Amnesty International deplores the stabbing of a Muslim cab driver in New York, the arson attack against a mosque construction site in Tennessee and the vandalizing of an Islamic center in California. These crimes, together with activities such as the proposed “International Burn a Qu’ran Day” sponsored by a Florida church and protests against mosques in other cities, foster a climate of fear, discrimination and persecution against Muslims. They have no place in a society that values freedom, justice and equality.
Amnesty International has long worked to promote and defend the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which includes the right to manifest one’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, either individually or in community with others, in public or in private. We call for an end to rhetoric and actions that discriminate against any faith and stands in solidarity with all those anywhere who are persecuted for their real or perceived beliefs or identity.
Amnesty International urges authorities in the United States to take strong action against attacks directed at people of the Muslim faith. In a climate of fear and perceived external threat, it is essential that the authorities step up measures to ensure that people from all communities, whether citizens or not, are equally protected. U.S. authorities should continue to denounce intimidation and attacks against Muslims and make clear that crimes of hate and discrimination will not be tolerated.