Statement on San Bernardino Shooting

We express our deepest condolences for the victims of Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 people dead and 21 people wounded. The two suspects named by local authorities as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28 and Tashfeen Malik, 27 were killed by police yesterday.

The FBI and local authorities are currently conducting an investigation to determine the motive behind this horrific act of violence. Unfortunately, when perpetrators are identified as Muslim, Arab, or South Asian, there are swift attempts to criminalize entire communities through divisive media and political rhetoric. Often, this incites violent backlash against community members, especially those who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim. Anti-Muslim hate crimes have already spiked in the days since the Paris attacks.

We ask our elected officials and media outlets to refrain from using harmful rhetoric that stigmatizes Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities at large. Sign the MPOWER Change petition to hold media outlets accountable for their dangerous and inflammatory language. Our organizations also stand committed to ending gun violence, which has become an epidemic in this country. This is the 355th mass shooting this year alone and the deadliest shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012. We must prevent tragedies like these from occurring again.

  • The Interfaith Center of New York
  • National Network of Arab American Communities
  • National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • Sikh Coalition
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together