Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations Stands Against Anti-Muslim Hate and Violence
December 17, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Development and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), a national organization of health centers serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, today released the following statement in response to the increase of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence across the country in recent weeks:
We represent health centers that serve anyone who walks through their doors, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, country of origin, or the color of their skin. We stand with our members and other partners in supporting Muslim, Sikh, Arab, and South Asian American communities, and call on our fellow Americans to do the same.
Recent hate crimes against individuals of the Muslim faith and those perceived to be Muslim, are not only contradictory to our values as a country built by immigrants and strong in its diversity, but are also against the basic human rights of these families and individuals who call the United States their home.
The growing xenophobic rhetoric and acts of hate against American Muslims, is a step back for all Americans. The recent surge of anti-Muslim violence bring us back to a time in our country’s history when we let fear and bigotry undermine our constitutional ideals that all people are created equal—back to a time when discriminatory policies, like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Japanese internment camps of World War II, separated families and wrongly incarcerated American citizens. We cannot let history repeat itself.
As we aim to be a more inclusive and just society, we cannot allow anti-Muslim hate language to spread by staying silent. The more we let hateful language against Muslims to continue, the more fear increases—and with that, violence. Stop the violence, speak up against anti-Muslim hate.
With roots in the civil rights movement, our members and other community health centers are committed to providing health care to all as a basic human right and to improving the lives of all Americans. We call on policymakers and elected officials to assure that Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim are afforded these same rights.
In affording all individuals these rights—including the right to live in safety, good mental health and livelihood—we commit to building thriving and healthy environments for all communities and for future generations.
AAPCHO is a national association of 35 community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit www.aapcho.org.