Embracing Diversity

As an immigrant from Iran, and founder of Axosoft and Pure Chat, I felt it was important to share what it means to be an American with the awesome and diverse men and women who make Axosoft and Pure Chat what it is.

I shared this email with our teams…

In 1984, my parents (then 58 and 48 years old), made the gut-wrenching decision to leave their friends, brothers, sisters, parents, their home and the wealth that they had created working their entire lives, and started over, leaving the country of their birth in exchange for the United States of America. They had to learn a new language, work odd jobs to help make ends meet and struggled in order to give their kids a better life. A life free of religious persecution and hate crimes that were driven by fear rather than rational thinking.

Most of you, have undoubtedly seen or heard about the Muslim ban over the weekend. Some of you may think the huge opposition you are seeing to this ban is hysteria or over-reaction to what President Trump is referring to as (paraphrased) “the things that need to be done to keep us safe.” But for those of us who have seen or lived in countries with religious persecution, this type of racism and religious division is awfully familiar. Not only does it exacerbate the very problems it claims to be solving, but it fundamentally clashes with the very ideas of what it is to be an American.

America’s strengths, its innovation, its resilience and its prosperity has come from its diversity. Diversity of skin, thought, religion and freedom to be who you want to be. People from all walks of life have fought for and given their lives for this freedom. Being an American is about embracing this diversity, not resisting it.

With the stroke of a pen, over just a 3-day period, President Trump’s executive order has done far more damage in our model of what it is to be American, than the handful of people it has directly impacted. The outrage is not about how many people it has impacted, but rather about our fundamentals of what is right and wrong. It is wrong to punish the many for the actions of a few. Nobody would nor should ever tolerate any extra scrutiny being applied to people who are white for the actions of the KKK or the people of any race, religion or other affiliation for the thousands of deaths and murders that occur at the hands of criminals every single year. And nobody should be tolerant of laws that target a particular minority or those from a particular religion or country of origin. Today, it’s Muslims or Syrian refugees or Iranians that are targeted. Tomorrow, it could be you.

While many of us were hoping the hateful rhetoric of candidate Trump would not translate to policies and laws, in short time, President Trump has proven himself to be a man of his word.

Which brings us to this: We want you all to know where we stand. At Axosoft and Pure Chat, our values are such that we embrace diversity. Whether you are Iranian, Mexican, Black, Gay, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, or any other form of human, who respects other humans, you are welcome at Axosoft and at Pure Chat. We also expect that everyone here embraces diversity and maintains respect for all walks of life.

Hamid Shojaee

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