness in words and actions
  • Building our own capacity: creating safer space for our people to try on planning and being part of direct action
  • Organizing visible mass resistance to the Muslim Ban, and the whole surveillance/security state apparatus, before the SCOTUS hearing on Oct 10th

Partners

#VigilantLove Coalition
18 Million Rising
Advocates for Youth
APALA
API Equality LA
API Equality Northern California
API Resistance
Asian American Resource Workshop
DC Justice for Muslims
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Gender Justice LA
GetEQUAL
GSA Network
hotpot!
Invisible 2 Invincible: API Pride of Chicago
Justice Warriors for Black Lives
KhushATX
KhushDC
Muslim Justice League
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Nikkei Progressives
Philly South Asian Coalition
QAPA
Queer Muslims of Boston
Satrang
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Southerners on New Ground
SWANA – LA
Transgender Law Center
Trikone Chicago
Tuesday Night Project
UndocuBlack Network
Washington Peace Center
White People for Black Lives – LA

#QueerAzaadi #NQAPIA

NQAPIA Blasts Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

MEDIA RELEASE for January 26, 2017
Contact: Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, 909-343-2219, sasha@nqapia.org

NQAPIA Blasts Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance blasted Mr. Trump’s executive orders calling them “detrimental to the interest of the American public—immigrants and citizens alike,” according to Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA’s Executive Director.

Yesterday, Mr. Trump authorized spending U.S. tax dollars on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, notwithstanding that net migration from Mexico has decreased over the last 10 years. He decreed the creation of more detention centers, 5,000 additional border patrol agents, and a reinstatement of 287(g) that requires local police enforcement of complicated federal immigration laws. His orders threaten to cut all federal funding from sanctuary cities and to reinstate Secure Communities, a deportation program that was discontinued due to ineffectiveness and increased distrust among immigrant communities.

Today, NQAPIA is anticipating that Mr. Trump will fulfill his campaign promise of implementing a Muslim ban. For 30 days, individuals from Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran will be banned from entering the U.S., simply because they live in Muslim-majority countries. Individuals from these countries will be unable to receive visas, even if they are already approved, intend to seek asylum, or have family members in the U.S. For 120 days, no refugees from these same countries will be allowed to enter the U.S. The only exception will be refugees who are religious minorities in their countries—in other words, refugees who are not Muslim.

Sasha W., NQAPIA’s Organizing Director, said, “Building a wall, constructing detention centers, and banning Muslims does not make us safer. Instead, these executive actions demonize and criminalize our communities. Trump campaigned on Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, anti-LGBT bigotry, misogyny, and ableism—not facts or policy. Our communities have already faced significant backlash during his campaign; now, the hate violence is solidifying into federal policy.”

In NQAPIA’s #RedefineSecurity Week of Action, during the beginning stages of Mr. Trump’s campaign, NQAPIA lifted up the stories of institutional Islamophobic and xenophobic hate violence against our LGBTQ API communities. We told the stories of an Indian transwoman harassed by immigration officials; a Pakistani traveler being invasively examined by TSA, in her body and belongings; a queer South Asian organizer whose home was raided; and a Bangladeshi traveler who has been on the “no-fly list” since she was a child.

Last year, in the midst of this national uptick in hate and vigilante violence, NQAPIA submitted a model guidance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), urging DHS to adopt protections against profiling on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Instead, Mr. Trump is doing the opposite—he is choosing to embolden the white nationalist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic elements of his campaign.

Sasha W. concluded, “Mr. Trump is continuing to enact policies that simply do not work and that make our communities feel more unsafe in this country.”

If you want to take action against these policies, get trained with us! Sign up for NQAPIA’s direct action organizing series (in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago) at bit.ly/datrainings.

###

#NoBanNoWall #RedefineSecurity #NotOurPresident

Creating Change 2017

The National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change. The 29th Creating Change will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia from January 18-22, 2017.

Many of these events are open to all, and we encourage active participation. If you do not identify with the event, please respect requests for safe spaces.

