Google CEO Sundar Pichai writes open letter supporting Muslims

Updated: 13 Dec 2015 08:47 AM
New York: Google's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai has expressed support for Muslims, and all minorities everywhere, apparently in the context of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims' entry into the US.

In a post on the blog-publishing platform Medium, Pichai has said without naming Trump that it is "disheartening to see the intolerant discourse playing out in the news these days".

He questioned "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".

"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," he wrote.

"Let's not let fear defeat our values. We must support Muslim and other minority communities in the US and around the world."

Citing America's history as a "country of immigrants", Pichai stressed the importance of having a diverse mix of races and cultures for the nation's own good.

"I walk around the campus where I work and see a vibrant mix of races and cultures. Every one of those people has a different voice... a different perspective... a different story to tell. All of that makes our company an exciting and special place to be, and allows us to do great things together," he wrote.

"We are urgently working to become much more diverse, because it's so important to our future success. 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."

Earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had pledged support to Muslims around the world and said his company would fight to protect their rights and create a "peaceful and safe" environment for them.

"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," Zuckerberg wrote on his page.

Pichai introduced a personal element in his blog, describing his move from India to America 22 years ago and how hard work had opened a lot of doors for him in the "land of opportunity".

"And I've felt as much a part of this country, as I felt growing up in India. My experience is obviously not unique.... America provided access to opportunities that simply didn't exist for many of us before we arrived," Pichai said.

He added that 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."