The American Ethical Union supports An Open Call For Unity Following Belgium and Turkey Tragedies, started by Muslim Advocates and signed by over 65 advocacy groups.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Belgium and Turkey in the wake of recent attacks in Brussels, Ankara and Istanbul. We also express our deep concern regarding the divisive and dangerous attempts by public figures to misrepresent Muslims, propose discriminatory and unlawful practices, such as “patrolling” of Muslim neighborhoods, and attack refugees during this difficult time.
After the Brussels attacks, like clockwork, many media figures and politicians immediately cast Muslims globally as the problem and called for increased targeting and surveillance of Muslim communities throughout the U.S. Others chose to politicize the tragedy by suggesting an expansion on the use of torture and a ban on all Muslims and refugees from entering the country.
This inflammatory rhetoric and bigotry do not make our country and our communities safer — in fact, they expose us to more violence and division. Attacks against American Muslims spike when the media and leaders bow to hate by branding the faith of 1.6 billion people with the criminal actions of a few.
Just as many civic leaders, reporters, network hosts, and pundits have called out the biggest purveyors of hate in recent months, it’s important that they continue to condemn and marginalize hate and division in the wake of the attacks in Brussels.
Hate is hate. It does not cease to be hate, nor does it become any less harmful, in moments of tragedy. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that Americans receive fair and fact-based information from both our leaders and the media, and most importantly, that we stand united.
There’s too much at stake for our leaders and the media to use religion to drive a wedge between us. Now is the time for people of all faiths, here in the U.S. and throughout the world, to come together in the spirit of freedom and justice, and refuse to allow tragic attacks of violence to divide us along faith lines.