Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday announced that his company would work to protect the rights of Muslims that use the global social network. His statement can be read as a rebuke to the increasing antagonism being directed at Muslims, most notably by Donald Trump, as well as push-back against calls from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others for social media companies to help in the policing of Islamist and potentially terrorist rhetoric.
"I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. "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.
"If you're a Muslim in this community," he continued, "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."
This comment is especially interesting as it comes after Feinstein accused Facebook of failing to alert authorities of a pledge of allegiance to ISIS made on the social network by one of the San Bernardino attackers.
Feinstein, who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced last week that she plans to reintroduce legislation mandating that companies like Facebook report suspected terrorist activity to authorities, reports the Chronicle.
"We are at a different stage now,” Feinstein said. “I’m all for freedom of speech, but it doesn't mean encouraging terrorism.”
In his announcement, new dad Zuckerberg spoke of the lessons passed to him by his parents, and how they have impacted his worldview.
"As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities," wrote Zuckerberg. "Even if an attack isn't against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone."