In response to a recent spate of deeply troubling public statements and incidents that reflect an intolerant strain in American society, we, the members of the Near Eastern Studies Department, affirm our commitment to an educational mission that fosters informed inquiry and deep understanding of religious and cultural difference, particularly as it pertains to the diversity of people who identify with the Middle East. We are especially concerned with the growth of Islamophobia, which has led to psychological intimidation and even physical assaults on Muslims in America. We pledge our commitment to defend the rights and well-being of all people, regardless of religious and ethnic affiliation. We empathize with the justifiable fears of Muslims, Christians, Jews and other Middle Eastern people in the United States and around the world who face potentially grave threats in the foreseeable future. We stand in solidarity with colleagues, students and staff who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. The Cornell pledge (“any person, any study”) demands nothing less of us.
Many in our campus community are dealing with questions and concerns about recent U.S. executive actions and statements relating to the travel ban and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the current and future implications for student, faculty, and staff activities and our international programs.
Global Cornell manages a webpage with information and resources to guide and support those with questions and concerns.