To the Editor,
We read with dismay recent suggestions by some candidates for President of the United States that Muslims should be forced to register, and comparing Muslim immigrants to rabid dogs. Hatred of Muslims, based in ignorance of Islam, and offered as a way to boost one’s own fortunes, is offensive and shameful.
In times of crisis, the laws that protect us often fail. The painful and unjust forcible internment of Japanese-Americans is but one example. Today, being a Muslim in the United States means being faced with hate speech, intimidation, humiliation and violence. The rhetoric of political campaigns is not a safe space for incitement and hatred.
As faculty members, we strive to offer safe, engaging and challenging classroom environments for our students. And we strive to teach in a non-partisan and non-ideological manner. We are not now changing course.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963) wrote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”
There is no place for hatred and prejudice in our national dialogue.
Randy Friedman, Chair, Department of Judaic Studies
Jonathan Karp, Departments of Judaic Studies and History
Roy McGrann, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Lisa Tessman, Department of Philosophy
Bat-Ami Bar On, Department of Philosophy
Gina Glasman, Department of Judaic Studies
Jonathan Krasno, Department of Political Science
Doug Jones, Religious Studies Minor
Dina Danon, Department of Judaic Studies
Tony Reeves, Department of Philosophy
Wendy Neuberger, Director of Harpur Edge
Lisa Altman, Industrial Outreach, Watson School
Barbara Goldman-Wartell, Department of Judaic Studies