SEATTLE, Wash. - On August 3, 2020, over 100 organizations in Washington state and across the country issued a public statement exposing a new group that has been masquerading as a human rights organization even as it spreads hate and religious intolerance. This new group, Alliance for Persecuted People Worldwide (APPWW), registered in February 2020 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Washington state. Since then, APPWW has been trying to build credibility and influence with elected officials, community organizations, media, and even partnered with the U.S. Census 2020.
In the 22-page exposé, the public statement reveals the hate, racism and Islamophobia promoted by APPWW leaders and the speakers to whom they gave a platform at their events, including individuals with a documented history of anti-Muslim views. The signatories to the public statement reflect a broad cross-section of community, advocacy and faith organizations, with groups representing Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Ambedkarites (Dalits), Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists/agnostics, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities, immigrants/refugees, and more.
"In El Centro de la Raza’s work to build what Dr. King referred to as the Beloved Community, we have a moral obligation to combat all forms of racism and hate," said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. "We support calling out the APPWW for disguising themselves as defenders of justice when in reality they sow hate and division as evidenced in this statement. Making horrific statements that are anti-Muslim and Islamophobic, we denounce their deplorable actions and their true sentiments should be known by all people of conscience."
APPWW seems to have emerged after Seattle City Council made history earlier this year as the first legislative body in the world to pass a resolution condemning discriminatory laws passed by the Government of India known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"The CAA/NRC reminded many of us of the Nuremberg laws of the Third Reich," said Raghav Kaushik from the Coalition of Seattle Indian-Americans. "The APPWW, formed by supporters of the CAA/NRC, consists of enthusiastic cheerleaders and foot-soldiers of similar horrors. The public statement thoroughly exposes their bigotry and should be seen as an ominous reminder of the rising virulence of reactionary forces right in our backyard."
The public statement calls on other organizations "to join in condemning religious intolerance, racism, and hate, and to disassociate from APPWW and its leaders as they perpetuate such wrongs in our community." Those who wish to sign on can do so at tinyurl.com/CondemnAPPWW.
Sumedh Dandge, secretary of the Ambedkarite Association of North America (AANA), stated, “AANA as an Ambedkarite organization was formed to be the voice of the underprivileged - the voice that strives for social equity in society and that which opposes all kinds of discrimination. AANA feels it is important to expose APPWW for who they really are."
"Hate and oppression against some in our community hurt us all, and it's especially important to not let groups spread their hate while exploiting the language of justice and deceptively claiming to support human rights," said Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN). "I'm inspired by the impressive mix of respected local and national groups that collectively recognize the growing threat and harm of the hate, racism and Islamophobia promoted by APPWW and its leaders. It’s up to us to love and protect each other in pursuit of our collective liberation, and that includes ensuring a strong moral stand against hateful rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories that lead to real-life consequences."