MANA Statement Following The Murderous Attack on Asian American Spas in Metro Atlanta – MANA

MANA Statement Following The Murderous Attack on Asian American Spas in Metro Atlanta

For this reason [Cain murdering Abel], we prescribed for the Children of Israel, that whoever takes a life, for other than retribution for murder, or spreading murderous corruption throughout the land, it is as though he has murdered all of humanity and whoever saves a life, it is as though he has saved all of humanity… (Qur’an 5:32).

MANA extends its condolences to the families and friends of the eight people brutally murdered in the attacks on three Asian American spas in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. We view these attacks in the context of the climate of hate being created against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and condemn those whose words and actions are contributing to that climate. We are also appalled by the callousness with which a police spokesman dismissed this act of mass murder by stating that the murderer had a “bad day,” while evoking sympathy for him by emphasizing that his murderous rampage was an effort to eliminate the source of his sex addiction. We condemn the media outlets who have centered the killer’s narrative, while doing nothing to highlight the humanity of those who so senselessly lost their lives.

We contend that these murders constitute a hate crime, not only against the AAPI community whose establishments were exclusively targeted and whose community members represented the overwhelming majority of the victims, but also against the women who were the stated targets of the shooter. Specifically targeting either group would be covered by federal and Georgia state-level hate crime statutes, on racial and/or gender grounds. Some may dispute our contention. What is indisputable is that these attacks took place in the context of a long history of violence against, and the “othering” of members of the AAPI community in this country.

In light of this recent crime and the expanding wave of violence directed at members of the AAPI community since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, MANA urges the following measures:

    1. Ceasing to refer Covid-19 as the “Kung Flu,” “China Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” and other names that intentionally identify it with a vulnerable American community. Plagues are not always identified by their land of origin. Hence, Avian Bird Flu, Swine Flu, the Ebola outbreak, etc. Furthermore, if we can change the name of the Swine Flu to H1N1 to save pig farmers’ profits, we can refrain from referring to Covid-19 by the kinds of provocative names popularized by our former president, to save AAPI lives.

    2. If you see something, do something. We must all watch out for members of the community when in public, particularly women, children and the elderly, who have sadly been disproportionately targeted during the current crisis. We must be willing to put our bodies on the line to defend them.

    3. We must continue to build bridges of solidarity with the broader AAPI community, as well with our Muslim brothers and sister who are members of the wider community. This includes attending forums and demonstrations they organize as well as organizing our own. We must continue to do our part to raise consciousness of the challenges the AAPI community as well as other racial, ethnic and religious minorities face in an era of resurgent racism.

    4. As we join with the AAPI community as well as others in addressing the racism and xenophobia informing the attitudes of far too many Americans towards minorities in this country, we must always remember that Euro-Americans, in their entirety, are not our enemies. While working to undo the legacy of white supremacy we must refrain from using alienating and divisive language that only serves to further polarize our communities along racial, ethnic and religious lines.

We pray that God grants us the wisdom, vision and courage to help heal and unite our country during this particularly trying time.

-Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)

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