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Detroit first city to TAKE ON HATE, stand against violence toward Muslim and Arab Americans

Posted on February 24, 2015

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DETROIT – In a historic announcement Feb. 24, Mayor Mike Duggan and the City Council publicly pledged their support of the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE.

During a City Council meeting, Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López introduced a resolution to officially join the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, led by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS. Detroit is now the first “city to TAKE ON HATE” and the first to speak out against hate crimes against Arab and Muslim Americans.

“The City of Detroit embraces the mission of the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE. As elected officials we have an even greater responsibility to speak out against discrimination, xenophobia and hatred, because when the unacceptable becomes the 'norm', people’s human rights are threatened. In support of the Campaign, we call on all Detroiters to speak out against hate to protect the rights of our Muslim and Arab communities,” said Castañeda-López.

"We all want Detroit to be a city where everyone feels welcomed and is welcomed, no matter their race, faith, age, political views or sexual orientation.  I am proud to stand in support of our friends in the Muslim and Arab community in the effort to end bias and discrimination," said Duggan. 

The rise in hate crimes has been made clear by a recent string of attacks against people based on their religion, or their perceived religion, in North America – including the recent devastating murder of three young American Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C.; the arson attack of a mosque in Houston, Texas and the murder of man of Somali descent who was shot through his apartment door in Alberta, Canada.

"The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE welcomes the support of the Detroit City Council and Mayor Duggan.  We are proud of their commitment to stand with us against hate that is resulting in violence and targeting of people because of their faith and ethnicity,” said Nadia Tonova, executive director of NNAAC.

Receiving this support is essential to the Campaign. The bias inherently built into standing federal, state and local policy jeopardizes the rights of all Americans, including Muslims and Arabs. TAKE ON HATE aims to change these policies that negatively impact the community while supporting those policies that proactively aid the community.

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The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE strives to address issues of bias and discrimination, particularly toward Arab and Muslim Americans, and stands against bigotry toward all people.