This weekend (September 9–11)—one month prior to the US Supreme Court hearing arguments on the Muslim ban—LGBT groups of color across the country are launching peaceful and awareness-building actions under the banner title of “QueerAzaadi: Commemorating Lives Lost Through State Violence.”
Azaadi is an Urdu and Hindi term referring to independence and liberation. And the mission of the nationwide activities is to “expose the connections between the interlocking systems of Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and anti-Blackness through these actions as well as that between institutional forms of State violence such as the Muslim Ban to vigilante and white supremacist hate crimes,” according to a September 8 press release from the National Queer Asia Pacific Islander Alliance.
Right here in Boston, “Queer Azaadi Boston: Resisting Profiling and Surveillance” takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 10, at 24 Winter Street (at Washington Street). Groups sponsoring this local event include Queer Muslims of Boston, the Muslim Justice League, the Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Asian American Resource Workshop and The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA).
Activities nationwide include:
Community funerals to lift the names of people killed in hate crimes this year—including Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, trans people, Black people, undocumented immigrants—and to connect the Muslim ban and institutionalized Islamophobia to hate violence.
Storytelling speakouts to raise the voices of LGBTQ Muslim and demand that narratives of 9/11 be heard to reveal the violence our communities have experienced in the last 16 years.
Checkpoint actions modeled on NQAPIA’s 2016 action in DC, to replicate the many “checkpoints” South Asian, Muslim, API and people of color experience every day—being stopped at airports and ports of entry, harassed when passing through TSA and denied service because of religious markers.
For more on the mission and activities of the initiative, go to nqapia.org.