Everyone here at NCAAT is devastated by the loss of life in Palestine and Israel. We are heartbroken by the killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas and by the killings, dehumanization, and human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians by Israeli leadership. Members of our community have loved ones who are directly affected by the violence in Israel and Palestine, and we hold them in our hearts in this time of fear and grief. Everyone deserves to live in safety and without the threat of terror, loss, and suffering.
We are writing to you today to address the Islamophobia, antisemitism, and racism that have worsened here in our own communities. The heartless murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a six-year-old Palestinian American child in Chicago, is a direct result of the hate and prejudice towards Palestinians that has sadly been broadcasted and echoed by media outlets and prominent figures here in the United States, including some in our own state legislature. Muslims, Jewish people, and brown Americans — including those who are not Palestinian or Israeli — have long felt the effects of hate created by the spread of dangerous misinformation, which has been amplified in the decades post-9/11 and with the rise in white nationalism. North Carolinians have experienced first-hand the effects of this hate, violence, and fear in our community. The 2015 murder of three Muslim students — Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha — in their home in Chapel Hill has left a lasting and devastating impact on not only our state’s Muslim community, but on all of us.
The Asian American community is no stranger to discrimination, racism, and violence, and it is our responsibility to stand up to intolerance towards any community, especially in this moment when we are seeing a startling rise in Islamophobia and antisemitism occurring in our state. The Jewish communities in Charlotte, Asheville, and across the state have received several violent threats over the past weeks. We’ve heard from Muslim and brown members of our community that they fear leaving their houses because of potential hatred and violence towards them and their children. We urge you to stand with communities that are experiencing hatred and threats, just as they have stood with us in our times of need.
We ask that all of you hold your loved ones, your peers, your local media, and your representatives accountable. Each of us has a responsibility to contribute to creating a safe, inclusive and supportive North Carolina, and each of us can do our part by preventing the spread of misinformation and prejudice. There is no room for discrimination, violence, and dehumanization in the communities that we call home. In conversations among friends, in response to the media, and to your community leaders, advocate for the safety of all Palestinian and Israeli civilians and stand up for our Muslim and Jewish communities facing hate and violence here at home.
The NCAAT team