Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out in support of Muslims in the wake of a backlash following the Paris attacks and – in an apparent reference to a call by US presidential candidate Donald Trump to ban them from entering the country – what the Facebook founder described as “the hate” this week.
Citing his Jewish background in a post on his Facebook page, he said that he wanted to add his voice in support of Muslims “in our community and around the world”.
“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 added.
“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 US. He said in a speech following a mass shooting committed by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, California, last weekend: “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.”
He went on to refer to the recent birth of his daughter, saying: “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.”
In the face of mounting criticism, Trump has said he will never leave the 2016 presidential race.
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