The National Network for Arab American Communities and its Campaign to TAKE ON HATE are shocked by today’s bombings in Brussels, Belgium. With similar attacks in Ankara, Turkey and Paris, France in recent months, the world has seen an increase in terrorist activity. We do not believe that violence is ever justifiable, nor is it the answer to combating hateful acts.
Hostility toward Arabs, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim in Europe and the United States escalated following last year’s attacks in Paris. Anti-Arab and Muslim incidents and sentiment not only created an atmosphere of fear, but went against our American values of freedom and justice and against our history of being a safe harbor for those in need. The current situation in Brussels should not be used to condemn entire groups of people. These violent acts are not reflective of an entire community.
Now is the time for our elected officials to demonstrate real leadership and speak up in solidarity with the people of Belgium and Turkey, and with all others who have suffered these horrendous attacks. They must also voice their opposition to Islamophobia and xenophobia, rather than remain silent. Now, more than ever, we must come together to uphold the American ideals of equality and liberty.
If you or someone you know has experienced a hate crime, please report it and seek help. Click here for a list of organizations you can contact for help in reporting and handling hate crimes.
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