As our world is shaken by tragic acts of terrorism, some may be tempted to say regrettable things based on fear. But yesterday’s statement by a leading presidential candidate, calling for barring all Muslims from entering our country, was so offensive that I feel I should speak out.
Excluding any group based solely on religion, ethnicity or background contrasts sharply with the fundamental values of our community, where all peoples come together to improve our planet through knowledge. We are not immune from the anxieties of our age, the biases of the world, or the passions of the moment. But as an institution of higher education it is our distinctive mission to confront them with intellect and reason, with a spirit of inquiry and discovery, with a commitment to mutual respect — knowing that the work of enlightening the world benefits from the tremendous diversity we welcome on our campus.
We stand together in imagining and creating a hopeful future for humankind. And today, at a time when the faith of many members of our community is under outrageous public attack, let us stand with all our Muslim faculty, staff and students who are here to help us all realize a world where we work with each other to promote our mutual well-being and common humanity.