Islamic Leadership Institute of America Stands in Solidarity with Kashmir
Indian Presidential decree causes concerns across Washington DC
The Stand for Kashmir Emergency Protest was held in front of the Indian Embassy, and drew a large and diverse crowd. Hena Zuberi, the Director of Outreach for Justice for All, touched on this. As the first speaker, she remarked on how Indians, Pakistanis, Rohingya Muslims, Palestinians, African Americans, and others all came to stand up for Kashmir. Other speakers drew attention to the dramatic increase in military deployed to the area; and the heartbreaking feeling of not being able to contact loved ones due to a shutdown of phone lines and internet. "Please let me speak to my family", one speaker remarked. Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of CAIR, spoke and focused on the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.
ILIA created an Issue Brief for the situation in Kashmir, and gave it out at the protest. It explained the current situation in Kashmir and next steps in a clear and concise way. ILIA also promoted the protest on social media, posting highlights of the speakers there.
When asked why the issue of Kashmir matters to him, Alawi Masud, the Program Director for ILIA's Advocacy and Public Policy Leadership wing, stated that
"The Kashmiri people and their right of Self-Determination are being undermined and oppressed. For decades the Indian goverment maintained Kashmir had Autonomy. Of course, there's multiple cases were it wasn't respected but at least the legal framework was there. But literally with a snap of a finger, their autonomy was stripped away, India surged in 38,000 troops into a place that's already the most militarized zone in the world, and India shuts down all contact with the outside world. That's scary, that's incredibly scary. I wouldn't want anyone to live through that."
ILIA is a non-profit 501c(3) educational and research organization promoting youth development and leadership training. For more information about ILIA's Advocacy and Public Policy Leadership Development and Education program visit https://www.islamicleadership.org/