“Yesterday, we were witness to Brussels, Belgium becoming the next target in a series of terrorist attacks killing at least 30 and wounding 200 others. This has come not too long after similar attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, and Paris, France. While the news has shocked and saddened many, I am appalled by how politicians have leveraged this tragedy as an opportunity to further criminalize Muslims or those they perceived to be Muslim, such as Sikh, Arab, and South Asian Americans.
The acts of individual extremists should never be used as a justification to condemn the entire Islamic faith. To do so would go against this country's fundamental beliefs in freedom and justice as laid out by our first amendment rights. What we do know however, is that when politicians rely on hateful rhetoric to advance their anti-Muslim agendas violence against Muslim communities or those perceived to be Muslim increases at an alarming rate.
As the National President of APALA I am proud to say that as an organization we are committed to standing up against hateful, bigoted and xenophobic sentiments against Muslims and those who are perceived to be Muslims. We recognize that as people of different faiths, political backgrounds, and countries of origin we are stronger when we are united. Let's not allow the divisive rhetoric of hate and bigotry prevent our communities from coming together especially in the aftermath of such a tragedy.
We have a responsibility to care and support for and stand in solidarity with Brussel, Ankara, Istanbul, and Paris, and we have to do the same for all of our Muslim Brothers and Sisters who experience similar threats of terror daily. As a community we have call out anti-Muslim hate, bigotry and racism as we hear and see it happen in all forms and at all times.”