In just 42 days, Americans will take to the polls to vote in one of the most anticipated elections of our lifetime. As we continue to work to effect positive changes, it is vital that we continue to identify officials who will best reflect our values and propel our mission. Learn more about our endorsement process here.
Our board chapter in Texas announced their endorsements and after careful consideration decided not to make an endorsement in Texas Congressional District 22 (TX-22) as neither candidate is sufficiently aligned with the interests and values of the Texas Muslim community. It was brought to the attention of the chapter that Democratic candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni’s largest donors and closest supporters are leaders of organizations promoting Hindutva. This far-right ideology, whose early founders openly praised Nazism, is completely antithetical to the inclusive and pluralistic values espoused by Emgage. See the full statement here.
Kulkarni stated that he has no connection to any foreign ideology, however, he was unwilling to publicly condemn Hindutva-inspired organizations such as RSS, HSS, and BJP. Moreover, he refused to denounce, as Joe Biden has done, the mass atrocities committed by the BJP-led Modi government in India against the Muslim minority population, including the passage of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the abrogation of statehood for Kashmir.
Despite Emgage PAC efforts, we were unable to interview nor obtain a completed endorsement questionnaire from the Republican candidate, Troy Nehls, and thus could not assess his candidacy for endorsement. However, Nehls has tightly aligned himself with Trump, and his support of the border wall to his long list of violations that led to his firing from the Richmond police, show there are many issues with his candidacy that would be of concern to the Texas Muslim community. Furthermore, he has made prior public statements that call into question his understanding of the Muslim communuty and faith and his lack of willingness to educate himself through engaging this community.
It should be noted that all Emgage PAC endorsement decisions in Texas, including the decision not to endorse in TX-22, are solely made by a committee composed of the local Emgage board members from Texas. Paid Emgage staff or employees are not a part of this decision-making committee
Since August 2019, Emgage Action has been working with our partners, allies and chapters to urge members of Congress to hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi accountable for the atrocities happening in Jammu and Kashmir and the abysmal treatment of Muslims in India. These efforts include:
Organizing nearly 1,000emails to members of Congress urging them to take legislative action to hold Indian leadership accountable for the CAA and NRC;
Sending over 4,500 emails to members of Congress urging action to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir and preserve religious freedoms for all residents;
Leading over 60 meetings with Senate and House offices in Washington, DC and in-district;
Worked with advocates urging Congress to hold two historic hearings on Jammu and Kashmir on October 22 and November 1;
Participated in two briefings on Capitol Hill including one focusing on the atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir and one focusing on India’s discriminatory CAA and NRC;
Whether advocating in Congress, standing shoulder to shoulder protesting issues, organizing vital Congressional briefings, submitting statements for the record, or engaging our community to reach out to their officials, Emgage Action continues to focus on uplifting the voices of impacted communities. Specifically, we have a commitment to keep the voices of Indian Muslim and Kashmiri communities front and center.
Our work is far from done. We must continue to engage with our officials about these important issues. Emgage PAC has also been working with Vice President Biden to uplift the voices of our concerned communities. Muslims in India and Kashmir continue to be in danger since PM Modi took office. Vice President Biden has called-out Modi’s actions as dangerous and contrary to democratic values. He has made statements addressing the ordered a military crackdown on Kashmir and addressed the bigoted policies against India’s 200 million Muslims.
From our GOTV efforts, to our advocacy work, and to our endorsements – we will continue to uphold the values of our work and our obligation to the community.