Kashmiri Americans organize to put a human face to the crisis in their homeland

Religion News Service | 8/13/2019 | Staff
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (RNS) – On Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival of the sacrifice, Huma Dar began with a request for a prayer for her people.

“Nobody knows the meaning of sacrifice more than the Kashmiri people,” she told the standing-room-only crowd gathered on Sunday (Aug. 11) in the Democracy Center, a meetinghouse in Harvard Square, to learn about new developments in the Kashmir crisis.

Dar - South - Studies - University - California

Then Dar, who teaches South Asian studies at the University of California at Berkeley, raised her hands to her face in silent supplication: That her country might finally achieve azaadi, or “freedom” — its decades-long rallying cry for a fair referendum on its independence.

Across the U.S., members of the Kashmiri diaspora are leading a solidarity movement called Stand With Kashmir to oppose the Indian government’s abrupt move on Aug. 3 to scrap the special semi-autonomous status granted the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which India and Pakistan both claim in full and currently rule in part.

Week - Hundreds - Kashmiris - Supporters - India

Last week, hundreds of Kashmiris and their supporters gathered outside India’s Consulates in New York and Chicago as well as the Indian Embassy in Washington in what activists called an “unprecedented” wave of support for the Kashmiri cause. More are joining the Justice for Muslims Collective in D.C. on Tuesday (Aug. 13) to learn about the region’s escalating tensions and how to support Kashmiris.

Since India’s Hindu nationalist leadership abrogated its special status, Muslim-majority Kashmir, already one of the world’s most heavily militarized zones, has been living through a communications blockade and what the region’s Indian administrators called a “security lockdown.”

People - Conscience - Support - Solidarity - People

“We urge people of conscience to come out and show support and solidarity for the people of Kashmir as authoritarianism and Islamophobia rise around the world, from India to the United States to Europe,” said activist Sameera Fazili, who organized a march Saturday in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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