Read this article about countering religious polarization and Hindutva in the United States. Our Executive Director at South Asian Network, Shakeel Syed, makes a statement where he discusses the inclusive community he used to be part of in India, and how that community has changed to today. Make sure to read!
In the News
SAN was recently featured in India West for an event we hosted on June 26. Taking place during Pride Month, this was a march down Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia, aiming to support and uplift South Asian queer individuals.
Click the button below to read the article!
SAN was recently featured in Divyabhaskar, a Gujarati newspaper, for our march in favor of LBGTQ+ South Asian communities in Artesia down Pioneer Boulevard.
Here is a link to the original newspaper in Gujarati with the article found on page 27: https://digital.theindianeye.us/DBNA/070822/.
Keep scrolling to read a translated version of the article:
“South Asian Network Group’s Pride Rally”
“On Sunday, June 26, the South Asian Network Group organized a Pride Rally on Artesia’s Pioneer Bee in Los Angeles. The rally was also accompanied by a good group. The South Asian LGBTQ community aimed to raise awareness and demand that they be given the same respect, rights and hobbies as anyone else in the community. May, it is not a shame to be a lesbian. The physical condition given by nature must find a place in society without shame. LGBTQ – lesbian y, transgender, quet, questionmg People have the same rights as other people in the society, there were many people in this rally for the purpose of meeting, every citizen of the world should cooperate to bring awareness about LGBTQ community. These people are ashamed of their sexuality, because people look down on them and do not respect them. His family, friends and society looked at him not out of prejudice, but out of respect and joined hands to ensure that the community had all the rights to join.”
Shakeel Syed wrote this Op-Ed about Independence Day, the path this nation has been down since our independence, and how independence from the British centuries ago has not meant independence for all.
We know that the lonely Native American female warrior as the statue of freedom atop the Capitol Dome was cast in bronze by a foundry that used enslaved labor. No different is lady “liberty” (in New York), which was also erected by the enslaved.
And, the White House could not be standing shining all these years if not for the sweat of the enslaved blacks.
Without forgetting this sordid past, let’s fast forward.
The claims of the more recent Presidents occupying the White House ranged from: “Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the problem,” (Ronald Reagan) to “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference,” (Barrack Hussein Obama) to the most recent one by the orange hair monster “Make America Great Again.” In these words, there’s very little of greatness and a whole lot of pettiness. Here is why.
Our petty Presidents and politicians of all persuasions continue tounashamedly plot policies that set back the lives of 99% Americans and advance the lives of the 1%.
Our petty Presidents and the Congress always find ways to give more to thewrongly named “Defense Department’s” budget of $800+ billion, while neither are ashamed to trim down the resources to education, healthcareand other social services.
Today’s Supreme Court is like the Torquemada of American law. Tomas de Torquemada, the 15thcentury Dominican friar who became the grand inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, who was largely responsible for torturing and the burning of heretics. The modern Tomas de Torquemadais yet to be found with bloody instruments in their hands, but they are the owners of their blood stained pens banishing women of their rights to their bodies.
While the “free” America continues to insist for a safer world for herself, at any cost, it fails to protect her very own. Every day, armed men and women wearing blue uniforms kill unarmed black and brown men and women.
The most dramatic wealth gap is between middling millionaires, who have seen only “modest” gains, and the booming billionaires, who now seem to defy economic gravity.
We claim our nation to be the richest, but it is more debt-ridden and even more debt-dependent than ever before. This indebtedness is what Thomas Jefferson feared the most when he said, “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared.”
While celebrating this Independence Day let us not forget the immeasurable human pain and poverty that continues to exist amidst us, and let us continue to fight for the oppressed and against the oppressors, in it we shall find our true collective independence and not by waving the cheap Chinese made American flags!
Shakeel Syed is the Executive Director of South Asian Network.
Anti-abortion ruling is not taking our country backward. It is moving our nation forward, but to a future that is going to be far more sinister than the pre-abortion era. Here are a few reasons for my concern.
- As a woman of South Asian descent and co-leading a three-decade old organization serving South Asian community, I know the anti-abortion ruling will not affect all women equally. It will disproportionately harm and hurt women of color.
- I will be fearful to search online for an abortion pill or a clinic for the women who come to my organization for help. It is very likely that my online search history can be used against me in myriad ways in this post- Roe, surveillance era.
- Women coming into my organization for help from another state will be leaving a trail of their location data that then can be used against them.
- I have every reason to believe that the tyranny of mostly male-led supreme court will not stop at abortions but will move forward to reverse contraception, same sex marriage and racial segregation, yes even racial segregation.
And I can list a few more reasons, but you get my point.
So, what do we do and where do we go…? I suggest we make a few concrete demands from those whom we elected.
- The Biden Administration must immediately open abortion clinics on federal lands in States that have banned abortion. This will help women avoid travel and a myriad of other expenses that they cannot afford to seek abortion in States like mine.
- The tyranny of supreme court can and must be ended by “codifying” the right to abort. We elected our representatives to represent us, and if they do not, we must throw them out this November.
- Now that we know beyond a reasonable doubt that the supreme court has become a dangerous political institution and has abdicated its duty to render justice and instead meting out unjust laws, we must limit their service term to no more than ten years.
In the interim, we must remain agitated and re-commit ourselves to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care and to protect them from the harsh burdens we all will inevitably face.
We can neither afford our nation to go backwards nor can we allow our country to go forward with laws that sets us on a path of self-destruction and for future generations to come.
Rise my people. If not now, then when and if not us then who!
Hina Ahmad serves as the Deputy Director of South Asian Network.
Shakeel Syed, our Executive Director at SAN, recently had an article published in India West—an Indian/Indian-American online publication. Access this link to read the article!
Here are a few short excerpts from the article:
“The recent murder of the innocent people on both coasts reminds us of the mordant wit of the Sufi mystic who said ‘I love the moon because it brightens the sky and helps us navigate the dark night. And I hate the sun because it only comes out during the day when it is bright anyway.’
Most of us are capable of missing what is perfectly obvious, especially when we allow our thinking to become fogged with strong emotion.
Yes, we should condemn the murder and mourn the loss of lives from Laguna Woods to Buffalo but we should also struggle to open our eyes and discern the perfectly obvious patterned behavior here.”
“In an age of connecting the cosmos, America must learn to make connections here on earth between corrosive psychological violence and lethal gun violence, between our tribalism and ‘their’ isolation and alienation, and most obviously between all those bullet-riddled corpses and the smoking guns that any lost soul can so easily buy or steal. Otherwise, we may continue to believe that sunlight is a waste because the days are always bright anyway.”