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Muslim Advocates Applauds Microsoft Decision to End Cash Donations to Political Conventions Promoting Hate and Bigotry

Microsoft’s announcement comes after coalitions led by Muslim Advocates and Color of Change urged the company to refrain from supporting national conventions featuring speakers with a history of using language encouraging violence and hate

April 29, 2016 —Today Muslim Advocates commended Microsoft’s decision to send a strong message against hate and bigotry by announcing that the company will not be making any cash contributions to any political conventions that promote bigotry. The announcement comes after pressure from coalitions led by ColorofChange and Muslim Advocates urging technology companies to stand up to the hateful rhetoric that has defined much of the political discourse this year and refrain from supporting any political conventions that support bigoted speech.

Microsoft’s decision stands in contrast to the $1.5 million the company contributed to one political convention in 2012, of which half came from direct contributions.

“We’re pleased that Microsoft heard the concerns of our coalition, representing millions of Americans, and took the first step by deciding against offering cash donations to conventions that feature speakers who will alienate, hurt and disparage large swaths of Americans,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates.  “Hate crimes, including those inspired by political rhetoric, have skyrocketed in this election cycle, where divisive rhetoric has become the norm.  It is critical for American companies like Microsoft to be good citizens and stand up to this type of bigotry.  We hope that Microsoft will now take the next step and refuse to promote its products and services and provide in-kind contributions of its products and services to any political conventions that support hate.”

Muslim Advocates together with a coalition of non-partisan African American, Latino, Muslim, Arab, women’s, LGBTQ and veterans groups such as National LGBTQ Task Force, Arab American Institute, Feminist Majority Foundation, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, authored a letter highlighting the important role that leaders in Silicon Valley play in shaping, and advancing, public discourse. The letter cites examples of hate, violence and vandalism that have been inspired by candidates’ rhetoric, including an incident where a non-denominational chapel at Northwestern University was defaced with racist and anti-gay messages. The vandals invoked the name of a candidate for public office, and targeted African American, Muslim, LGBT and Jewish communities.

To read the entire letter, click here.

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Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization working on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Through high impact lawsuits, policy advocacy, and community education, Muslim Advocates serves as a resource to empower communities and ensures that the American Muslim community is heard by the courts and leaders at the highest level of government. Muslim Advocates has also been a leader in efforts to speak out on anti-Muslim hate, which has included coalition letters to both the Democratic and Republican parties asking to hold their candidates accountable for bigoted rhetoric. Visit Muslim Advocates at http://www.muslimadvocates.org and follow @muslimadvocates.