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CAIR-WA Praises City of Seattle for Banning Caste Discrimination


(SEATTLE, WA, 2/22/2023) - The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today praised a decision by Seattle City Council to ban caste discrimination.   

The ordinance, passed by the council by a 6-1 vote, added caste as a protected class under Seattle’s anti-discrimination policies. The move ensures that discrimination based on caste is prohibited in employment, housing and public accommodations.  There have been rising reports in US cities of discrimination or retaliation based on caste, the ancient system of discrimination based on birth.  

“This sends a clear message that hereditary discrimination and racism need to be relegated to the past,” said Imraan Siddiqi, CAIR-WA’s executive director. “Sadly, we’ve seen the institutionalized bigotry in India targeting Dalits, Muslims and other marginalized communities manifesting itself right here in our own backyard. We call on other cities and states to take Seattle’s lead and continue to challenge bigotry in all its forms. A big ‘thank you’ to the policymakers and organizers who helped spearhead this effort.”   

SEE: Seattle Bans Caste Discrimination, Becoming the First US City to Do So   

SEE: Silicon Valley Has a Caste Problem