Sri’s Letter to the Muslim Community

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

During my last run, I was endorsed by Emgage, an organization dedicated to promoting equality, who said: 

“I have seen firsthand that Sri’s efforts go beyond just his own campaign. Through his outreach, he is activating and educating members of the Muslim American community. He is at our Masjids, Eid prayers, and festivals with a listening ear. He believes in us as an essential part of his coalition and I encourage the Muslim American community to show up for him with the same veracity.” 

While none of these things have changed, I am saddened that Emgage as an organization has been under attack by nefarious actors to the point that they don’t feel they can safely stand by their own past assessment. 

I want to make it clear that I am, and always have been, an ally to the Muslim community. 

Throughout my life, my career, and both our past and current campaign, I have consistently spoken out against Islamophobia and bigotry and in support of human rights for the Muslim community and all minorities, both here in the United States and abroad. I disavow any Islamophobic or bigoted comments or ideas, no matter where or who they come from.

I believe in creating a big tent coalition, and that communicating with one another is the key to creating real change. Many of our Muslim constituents have specifically expressed human rights concerns about minority rights within India. I have committed to publicly opposing any actions to strip citizenship away from the Muslim community in India. I would like to take this moment to restate that, with regards to the Muslim community’s concerns around the wording of the CAA and NRC, I promise that I will publicly oppose any use of these legislations to strip citizenship from the Muslim community in India. 

I will continue to speak out against human rights violations, as I have done regarding the situation in Kashmir and the violence in Delhi, and any acts of Islamophobia, the promotion of nationalism, and/or fascism

My goal throughout all of this is to serve as an intermediary between our many different communities to spark dialogue and understanding in the hopes of creating real change that can help people. Given my background as a diplomat, I believe in the strength of coalition building, direct engagement, and diplomacy. 

Diplomacy is tough work. While it is not the only approach, it is my approach based on my own experience working in conflict zones and fighting to advance human rights on the ground. 

This campaign was born out of a desire to create a more inclusive society, and as Emgage noted in 2018, the Muslim community has always been at the core of our coalition. This year we are running against an opponent who has consistently aligned himself with islamophobes of the worst kind and has made islamophobic comments himself. 

We will continue to stand against Islamophobia and any form of prejudice anywhere in the world. No matter the obstacles, this is a promise I make to every member of my community. 

Your friend and ally, 

Sri Preston Kulkarni

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