“I will fight for you”, says Mark Zuckerberg to Muslim Facebook users
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, is offered strong words of support for Muslims amidst Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent call to ban all Muslim immigration into the United States. Other political leaders have condemned Trump’s proposal as discriminatory.
Zuckerberg who used his personal Facebook page and his Jewish heritage to speak out against attacks on “all communities” said,
“After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others,” he wrote.
“As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.”
The comments come after Trump was widely criticised for saying on Monday that Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. In a speech following a mass shooting committed by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, California, last weekend, Trump said: “We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on. We are out of control.”
Zuckerberg, whose Facebook Newsfeed has more than 43 million followers, added in his post: “If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.
“Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people.
While the post could isolate some of Facebook’s users, but with Facebook hosting President Barack Obama for a town hall at its headquarters, Zuckerberg and the company seem comfortable pledging support for liberal ideals and tolerance.
Zuckerberg confesses that “the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism” but insists “we must not lose hope”. His pledge to keep Facebook a safe place for Muslims is very much a step in that direction. Facebook’s clear support of Muslims will play a big role in setting the tone of online discourse.
Considering the cynicism he himself encountered this month after pledging his fortune towards helping humanity, it’s a strong showing of the founder’s resolve. Last week, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, vowed to give 99 per cent of their Facebook shares – estimated to be worth US$45 billion (£30 billion) – to charities following the birth of their daughter.
Way to go Mark!