Dear Campus Community,

“Hello Brother” is how a Muslim worshiper greeted a visitor to a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday. The visitor entered the Al Noor Mosque with hate in his heart and armed with weapons to kill as many people as possible. The subsequent attack on this mosque and a second at Linwood Mosque resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people – men, women and children. Many others were wounded. Motivated by anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white supremacist ideology, this act of Islamophobia was designed to cause even greater psychological and emotional damage to Muslim people as well as immigrants. It was filmed in real time and justified by a manifesto that referred to similar attacks in the United States and elsewhere.

The scope of the latest attack should not mask other forms of Islamophobia that foster and perpetuate fear about Muslims and immigrants. These range from federal policies that restrict entry of individuals from Muslim majority countries, avoidance in social settings and public spaces, to casual anti-Muslim rhetoric. Such acts and others deny Muslims a sense of belonging while imposing on each the burden of collective responsibility for groundless fears. Xenophobia is inconsistent with inclusive excellence.

We must do more than simply decry this spectacle of violent hatred. Islamophobia, like other forms of hate, thrives through ignorance and indifference. Our commitment to inclusive excellence requires us to understand each other while standing together to fortify our community. To this end, when appropriate reach out to members of the affected community and respectfully acknowledge their grief. Learn about Islamophobia and how to combat it. Below is a list of resources that are available to all members of the campus community – undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae.

Events

Perspectives Reading Group
American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear by Khaled A. Bedouin
5:30-7:00 p.m., Monday, March, 18 at UCI Law School

Confronting Extremism Series
State of Hate: A Conversation with Oren Segal,
Director, National Center for Hate, Anti-Defamation League
5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, May 6 at Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center

Resources

Inclusive Excellence Spotlight Series: What is Islamophobia?
Bias, Prejudice and Bigotry Integrated Freshman Seminar
UC Principles Against Intolerance

Let us build and sustain a community where all expect equity, support diversity, practice inclusion and honor free speech.

Sincerely,

Douglas M. Haynes
Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion | Office of Inclusive Excellence
Director, ADVANCE Program
Professor of History
Director, Medical Humanities Inter-School Excellence Initiative