Condemning Violence and Hate Speech

In response to mass shootings against mosques in a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, I worked with Mahmud Burton, president of the Al-Huda Islamic Center to write a resolution condemning hate, particularly towards the Muslim community.

Status: Passed April 3, 2019

Resolution Condemning Violence and Hate Speech

WHEREAS the City of Ithaca’s Diversity Statement declares that “we will strive to learn about diversity; educate city employees, members of boards and committees and other volunteers; and promote acceptance of the differences of others within our workforce and our community”; and

WHEREAS white supremacists in the United States continue to promote bigotry and hatred, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including but not limited African Americans, Latinx people, Indigenous people, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, LGBTQA persons, and immigrants; and

WHEREAS in 2017 the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a 37 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews or Jewish institutions and found that attacks against Jews or Jewish institutions made up 58.1 percent of all religious-based hate crimes; and

WHEREAS on October 27, 2018, the perpetrator of the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the history of the United States killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue building in Pittsburgh; and

WHEREAS the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that hate crimes against Muslims or Muslim institutions in the United States increased by over 99 percent between 2014 and 2016; and

WHEREAS in 2017, mosques were bombed in Bloomington, Minnesota and burned in Austin, Texas, Victoria, Texas, Bellevue, Washington, and Thonotosassa, Florida, and mass attacks on Muslim communities were planned against communities in Jacksonville, Florida in 2017, Garden City, Kansas in 2016, and Islamberg, New York in 2015 and 2019; and

WHEREAS on March 15, 2019 a white supremacist murdered 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in the deadliest mass shooting that country has ever seen; and

WHEREAS watchdog groups have observed a sharp rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes following the New Zealand massacre, including those that reference the attack; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that Common Council will continue to advocate for strong gun safety laws in New York State and the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Common Council condemns acts and statements that are anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and of any form of bigotry; and be it further

RESOLVED that Common Council commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights, and ensures that those targeted on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or immigration status can turn to government without fear of recrimination; and be it further

RESOLVED that the City of Ithaca calls upon its state and national leaders to set an example of rationality, compassion, and nonviolence through their words and actions.