Rising Voices and community partners raise concern over new Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain Caucus
DETROIT - Michigan’s leading Asian American and Pacific Islander civic engagement, advocacy, and civil rights organizations question the formation of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain Congressional Caucus by US Representative Shri Thanedar (MI-13):
We join national partners, made up of community and faith-based human rights organizations, in voicing concerns about the exclusion of Muslims and minority South Asian community members from the caucus. Despite the fact that our organizations serve the Michigan AAPI community, including a large percentage of the South Asian constituency in Representative Thanedar’s district, there has been no consultation or communication with our members or staff. While we welcome any congressional caucus to advocate for the interests of our communities, however, it is essential that it be inclusive of perspectives of the entire South Asian community across faith, caste, and ethnic lines.
The exclusion of Muslims and other minority South Asians by Thanedar despite the large Muslim population in his own district is of serious concern. We caution that this caucus must not turn into a platform for the Hindu nationalism movement which has persecuted religious and ethnic minority communities in India and beyond. We call for the inclusive and authentic representation of all Michiganders by the officials we elect to serve, and stand with our Muslim and South Asian communities.
Rising Voices, a project of the Center for Empowered Politics, is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization that seeks to increase the civic participation of Asian Americans in Michigan by developing the leadership, organizing, and power-building capacity of Asian American women, youth and communities.
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) Michigan is a nonpartisan nonprofit committed to justice and equity for the Asian American community through grassroots mobilization, civic engagement, leadership development, and coalition building.
American Citizens for Justice is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to civil rights advocacy and education for the Asian Pacific American community in Michigan. www.americancitizensforjustice.org