Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|state by state breakdown of racism|
|09/22/01 at 12:39:38|
The response of Americans to the terrorist attack was both heartening and disheartening. The people who rushed to help, sometimes at the
price of their own lives, are heroes. But at the same time, those who filled their hearts with hate against Arab-Americans dishonored the dead by using this violence as an excuse for bigotry. The aim of terrorism is to cause fear. And by attacking and terrifying Arab-Americans and Muslims (and those mistaken for them, such as Sikhs), all too many Americans contributed to terrorism.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it has received reports of more than 542 attacks against Arab-Americans around the country, ranging from verbal harassment to physical assaults, many of them against school children. It also received reports of dozens of mosques firebombed or vandalised. More than 200 Sikhs had reported incidents to a Sikh anti-defamation group. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are preparing Wednesday to call home thousands of their students from the US for fear of further harassment. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has set up a toll-free hot line to report hate crimes directed against Arab Americans, Muslims, South Asians, and others who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. Call 800-552-6843 anytime.
A Washington Post poll found that 43 percent of Americans said the attacks will make them more suspicious of people they think are of Arab descent. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe all Arabs, including U.S. citizens, should "undergo special, more intensive security checks before boarding airplanes in the U.S." And 49 percent say all Arabs, including U.S. citizens, should have to carry a special ID card.
The following list of incidents in the week following the terrorist attacks comes from media accounts around the world.
ALABAMA In Alabama, women in traditional Islamic garments were jeered and spat upon.
ARIZONA The terrorist attack on Sept. 11 led to one more death on Saturday afternoon in Mesa. A white male in a pickup truck drove into a gas station and shot and killed the Sikh owner of a Chevron station on Saturday afternoon, then 20 minutes later fired on the Lebanese clerk at a Mobil station and proceeded to shoot into the home of an Afghan family. The man arrested for the murder told police, "I'm an American. Arrest me. Let those terrorists run wild." University of Arizona President Peter Likins made a statement Thursday: "I have been receiving reports that my fears of irrational retribution against members of our community are being realized in the form of death threats and harassment of Islamic students.. This behavior is a disgrace to our university and will not be tolerated."
CALIFORNIA An Egyptian man was found murdered Saturday night at the store he owned in San Gabriel. In San Francisco someone left a bag
filled with pig's blood on the doorstep of a community center that serves Arabs. An anonymous caller said he had left a package "for your
brother Osama bin Laden." Maha Elgenaidi, executive director of the Islamic Network Group in San Jose, reported that callers told her to "get the hell out of this country. You people have done nothing but ruin this country, and you will all die. You don't belong here. Your religion is vile and evil." The president of University of California-Berkeley's Muslim Student Association said the group has received hate e-mail. They have also heard reports from Muslim and Arab American students who have received insulting hand gestures while driving. Muslim women wearing hijabs over their hair reported being harassed. In Los Angeles, there were at least eight hate incidents following the attacks, including one in which a gun was put to a woman's face. An Antelope Valley convenience store owned by a Syrian American was shot at twice. At Mohammad Kasmaei's Ali Baba Restaurant in Anaheim, "You can't stay in the U.S.,'' was one message. Another caller simply reeled off bitter obscenities.
Three teen-agers hurled a skateboard through the window of the Sinbad Ranch market in Anaheim. Pacifica resident Senam Khairie, who has
a "Free Palestine" sticker on his car, said he was cut off and flipped off half a dozen times by motorists Tuesday. A Palestinian grocer in San
Francisco reported people walking by making comments like, "Go back to your country" and "We should kill you all." The San Francisco Islamic
Society received threatening calls. Cars drove past the closed Granada Islamic School, some blaring horns, a few drivers shouting curses. In
Fremont, a 13-year-old student was called ``camel jockey'' and ``terrorist'' by schoolmates who hurled a rock at her in the schoolyard. On
Sunday, an M-80 exploded on the sidewalk outside the Islamic Center of San Diego. On Monday, a fire that destroyed much of an Afghan and
Persian restaurant in Encino after the owner received threats to burn it down. On Monday, an Orange County judge postponed indefinitely the
murder trial of an Egyptian immigrant after nearly 20 prospective jurors said they were so angry that they could not be fair to an Arab. At
Berkeley on Thursday, Tejinder Singh was walking when two drunk guys approached hima nd called him "Terrorist!" and "Towelhead!" In San
Francisco, Sean Fernandes, a 26-year old Indian Catholic, was walking with a white Australian friend Saturday, when a man came up, called
him a "dirty Arab," and punched him and the friend. His friend was stabbed in the ensuing brawl. At Los Angeles International Airport, a federal
official reported that people of Middle Eastern origin have been bumped from several flights in a row in pure racial profiling.
COLORADO In one Colorado town, a group of men threatened to burn down a mosque.
