Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Islamaphobia in the Indian American Community Part II

This post is in response to the long post on Sepia Mutiny blogger Abhi. The post pretty much looks to talk about the various misguided points made in the article we had discussed in the past post on Sunday.

I think it is shameful that Abhi would even reference this as a viable source, it seems as if it is a hatchet job as referenced by many of the comments to this post.

"I do not feel that USINPAC represents my interests whatsoever and I wish the press would stop assuming they speak for all Indian Americans."

Abhi although you are free to believe that the organization doesn't represent your beliefs the truth is the organization does work to promote values important to ALL Indian Americans. Our legislative accomplishments, our work and support for Indian American candidates, and our work with various initiatives such as this Presidential Portal, which is a strong example of this.

"Unless our generation (through orgs like IALI, IACPA, SAALT) find more issues that we agree about and are willing to work hard to lobby Washington for, our “community” will increasingly be hijacked and represented in Washington by “long-distance Nationalists.”"

I want to say and always have said I have great admiration for the work done by IALI and SAALT, if these organizations have problems and issues with USINPAC as described in the article I hope they are bringing them to our attention because working together as a unified voice is important for all of our organizations. Working directly with the organization I can assure Abhi that your claim is baseless, all of our supporters are hard working US Citizens and without really knowing the truth I think you should be careful with your words. I think the work being done at Sepia Mutiny has been great, I have spoken to Anna about this before but making harsh accusations against others never seemed to be anything I have seen before.

It is important that Indian Americans understand what USINPAC truly stands for and in no way have our views been anti-Muslim. Other accusations that went on in many comments to this Sepia Mutiny post accuse "H-1B Warriors" to be strong supporters of the agenda. For anyone that knows anything about election laws, foreign nationals are prohibited by FEC regulations from donating to a political candidate, party or organization such as USINPAC. Many people have also accused USINPAC of being a voice of "old hands". I can assure you that although I may have a few gray hairs, my hands still are very young. The membership and leadership base of USINPAC reflects people of all ages, at all walks of life and is not really dominated by any one "type" of Indian.

As discussed before, the Indian American community is very diverse. Most ethnic communities have religion, food or language to tie them together but our community proves to be different. It is difficult to distinctly represent all groups but I assure you USINPAC support is from various people and in no way would support be turned away due to religion or any other qualifying factors.

I encourage people to ask questions about the organization if they exist but to try and restrict themselves from making baseless or falseless accusations. I am a volunteer and have never recieved a penny from the organization and can tell you that Indian Americans need to come together as a unifying force to tell politicians what is important to us to move our community forward.

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