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#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

Media Release: Time to Close the Immigration Loophole and End Illegal Profiling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 23, 2016

TIME TO CLOSE THE IMMIGRATION LOOPHOLE AND END ILLEGAL PROFILING

Advocates submit policy guidance to DHS to close profiling loophole
At critical moment, as Obama Administration dismantles Muslim special registry, guidelines to end profiling in immigration enforcement gains urgency, momentum

Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) submitted a widely supported policy guidance to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prohibit profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, language, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  Staff from the President’s Domestic Policy Council requested the model guidance language, after a year of relentless advocacy by NQAPIA.

In this time of political uncertainty and uneasiness, the administration’s dismantling of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) – which gave rise to “special registration” that targeted Muslims and devastated immigrant communities after the September 11 attacks – was welcomed by advocates.

“The LGBTQ communities of color that NQAPIA represents have faced an unprecedented acceleration of violence and continue to be mistreated and singled out at airports, their neighborhoods, and peaceful gatherings,” said Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director.

”Now is the time for DHS to build upon the elimination of National Security Entry-Exit Registration System and close the loophole to prohibit profiling in immigration enforcement,“ said Glenn Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.

He continued, “Currently there is no policy against profiling in immigration enforcement.  The U.S Department of Justice issued a guidance in 2014 barring profiling, but exempted the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies. As a matter of federal public policy, it is actually permissible for TSA, ICE, and CBP to assert that someone is a threat based on no other information other than what is profiled.”

A model for change

For the past year, racial justice and immigrant rights advocates have been pushing to close this gaping loophole.  To assist in DHS in is effort, NQAPIA developed the model guidance language to enact desperately needed protections against profiling.

The model guidance prohibits DHS and its agencies from using race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity as the sole basis for monitoring, investigating, stopping, detaining, questioning, or searching an individual, or placing an individual into detention or removal proceedings.  It also details:

  • Examples of inappropriate uses of profiling in border security, national security, and state and local law enforcement.
  • A complaint process for addressing allegations of profiling.
  • A remedy for when inappropriate profiling is used. Resulting detention or deportation should be deemed improper and revoked, as already exists in criminal proceedings where wrongfully obtained evidence is suppressed.

Racial profiling has been used in federal programs that have ravaged communities of color such as the “War on Drugs,” “War on Terror,” and in immigration enforcement abuses that created laws like Arizona’s SB1070 and other collaborations between Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement.

Profiling has been widely rejected both on moral grounds and because of its ineffectiveness. Republican President George W. Bush issued the first set of federal guidance barring profiling in law enforcement in 2003.  There is widespread and bipartisan support against profiling and support for closing the DOJ loophole.

To that end, NQAPIA delivered over a thousand postcards and hundreds of e-petition signatures to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, demonstrating mass-based support for the end of profiling in DHS. NQAPIA also organized a protest on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 demanding an end to legalized profiling.

“There is no more urgent time than now to close the profiling loophole and end illegal profiling. We urge the President to take immediate action on this issue,” concluded Magpantay.

Contact: Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org

917-439-3158

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The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (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, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.