Thank you, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, for making the Islamophobia – not in our Community! brochure accessible to the public. Not since the aftermath of “9/11” have American Muslims as a group faced such unwarranted suspicion and outright bigotry as they have this past year. They are concerned, and rightly so, for their civil rights and for the safety and well-being of their families. We, too, should be concerned. This is not a time for us to sit by and watch our fellow Americans, our Cincinnati neighbors, being scapegoated and maligned as Muslims have been of late. We need to confront ignorant, prejudiced and hateful rhetoric, wherever it occurs.
We need to help educate the uninformed and inexperienced. And, we must insist on honesty, fairness and social responsibility in our public discourse. For, as history has taught us and the Freedom Center teaches us every day, bigotry in any form, anywhere, when unchallenged, can and will spread like a cancer to more and more victim groups until it reaches a point when no group is left un-implicated and unharmed. Read this valuable brochure, learn from it, use it, and share it widely. Then take the initiative to get to know your Muslim neighbors. You, and they, will be glad you did!
Robert “Chip” Harrod, chief executive officer of BRIDGES