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Michigan Civil Rights Commission Statement Released 11-18-15

Over the past several weeks, we have watched in horror as a wave of terrorist attacks have rocked the world, destroying hundreds of lives in Beirut, in Paris, and in the skies over Sinai.  We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the evil of these acts and the individuals who committed them.  Attacks on nameless innocents, allegedly in the name of a religion, is among the most vile and reprehensible acts known to mankind.

We offer our deepest condolences and support to the families of those lost and to those harmed by these horrific acts.  And yet, we now have another task before us.  We must rally around our friends and neighbors – regardless of their religion or ethnicity – to protect them from the hateful response that these attacks may trigger.

In July, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission unanimously passed a resolution expressing our strongest support for the campaign to TAKE ON HATE, calling on “all individuals to fight against prejudice and hate towards Arab and Muslim Americans, and to end discrimination and violence against any group.”

Now, during this most difficult time, we call on all Michigan residents to stand with us and TAKE ON HATE.

Michigan’s hardworking Middle Eastern, Arab American and Muslim families are fearful tonight, for nothing more than identifying with their own culture and practicing their own faith. This fear for their most basic of rights should not happen anywhere, but especially not in the United States of America – a country founded on freedom of religion, and built firmly on the bedrock of individual liberty. We cannot allow misinformation, bias and discriminatory rhetoric to alter what we stand for and who we are. 

We must strive to live up to the principles upon which this nation was built, and which have ensured that Michigan is home to a thriving and diverse mix of ethnicities, cultures and religions, even as we share certain identities:  We are all Michiganders. We are all Americans. We are all members of the human family.