AAF Statement on the Impact of the Middle East Crisis on Local Communities
The Asian American Federation (AAF) and our Hope Against Hate partners are heartbroken by the tragic events unfolding in the Middle East. We mourn the unspeakable loss of life and destruction under these terrible circumstances; we acknowledge the suffering of our neighbors who are irreparably affected.
We are reeling from the news of the hate-driven murder of six-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume and the attempted murder of his mother Hanaan Shahin in Illinois on October 14. We are also deeply disturbed to learn of the assault on a 19-year-old Sikh man in an MTA bus in New York City. There have been attacks on the Jewish community, and vandalizing of stores and places of worship. These incidents are a stark reminder of the persistent prejudice and bigotry that exist in our society.
From 9/11, to COVID-19, to the anti-China rhetoric that continues to this day, the pan-Asian American community knows all too well the violence visited upon communities in the U.S in response to international conflicts and tensions. We are now witnessing a surge in hate violence targeting Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, Palestinian, and Jewish communities in the U.S. in the wake of the escalating conflict in the Middle East.
Before another innocent person is attacked for their appearance, ethnic background, or religion, we call upon our elected officials and community leaders to be swift and outspoken in their condemnation of all hate violence, and to speak out as champions of all our communities at this moment of peril. Furthermore, we call upon the City and State to allocate all necessary resources to ensure the safety and dignity of every New Yorker. We also urge all New Yorkers to report any incidents of hate or bias that they witness or experience to AAF’s online reporting tool or that of other local or national organizations.
We stand ready to combat hate violence and offer support and resources to those in need. We celebrate our diversity and commit to working together to create a more just, inclusive, resilient, and respectful society for all.
Arab American Association of New York
Asian Americans for Equality
Brooklyn Chinese-American Association
Council of Peoples Organization
Garden of Hope
Homecrest Community Services
Immigrant Social Services
Japanese American Association of New York
Japanese American Social Services Inc.
Karen Society of Buffalo
Korean American Civic Empowerment
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York
Midtown Utica Community Center
Muslim Community Network
Refugees Helping Refugees
South Asian Council for Social Services
YWCA of Queens