WASHINGTON: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman expressed concern on Thursday, noting that individuals from Muslim and Arab backgrounds within the technology sector seem hesitant to discuss their recent encounters, likely due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
In a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Altman mentioned, “In conversations with Muslim and Arab colleagues, particularly those from Palestinian backgrounds, I’ve observed discomfort in discussing their recent experiences, often stemming from fears of potential repercussions and negative impacts on their professional paths.”
muslim and arab (especially palestinian) colleagues in the tech community i’ve spoken with feel uncomfortable speaking about their recent experiences, often out of fear of retaliation and damaged career prospects.
our industry should be united in our support of these colleagues;…
— Sam Altman (@sama) January 5, 2024
The prominent figure, leading the ChatGPT creator backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O), urged the tech industry to approach individuals from these communities with understanding and compassion.
Responding to a user’s query on the same platform, Altman acknowledged, “I am Jewish. I firmly believe that the issue of antisemitism is a significant and growing concern globally. I appreciate the support from many within our industry. However, I notice a lack of similar advocacy for Muslims.”
Observers advocating for rights point out a notable surge in both antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States and other regions following the October 7th attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel, which reportedly resulted in the death of 1,200 individuals, as per Israeli reports.
Furthermore, Israel’s subsequent military action in Gaza has led to the loss of over 22,000 Palestinian lives, accounting for nearly 1% of its population of 2.3 million, according to Gaza’s health ministry.