CONNECTICUT Two University of Connecticut students of Middle Eastern descent have decided to leave UConn and return to their home
countries after encountering harassment in the aftermath of last Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Rashed Alvaabi reported his physics professor
asked the class what they thought about Islamic people, and approximately five people responded: "We hate the Islamic people." Alvaabi said
the professor told these students that they should not have said that and the discussion of Islamic people did not continue. Mark Wentzel,
director of the department of international services and programs, said his office has received approximately five or six complaints of
harassment a day since the terrorist attack, a trend which he said grows daily. On the north side of campus when people in a vehicle drove by a
female who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent and shouted intimidating comments at her.
FLORIDA Most female Muslim students decided not to go to class at the University of South Florida Thursday, fearing their head scarves would
make them targets. At least three radio stations falsely reported that Muslim students were celebrating the terrorist attack. An Ocala
businessman taped a "No Muslims" sign on the window of his store, Golf USA. In Tampa Bay, police found a bullet Thursday in the county's only
mosque. A St. Petersburg man of Palestinian heritage found splattered paint on his truck and a threatening note that read, "You cannot live in
my world. Get out of it." On the white door of a family's garage in Temple Terrace on Thursday, someone wrote "Muslims Fuck." Someone
scrawled Hispanic racial slurs and Arabs Go Home Fuckers on the wall of a drive-through liquor store that is owned by a Hispanic couple, and
also attempted to light a fire there. On Tuesday, the Islamic Center of Tallahassee's entrance window was smashed and eggs and cantaloupe
thrown on the walls. Three Muslim women spoken to in Tallahassee declined to report their stories of verbal harassment, fearing publicity will
provoke further harassment.
ILLINOIS Unidentified men beat two Muslim women at Moraine Valley Community College the night after the terrorist attack. In the Chicago
suburb of Bridgeview Wednesday night police turned back 300 people who were shouting "USA, USA" and marching on a local mosque, with
19-year-old Colin Zaremba declaring, "I'm proud to be American and I hate Arabs and I always have." The next night, about 500 demonstrators
gathered near Oak Lawn High School, saying they had come out in the name of patriotism. One teenager on a bicycle, wrapped in an American
flag, shouted, "Kill the Arabs," and others shouted insults at cars with people who appeared to be Arabic. Three men beat a Pakistani cabdriver
on East Chicago Avenue late Tuesday, and Muslims in Lake County reported vandals had spray-painted "USA" and "No Forgiveness" on a
Muslim worship center in Beach Park. In Palos Heights someone used a 2-foot machete to attack a gas station attendant he thought was
Arabic. A firebomb exploded at an Arab-American community center in Chicago. A Muslim grade school was attacked with a Molotov cocktail;
"Kill the Arabs" graffiti was scrawled along a major street. An Arab-American student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reported that a girl
in his English class had said "she was sure 95 per cent of Arabs were terrorists." In Evanston, police said a Chicago taxi driver and college
student, Mustapha Zemkour, was injured Monday when two men--including a Cook County corrections officer--chased him on motorcycles, then
allegedly hit him in the face and yelled, "This is what you get, you mass murderer."
INDIANA In Gary, on Wednesday, a man in a ski mask fired a high-powered assault rifle 21 times at the gas station where Hassan Awdah, a
U.S. citizen born in Yemen, was working behind bullet-proof glass. In Evansville, Indiana, a neo-Nazi was arrested early on Friday after ramming
his car repeatedly into a building housing the local Islamic Center and shattering two windows.
KANSAS An Arab college student in Kansas City reported that strangers had approached him menacingly and asked whether he knew "the
ones who did it."
LOUISIANA In Louisiana, schools in Jefferson Parish were closed on Wednesday because students of Middle Eastern origin were taunted and
harassed. U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, R-Monroe, declared that a person "wearing a diaper on his head" should be subject to more scrutiny when
traveling on airlines.
MARYLAND Muslim businesses in Maryland were the targets of arson.
MASSACHUSETTS A 20-year-old Boston University student was stabbed three times as he left a nightclub early Sunday morningby assailants
who yelled "You Arab (expletive)." In Quincy, the windows and front door of Halal Market were smashed and another, Almaeedah Market, was
vandalized. Three teens in Somerset were arrested after lobbing a firebomb onto the roof of a convenience store owned by an American citizen
from India. The teens told police "they wanted to get back at the Arabs for what they did in New York." The Islamic Center of New England
received several threatening calls. In Weymouth, a man and a woman doused a pump with gas and set it on fire at a gas station owned by a
man from Lebanon. In Everett, vandals threw softballs inscribed with "God bless America" and "Freedom for all" through the window of a cafe
owned by a Greek-American, apparently targeting a nearby Middle Eastern cafe. At Boston's Logan International Airport, Arab-looking
passengers were pulled off three separate flights over the weekend because of suspicious flight crews. At MIT, Muslim Students Association
spokesman Numan Waheed said students there have also been threatened, "But for every bit of hate mail, we've received so much support
from the community. We're not going to let that interfere with our standing up for justice on our campus."
