Joint Statement by Congressman Jared Huffman and Muslims of Marin

February 05, 2024

We are better than this:

In America, we pride ourselves on our diversity, where people from all walks of life, beliefs, and cultures can make a home for themselves free from persecution.

But the ugly truth is there has always been an undercurrent of prejudice and discrimination. Throughout history, we’ve been able to overcome hate and violence. Today, we are once again faced with a surge in incidents of hate crimes and hate speech directed towards Arabs and Muslims. We are not always going to agree on solutions to crises like the current Israel-Hamas war, but we can – and must – do better during these times of strife.

From written words to vandalism and physical violence, our neighbors and friends are under threat. We are hearing firsthand from young people, many of whom are encountering hate in schools and social settings for the first time. Young adults and children all throughout our community feel the need to hide their identities and symbols of faith. They do not feel protected by adults, many of whom occupy positions of authority. Our children deserve better.   

The path to peace and reconciliation starts with focusing on our common humanity and resisting the temptation to engage in “othering” or dehumanizing people we disagree with. Let’s lead by example with zero tolerance for Islamophobia here in our community and stop the seeds of hate and conflict from spreading.

As our hearts break, we continue to reject hate in all forms. It’s a step in the direction of the kind of civility, empathy, and tolerance that is necessary to end the crisis and suffering we are seeing around the world.