An Open Call For Unity Following Belgium and Turkey Tragedies

We, the undersigned advocates and leaders, 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.
 
Respectfully,
 
American Center for Outreach (ACO)
American Civil Liberties Union
American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC)
America's Voice Anti-Defamation League Arab American Institute Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific American Leadership and Advancement
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Center for Asian American Media
Center for Asian Pacific American Women
Center for Employment Training
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for New Community
Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness
Church World Service
ColorOfChange
CREDO
Desis Rising Up & Moving Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
Foundation for Middle East Peace
Franciscan Action Network
Global Alliance Interfaith Networks
Interfaith Alliance
Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Long Island Wins
MAIZ Movimiento de Accion Inspirando Servicio
Media Matters for America
Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue
MoveOn.org Political Action
MPower Change
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Public Affairs Council
NAACP
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Council of Jewish Women
National Network for Arab American Communities
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
OneAmerica
Peace Catalyst International
People For the American Way
Progressive Congress
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
Shoulder to Shoulder
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team
Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community Justice Team
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
South Asian Bar Association of North America
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Interfaith Center of New York
The Sikh Coalition
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Universal Muslim Association of America
Unitarian Universalist Association
Voto Latino

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