Thursday, 1/19

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Queer API Institute: Building a Queer Asian American & Pacific Islander Movement

Friday, 1/20

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 1
Jeh Johnson, Can You Hear Us Now? Organizing Against Islamophobia & Legalized Profiling

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM • Workshop Session 2
Faith and Family Acceptance in the API Community

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 1
Asian/South Asian/Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander Caucus

Saturday, 1/21

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 5
Building Queer Asian/South Asian Community and Movement

4:45 PM – 6:15 PM • Workshop Session 8
Loving with Our Whole Hearts: A Mother and Transgender Son

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
QPOC Caucus

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
South Asian LGBTQ Caucus

Sunday, 1/22

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Bunch and Closing Plenary

Glenn D. Magpantay Receives the Haas, Jr. Award for Outstanding LGBTQ Leadership for Immigrant Rights

In Case of Emergency
Glenn 917-439-3158
Sasha 909-343-2219
Tia 224-280-2236

LGBTQ South Asian, Muslim and Black Communities Protest 15 Years of Profiling on 9/11

MEDIA RELEASE for September 11, 2016
Contact: Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, 909-343-2219, sasha@nqapia.org

**#15YearsLater #RedefineSecurity #BlackLivesMatter**

LGBTQ South Asian, Muslim and Black Communities Protest 15 Years of Profiling on 9/11

WHO: NQAPIA, KhushDC, and dozens of supporting organizations
WHAT: #15YearsLater: Performative Action to End Profiling of LGBTQ South Asian & Muslim communities
WHERE: Washington DC
WHEN: Sunday, 9/11/16

10:30am-12:30pm – performing “checkpoints” across DC in Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Verizon
Center (Chinatown), and other locations
1-2pm – Rally at 14th and U St., NW

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, organizers with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and KhushDC will take part in a performative action to end Islamophobia and the legalized profiling of LGBTQ South Asian, Muslim and Black communities, which has intensified in the 15 years since 9/11. We are creating “checkpoints” in high-traffic areas of DC that replicate the various “checkpoints” South Asian, Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Black people experience every day – being stopped when passing through TSA, being denied service because of religious markers, being called terrorists, being kicked off of flights, etc. Black Muslims experience this profiling at an even higher frequency, leading to brutality or death at the hands of law enforcement.

Almas Haider, NQAPIA board member, said, “9/11 changed my life. Overnight I went from a carefree 11-year-old to being on the receiving end of verbal and physical harassment. 15 years have changed nothing. The harassment continues and government policies have strengthened, targeting my community simply for how we look or how we pray. We are guilty simply for existing.”

Sasha W., NQAPIA’s Organizing Director, added, “I feel the aftershocks of 9/11 every day. From profiling at the airport, to verbal harassment on the street, to surveillance outside my apartment, the policies enacted in the wake of 9/11 have legalized the profiling and surveillance of my people. I cannot feel ‘safe’ until the legalized profiling, surveillance, and harassment end.”

Our daily experiences of profiling are connected to a larger system that targets Muslims and those perceived as Muslims. Policies mark us as potential threats, which enables government agencies, law enforcement and the general public to treat us accordingly. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) – has no legal protections against profiling. The Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) detains and deports people profiled as a danger to national security. The FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program profiles Muslim youth. The FBI’s Terror Watchlist disproportionately targets Muslims, South Asians, Black people, immigrants, and people of color, without explanation.

Numerous studies have documented the impact of Islamophobia. A Gallup poll found that nearly half of all Muslims – 48 percent – reported that they, personally, had experienced racial or religious discrimination in the past year. In a Columbia University survey, 28 percent of Muslim high school students in New York reported being stopped by police as a result of racial profiling. A labor market study found a 10 percent decrease in earnings for Muslim and Arab men immediately after 9/11, with the effects greater in areas with a higher incidence of hate crimes.

Haider added, “There has been no acknowledgement of the violence being wrought on my community. And we cannot stand idly by, waiting for that to change.” We will set up “checkpoints” across DC on 9/11 to demonstrate how our communities have suffered in the past 15 years, and to continue our campaign to pressure the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into ending this legalized profiling.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ AAPI groups, develop leadership, invigorate grassroots organizing, and challenge homophobia and racism.

15 Years Later: Rally Against Post-9/11 Violence

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, organizers in DC will take part in a performative action. Our demands are to end the legalized profiling of LGBTQ South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Black communities, which has intensified in the 15 years since 9/11.

This is part of a series of events designed to bring us together to heal, fortify, unite, and continue the fight against injustice. They will culminate in a Rally for Justice on 9/11 on 14th and U St. Full list of events and details are below:

+ Healing Circle + Mon 9/5 @ 7:00 p.m.

