Indian and Pakistani Immigrants Live Together Peacefully in America

March 13, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 13, 2002, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "in recent weeks, fighting between Muslims and Hindus in India has left more than 700 dead." The article examines how this violence is effecting the South Asian community in the Atlanta area. "Nearly two years ago, two Indians --- one Hindu and one Muslim --- formed South Asians for Unity (SA4U), an organization that hopes to strengthen relations between the various communities from the region living [in Atlanta]. Today the group has grown to 75, who include Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis --- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Members also want to help build coalitions between Indians and Pakistanis elsewhere in the United States and abroad, to exert pressure for peace in South Asia... The group has received inquiries from South Asians in other states about starting similar organizations... 'We want to show a model, even in India and Pakistan, that, look, you can live together without violating or offending each other,' said Farooq Soomro, director of the Pakistani American Community of Atlanta. He estimates that South Asians number more than 55,000 in metro Atlanta, most of them from India... Indians and Pakistanis here say that relations between the two communities are relatively smooth... [and] the bridge-building appears to be gaining momentum among the younger generation of Hindus and Muslims of South Asian heritage in metro Atlanta... Venkat Narayan, a native of India [said]... 'the point is we're all Americans, we're all Atlantans. Regardless of who we are, we have to work together.'"