Responding to a recent wave of prejudice against Muslims — especially in the wake of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US — the Indian-born top Google executive reiterated his own experience and said let’s not let fear defeat our values.
“I came to the US from India 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 posted on Medium on Saturday.
“My experience is obviously not unique. It’s been said a million times that America is the “land of opportunity” — for millions of immigrants, it’s not an abstract notion, but a concrete description of what we find here. America provided access to opportunities that simply didn’t exist for many of us before we arrived,” he added.
“That is why it’s so disheartening to see the intolerant discourse playing out in the news these days”, he further said, adding that “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”.
According to Pichai, 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,” he posted.
Earlier this week, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said that his company would “fight to protect” the rights of Muslims, and work to “create a peaceful and safe environment”.
In a post, the Facebook founder wrote: “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world”.
“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 added.
Zuckerberg, who was blessed with a girl recently, urged the world not to “succumb to cynicism”.
Pichai supported his views: “I firmly believe that whether you’re building a company or leading a country, a diverse mix of voices and backgrounds and experiences leads to better discussions, better decisions, and better outcomes for everyone”.
“I debated whether to post this, because lately it seems that criticism of intolerance just gives more oxygen to this debate. But I feel we must speak out — particularly those of us who are not under attack. Everyone has the right to their views, but it’s also important that those who are less represented know that those are not the views of all,” Pichai explained.
Trump, the Republican front-runner for the November 2016 presidential election, has proposed banning Muslims from entering the US.