India-born Google head Sundar Pichai is the latest technology industry CEO to come out against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent anti-Muslim tirade.
“Let’s not let fear defeat our values”, Pichai wrote on Friday on Medium, a blog platform. “… it’s not just about opportunity. The open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance of new Americans is one of the country’s greatest strengths and most defining characteristics. And that is no coincidence — America, after all, was and is a country of immigrants.”
Though Pichai didn’t name Trump directly, he did make a reference to the controversy. “That is why it’s so disheartening to see the intolerant discourse playing out in the news these days — statements that our country would be a better place without the voices, ideas and the contributions of certain groups of people, based solely on where they come from, or their religion.”
Earlier this week, Trump advocated a ban on all new immigration of Muslims to the US. The idea was widely condemned, including by some of his fellow Republicans.
Pichai, who was named to Google’s top post in August this year, is himself an immigrant. He was born in Madras and moved to the US almost 22 years ago. “I was fortunate enough to gain entry to a university here, and time after time, I saw that hard work opened other doors. I have built a career and a family and a life here. And I’ve felt as much a part of this country, as I felt growing up in India,” he wrote.
Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg too came out in support of Muslims, saying that 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. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.”