(LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9, 2019) – ICNA Council for Social Justice-California today organized the country’s largest and one of the first rallies for Kashmir in Los Angeles in collaboration with other organizations to protest India’s recent moves in Kashmir.
This week the Indian government abrogated article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status within the Indian Constitution, taking away all human rights of Kashmiris. This is one of the rallies being organized for Kashmir under the slogan “Silence is no longer an option” nationwide.
The rally, that took place on Wilshire Boulevard, attracted nearly a 1000 diverse people. Many organizations were represented and supported the rally. The main sponsors were Muslim American Society, Muslim Youth of Los Angeles, CAIR-LA, Muslim Ummah of North America, the Islamic Center of Hawthorne and the Pakistani American Association of San Diego.
“Rallies motivate us to come out and do something but this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. We need to keep working with our elected representatives to call on the Indian government to respect international agreements” said Waqas Syed, Coordinator of ICNA CSJ-CA.
“Today is a day of Arafah where Muslims come together to see forgiveness. Today we came from all over Southern California to protest 70 years of dehumanization of our brothers and sisters of Kashmir. We need to build our political power here in America to make a change.”
“We have to understand the struggle of Kashmir as an international struggle against occupation and settler-colonialism similar to the plights of Palestinians, the Uigurs, and the Rohingyans amongst others.” Said Yasmin Azam, MAS-PACE. She added “We can not afford to be silent. History of occupations around the world have taught us that.”
“India needs to honor its commitment to the International community and hold the plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” said Sadaf Agha of PTICA.
A coalition of several organizations was announced by Syed, that will continue to organize, educate and advocate for Kashmir.