Gathering for survivors of post-9/11 violence, in all its forms
Snacks and beverages will be served
RSVP to sasha [at] nqapia [dot] org for address

+ Performance Activism Training + Sat 9/10 @ 6:00-8:00 p.m

Those attending will receive training for the 9/11 action, including know your rights and de-escalation tactics segments
Snacks and beverages will be served
RSVP to sasha [at] nqapia [dot] org for address

+ Performance Action + Sun 9/11 @ 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Must attend training on Saturday, 9/10 for details

+ Rally for Justice + Sun 9/11 @ 1:00 p.m.

Gather at 14th & U St to demand an end to the continued surveillance and profiling of South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Black Muslims and those perceived as Muslims

+ Eid Rooftop Cookout + Sun 9/11 @ 4:00-7:00 p.m. CANCELLED

The islamic calendar is based on a lunar calendar, unlike the calendar we use day-to-day which is based on a solar calendar. As such, each year an Islamic date falls on a different solar calendar date. This year, Eid, one of the holiest Islamic celebrations, falls on 9/11.
We are hosting a cookout for all community members to gather to celebrate this occasion
RSVP to sasha [at] nqapia [dot] org for address.

RSVP

RSVP for locations and to request more info by emailing sasha [at] nqapia [dot] org

Co-Sponsors

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
KhushDC
Black Lives Matter DC
Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum
Queer South Asian National Network (QSANN)
ONE DC, Organizing Neighborhood Equity
AQUA
Salga Nyc
SAALT- South Asian Americans Leading Together
NAKASEC
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
AAPCHO

Join & Share

Join the event on Facebook

Read the Media Release: LGBTQ South Asian, Muslim and Black Communities Protest 15 Years of Profiling on 9/11

Read 15 Years Later

Find photos from our action on Facebook and across Twitter @nqapia.

Read news about the action published on Rewire, the Washington Blade (9/7 and 9/11), and the Washington Post (article and video).

Resources after the Orlando Tragedy

NQAPIA Mourns Orlando Shooting Victims, Warns Against Islamophobic Rhetoric & Violence

NQAPIA MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Sunday, June 12, 2016
For More Information, Contact: Sasha W., 909-343-2219, sasha@nqapia.org

NQAPIA Mourns Orlando Shooting Victims, Warns Against Islamophobic Rhetoric

We are heartbroken. We send love to the countless people affected by the tragedy in Orlando.

At a time when we are proudly celebrating our LGBTQ identities and community, we woke this morning to the horrifying news that at least fifty queer and trans people, including many people of color, were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. This is just one in a very long line of tragedies involving gun violence in the U.S. These shootings cannot be the new normal, and we must demand our lawmakers enact commonsense measures to end the bloodshed.

As we mourn the lives that were lost and hold our loved ones tighter, we are also questioning yet again what safety means to us.

From the Stonewall riots to the HIV crisis to police brutality, queer people have long lived in terror in the U.S., largely at the hands of the state. And now, as many of us who are Muslim or South Asian—or perceived as such—brace for a backlash that is already underway, we recommit to creating safety outside of that state, for all of our LGBTQ family.

We urge our community and allies to refrain from rhetoric that lays responsibility on any one community. The acts of an individual are not representative of any one ethnicity, race, or faith. With Islamophobia in our country growing to greater and more dangerous levels, it is ever more important to be intentional about what narratives we choose to lift up. Furthering such rhetoric will only lead to more policies that normalize surveillance of and violence against APIs and other communities of color. NQAPIA advocates firmly against policies that profile and instill fear in our communities, and that tear families apart. Just last month, we held a #RedefineSecurity Week of Action to denounce such policies.

For those of us who are LGBTQ and Muslim, we wait to see which of our identities we will be more fearful of disclosing in a world that questions our existence and intentions daily. We have found no contradiction in being both queer and Muslim, and reject the popular narrative that Islam or the Muslim community as a whole is homophobic and transphobic. We are proud to be both queer and Muslim, and cherish both of our communities. We encourage you to read this statement from our member organization the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

In the next few weeks, we must resist the inevitable, racist attempts to divide and conquer us. We ask that our allies refuse to use this moment to undermine the safety of people of color. We ask that people come together in this difficult time to heal, and that we intentionally create systems and spaces where all members of our community feel secure, safe, and able to be their full selves.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenge homophobia and racism.

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