Kashmir Action: Talking Points & Thinking Points

Assalamu alaikum:

As we all prepare for Eid, millions of Kashmiris are on lockdown in their own homes, with the Indian army being ordered to shoot them on sight if they step out.

India is invading Kashmir which it already occupies.

38,000 heavily armed military officers with tanks have been brought into Kashmir in the last couple of days. This is despite the fact that Indian-occupied Kashmir is the most militarized zone in the world: There is one armed Indian soldier for every 10 Kashmiris

Here is what is happening right now:

  • India has closed down all media in Kashmir
  • No journalist is allowed by India to enter Kashmir
  • India has shut down all cell phone and landline service
  • Internet service in Kashmir has been blocked by India
  • The Indian government has evacuated all tourists and Hindus
  • India is changing its constitution to allow this annexation of Kashmir, which until this week, had special status

Genocide Watch:
Kashmiri leaders are appealing to the world to stop the imminent genocide of Kashmiris. Genocide Watch in Washington, DC has already issued a Genocide Alert for India, the so-called “largest democracy in the world” because it has cancelled citizenship of four million Indian citizens, mostly Muslims. This reflects the early stages of a genocide in process. 

Action Items:

Show solidarity:

  • Following the request of Kashmiris, support the #RedForKashmir campaign by changing your profile image to red. Use the hashtags #StandwithKashmir on social media to raise awareness. 

Respond to Media

  • Follow the media and watch how India’s annexation of Kashmir is being covered. Make sure to respond in the comment sections, based on relevant items in our talking points. 
  • The most important point being access to human rights org and the media. It is also important to emphasize that Kashmiris must be allowed to speak up for their rights instead of reducing it to India-Pakistan dispute.

Educate yourself: 

  • StandwithKashmir.org is run by Kashmiri-Americans and is a good source of information
  • Visit Sound Vision’s Kashmir page for resources, flyers and links.
  • In 2018, Kashmiris faced the worst year in a decade of human rights abuses by the Indian army, according to Human Rights Watch. 
  • Register for our Webinars : Tue., August 6, 2019 (10:00PM)Sat., August 10 (3:00 PM)

Protest India tomorrow at Noon

  • Tomorrow at noon, there will be rallies in front of the Indian embassies and consulates of the following cities in the United States. Please bring yourselves, your families, and your friends. It is crucial to show India that the world is watching and that we are with the Kashmiri people:

Indian Embassy, Washington, DC: 2107 Massachusetts Ave NW, 

Consulate General of India, New York: 7002 3 E 64th St. New York, NY 10065

Consulate General of India, Chicago: 455 N Cityfront Plaza Dr., Chicago, IL 60611

If you do not live in the United States, please demonstrate in front of the Indian embassies and consulates closest to you. If you cannot attend call them to protest.

Eid and This Friday

With Eid coming up on Sunday, it is critical to use this large gathering of Muslims as an opportunity to raise awareness of this attack on Kashmir. You can do the following:

  • Encourage the Imam or Khateeb to address Kashmir in his Eid Khutba (he can use our Khutba points at Soundvision’s Kashmir page)
  • Make sure he includes a special Dua for our Kashmiri brothers and sisters when making collective supplication
  • You can also print and distribute our Kashmir action alert after Eid prayers. (available by Tuesday August 6th)
  • This Friday, after Juma prayers, encourage your Imam to offer Salatul Ghayb for Muslims in Kashmir and Uighur Muslims in China. This is a prayer for those countless people who have been murdered by these governments in darkness and silence. 

Talk to your Senators to ask the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to:

  • Ask the Indian foreign minister to allow Human Rights Watch, the UN and the international media full access to Kashmir
  • Accept President Trump's offer to have a dialogue on the Kashmir issue, which has been rejected by India but welcomed by Pakistan
  • Kashmiris must be a part of any conversation about Kashmir

Donate for Kashmir <> Volunteer for Kashmir

Talking Points: 

  • India must allow the United Nations, international media, the International Red Cross, and Human Rights Watch free access to Kashmir
  • India must allow an international investigation of human rights violations in Kashmir as asked for by Human Rights Watch
  • Kashmir is the world’s most militarized zone, between two nuclear powers with capacity to wipe out two billion people.
  • Here are some statistics from the last 30 years of Indian Occupied Kashmir: 
      • Kashmiris Killed by the Indian army: 94,479
      • Disappearances of Kashmiris at the hands of Indians: 10,125
      • Gang rapes by Indians in Kashmir: 10,283
      • Kashmiri women widowed: 20,005
      • Kashmiri buildings destroyed: 106,071
      • Kashmiri children orphaned: 20,080 ..
  • The world must grant Kashmiris what the UN promised, and Indians and Pakistanis agreed to: A right to self-determination. Allow a vote to decide if they want to remain in India, join Pakistan or become an independent nation
  • Kashmir, according to the Indian scholar Arundhati Roy, was never a part of India
  • In Kashmir “There is almost total impunity for enforced disappearances….” stated Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Here is a link to the UN’s first ever report on Kashmir
  • The rise of Hindu fascism called Hindutva is fueling the fire. As a February 2019 report by Human Rights Watch noted, “In 2018, the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) harassed and at times prosecuted activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, and journalists for criticizing authorities.”
  • Indian law provides soldiers effective immunity from prosecution for serious human rights abuses in Kashmir
  • India refused to grant Kashmiris what it promised to the UN- to let Kashmiris decide their future
  • The Indian constitution had theoretically allowed a special autonomous status for Kashmir in 1949 to have limited self-rule which is now being changed. It will result in Hindu businessmen taking over Kashmir by reducing Kashmiris to become a minority in Kashmir.

Thinking Points:

  • Why do Muslim Americans who work on almost all issues of the world remain silent about Kashmir?
  • While there are many human rights issues, can some of you adopt the Kashmir issue for education and advocacy?
  • Does your mosque, church, or temple remember the people of Kashmir in your prayers?
  • When was the last time you organized or attended a program about Kashmir?
  • If you are working on a cause, great! If not, perhaps you should adopt Kashmir as a cause for yourself, your family or for your congregation

Speaking against oppression is a duty. Speaking the truth is an obligation. This is why we must not remain silent about this.

Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, always prayed and strived for peace and justice. In his last sermon he assigned us the prophetic mission of peace and justice.
 

So let’s pray for peace.

Let’s strive for justice.
 

Peace,

Sound Vision team