Facebook founder voices support for Muslims

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has added his voice to the growing chorus of people defending the Muslim community amid the upsurge in Islamophobic rhetoric in the United States.

In a post on his Facebook account on Wednesday, Zuckerberg wrote, “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.”

The US is facing a new wave of Islamophobia triggered by the recent attacks in Paris and California as well as the divisive rhetoric adopted by US presidential candidates in the wake of those attacks.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump sent shockwaves across the world Monday by proposing that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.

“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,” Zuckerberg said.

“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,” he noted.

“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 continued.

Trump’s comments regarding Muslims have provoked strong criticism at home and abroad.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Trump’s plan to bar Muslims “disqualifies” him from becoming president.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron called the proposal “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”

The UN refugee agency said the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US presidential campaign was harming efforts to resettle Syrian refugees.

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