More than 100 community organizations in the US have condemned Alliance for Persecuted Peoples Worldwide (APPWW) in a latest open statement over its alleged “hateful rhetoric and dangerous behavior toward marginalized communities.”
The statement accuses APPWW of being engaged in “harmful conduct that perpetuates hate, religious intolerance, and Islamophobia,” and that its leaders are “not credible representatives of the local Indian-American diaspora or South Asian communities.” The coalition of South Asian communities have called upon social welfare institutions to sign a petition to boycott APPWW for indulging in racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, casteism, and other forms of hate and bigotry.
The coalition has detailed a series of instances where APPWW has made problematic comments that do not align with its otherwise professed mission of being “a voice for the voiceless in our communities from around the world who are persecuted for their gender, religion and race.” It highlighted various instances where the group promoted Hindu nationalism by encouraging boycotts of Muslim businesses claiming to buy only from places with “a saffron flag”; called Black Lives Matter movement a terrorist organization; asked presidential candidates to “not hire any of Islamist Ikhwanis-Pak military stooges on Bernie Sanders’ campaign” among other such dangerous insults to marginalized communities.
The letter is backed by a diverse range of local, national and international rights networks including reputed names such as Indian American Muslim Council, Pacific Northwest Ambedkar Group (Dalit), Jews Undoing Institutional Racism, Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), Ambedkarite Buddist Association, Latino Advocacy, Muslims for Community, Action and Support (MCAS), Council on American Islamic Relations (National), Hindus for Human Rights, South Asian Americans Together for Washington (SAATWA), Ambedkar International Center, Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, World Without Hate, Asian Counseling and Referral Service and several others. It further opposed APPWW’s views on supporting the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act in India through its echoing policy of “creating a hindu rashtra as Indians are victims of jehadi systems.” APPWW has been actively sharing hate speech through its social media posts and rhetoric where it consistently raised call-to-actions for “launching a counter attack on Islam by educating every Hindus.” The most latest, the coalition outlined, has been APPWW’s instrumental support of a candidate promoting “anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.”
The coalition mentioned that APPWW has been fueling hatred among communities and “despite the hate that its leaders are promulgating they have been trying to influence and build credibility with community leaders and groups.” Through its wide scale of public activities and social media presence, the group has been masking its bigotry under the cover of “bridge-builders” and seeking partnerships with city councils.
Surprisingly, it noted that APPWW has also been “receiving funding from reputable organizations such as the WA Census Alliance.”
In a bid to “expose APPWW and its leaders for what they actually support and represent,” this coalition of over 100 organizations from all over have released an online form to record support in condemning APPWW through petitions which can be accessed here (www.tinyurl.com/CondemnAPPWW
In its endnote, the coalition has reiterated that “even if they cloak their intentions by exploiting the language of social justice, and present themselves as innocuous or even beneficial,” groups such as APPWW are “dangerous and harmful to communities, especially as they increase in power and influence.”