Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

KhushDC Stands in Solidarity with Indo-Caribbean Community After Gay-Bashing Incident

June 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shivana Jorawar, shivana.jorawar@gmail.com

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2013 – KhushDC joins other LGBTQ organizations in denouncing the recent targeting of and attack on an Indo-Caribbean activist in New York. On Sunday June 23, Mohamed (Zaman) Amin was attacked in a hate crime at Players Restaurant and Bar in Queens. Following the release of photos and videos of Amin after the attack, community leaders across the Northeast have condemned this violent attack and reiterated a commitment to combating homophobia and hate crimes.

These organizations have helped put together a rally in front of Players Restaurant and Bar (129-06 Liberty Ave., Richmond Hill, NY 11419) to be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Community members, elected officials and organizations are encouraged to join the rally against violence directed at Amin and the LGBTQ community.

The organizations Chutney Pride, the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Jahajee Sisters, the Rajkumari Cultural Center, Sadhana, Sangam- Indo-Caribbean Queer Voices, and KhushDC released the following statements:

“This disgusting violence is unacceptable. It is high time for us to be addressing the real issue of anti-gay hate that plagues our community and makes it an unsafe place to be. Chutney Pride is here to support Zaman and help uproot homophobia in the Indo-Caribbean community.” – Mohamed Q. Amin, Chutney Pride

“We are distressed to learn of the attack on Zaman, who has been a leading activist for LGBTQ rights in the Caribbean community. This kind of violence follows other recent violent attacks we have seen against gay men in NYC. Fortunately, we are determined to show that there are far more of us who stand in solidarity with Zaman than those would rather see the LGBTQ community silenced again.” – Richard David, Indo-Caribbean Alliance

“What happened to Zaman is deplorable. We as a community can no longer refuse to confront cultural biases against LGBTQ persons and the violence that it promotes. LGBTQ people are our friends and family members and, if they are not safe, this is a problem that affects us all.” – Rohan Sooklall, Sangam

“This is a disgusting act of violence based on rigid gender norms that result in the persecution of LGBTQ people. For too long, we have been silent about the way our culture denigrates people based on their sexual orientation. The time for creating change is long overdue. We stand in solidarity with Zaman.” – Shivana Jorawar, Jahajee Sisters

“Zaman is the most beautiful, respectful, gifted and talented young person I’ve met in a long time. He has worked and supports the Rajkumari Center and performed for many fundraising events in our community. During Sandy, Zaman, his family and friends distributed food and supplies to victims. I call on all business owners, community and religious leaders to stand with us to STOP the abuse to our sons and daughters!” – Pritha Singh, Rajkumari Cultural Center

“We at Sadhana believe in the principle of ahimsa and condemn all forms of violence. As a progressive coalition of Hindu Americans, we condemn the violent attack on Mohamed (Zaman) and demand that the Ozone Park and Richmond Hill residents strongly condemn this act of violence as well. Zaman is a human being and should not be seen as any different from any other human in this world. ” – Rohan Narine, Sadhana

“It is disheartening and disappointing to see such violence being perpetuated without recourse or reason in our community. We hope our religious and cultural communities from South Asia, the Caribbean, and the diaspora stand with us as we continue to educate, share the stories of LGBTQ individuals, and build within our communities. Only two years ago, we saw a similar attack against a South Asian LGBTQ member here in Washington, D.C., one where the person unfortunately did not survive the attack. It is high time we rise to the occasion and speak louder.” – Puesh Kumar, KhushDC

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KhushDC is a social, support and political group that provides a safe and supportive environment, promotes awareness and acceptance, and fosters positive cultural and sexual identity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and additional gender or sexual minority South Asians in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. KhushDC represents a broad array of nationalities including those of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.


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