Facebook CEO: Social Network To Welcome Muslims, Safeguard Civil Rights

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Muslims will always be welcome on Facebook': Mark Zuckerberg posts statement as Donald Trump banning row rages.

WASHINGTON: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to protect the rights of Muslims, saying they should not fear being “persecuted for the actions of others.” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that the Muslim community should not face discrimination following attacks in Paris and elsewhere linked to extremists. “After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others,” he wrote. “As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Zuckerberg, who this week became a father for the first time, says: “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.” It comes days after real estate mogul and Republican candidate Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.” He currently leads Republican polls by double digit margins over his nearest rivals.

The Trumpster’s controversial proposal has been widely rejected by communities across the US and the world and even astonished members of his own party. Fellow GOP candidates were among those condemning his plan, but senior party figures have refused to throw Trump under the bus, or even rule out voting for him. “If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you,” Zuckerberg wrote. Facebook is the largest social network in the world, reportedly registering more than 1 billion monthly active users, including countries that have a majority Muslim population. He mentioned the birth of his daughter in today’s post: “Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people.” The statement comes just days after US Republican presidential hopeful Trump brought condemnation upon himself after saying all Muslims should be banned from entering the US.

While he does not mention Trump by name, or address his comments, the timing of the statement is notable, as the fallout from the mogul’s comments causes international waves. Around 250,000 people have signed a petition calling for the US Apprentice star to be blocked for coming to the UK, although the George Osborne has said he will still be free to visit. But he said: “I think the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust, democratic debate and make it very clear that his views are not welcome. The online debate surrounding Trump’s comments is raging, and while many users refute his opinions entirely, many people will also back him – which can lead to unsuitable content being posted on the social network.

Facebook has clear guidelines on what can and cannot be posted, but it hosts a great variety of profiles and pages which could be considered offensive. For example, the far right group Britain First has courted controversy for the opaque way it has collected ‘likes’ on its page, with some of their own followers complaining that they did not realise the group’s agenda when they ‘liked’ generic pictures it circulated.

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