MICHIGAN Windows at the Muslim Students Association at Wayne State University were broken and several businesses and schools have
received bomb threats. A 14-year-old Palestinian, Deemh Monoyidden, received death threats from fellow students at a Detroit area school. In
Dearborn, Michigan, a community with more than 30,000 people of Arabic descent, there were bomb threats against Muslim schools, and racial
slurs or death threats in phone calls or e-mail messages sent to Islamic community leaders. A quarter stick of dynamite exploded outside the
mosque at dawn. Police investigated three men in Taylor, Michigan who said they were going to go to Dearborn and "kill all the Arabs." False
rumors were circulating by e-mail that Arab-Americans at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Orchard Lake, Michigan celebrated after Tuesday's
attack; someone printed copies of the e-mail and taped them to shopping carts outside a grocery store near the restaurant. Arab-American and
Muslim students at the University of Michigan receive e-mailed death threats, some signed by "a Christian American." Other anonymous
e-mails warned "your life will be a living hell," and "this is war." In Fair Haven, Mich., the windows of Mazen Mislmanion's family service station
were shot up by vandals Wednesday night. Issam Koussan told the Detroit News that men in a car pulled into his supermarket parking lot and
yelled threats and racial slurs at his customers.
MINNESOTA In Minneapolis on Tuesday, Majdi Wadi, owner of the Holy Land food market, received a call at 9:45am: "You fucking Muslim
people. You're all going to die today. Why don't you go back to your own country." The caller phoned back several times, and Wadi called the
police. At the University of Minjesota, the Arab Student Association received threatening messages on its answering machine Wednesday,
and some Arab students have been called "terrorists" or cursed at on campus.
NEW JERSEY In Astoria, New Jersey, a man who wears a turban for religious reasons had garbage and stones thrown at his car. And on Long
Island, authorities arrested a man who made an anti-Arab threat and pointed a handgun at a gas station employee. False rumors spread across
the country that Arab-Americans had celebrated of the terrorist attacks. In one case, a New Jersey college student who lost both parents in the
bombing now must also deal with the fear of being harassed because he is of Arab descent. In New Jersey, a carload of people waving
American flags told a group of teens that they would be bombed when they slept. The president of an Arab-American civic organization in
Paterson received several threatening telephone messages. A Muslim gas station attendant in Monroe was punched in the face by a motorist,
and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a Hindu temple in Matawan. In Asbury Park, a graphic message threatening acid attacks against Muslim
women was found on Thursday on an answering machine of the Masjid Mosque.
NEW YORK On Long Island, authorities arrested a man who made an anti-Arab threat and pointed a handgun at a gas station employee. In
Huntington, New York, a 75-year-old man who was drunk tried to run over a Pakistani woman in the parking lot of a shopping mall. The man then
followed the woman into a store and threatened to kill her for "destroying my country." One Sikh man in Richmond Hills, New York, was severely
injured in an attack by an assailant wielding a baseball bat, and two other Sikhs were attacked with a paintball gun. At the permanent mission of
Afghanistan to the United Nations, which represents the Islamic State of Afghanistan fighting against the Taliban, death threats have become
common: "Every hour or so our recording device becomes full," said spokesperson Haron Amin. "The threats have said such things as `Good
luck staying alive over the next week' and `Every Muslim shall be killed.'" Friday morning at the Brooklyn Islamic Center in the Bensonhurst
section, a man carrying a bottle with a "smoking wet cloth on top" approached the mosque but dropped the firebomb when he saw police
nearby After services on Friday, a man driving past the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge stopped and yelled obscenities at the Muslim men while
waving an American flag. A man claiming to be an off-duty firefighter came to the front door and began cursing at the Muslims, saying they were
responsible for the deaths of 12 of his firefighter friends. In New York City, a motorist yelled "sand nigger" at Arabs, and passersby spat on the
window of Damascus Bread and Pastry. A young man ran past an Arab-run convenience store in Brooklyn Heights, shouting "Fuck you, Arabs!"
Two veiled women pushing baby strollers were surrounded by an angry group of youths who hurled epithets at them. A 66-year-old man from
India, who follows the Sikh religion and wears a turban, was beaten Tuesday by men who mistook him for an Arab. Early Wednesday in
Manhattan, a Sikh man was attacked by three white men yelling "terrorist" at Broadway and 52nd Street. Cab driver Jejiemder Singh, another
Sikh New Yorker, said people threw bottles at his car on Tuesday. Shortly after the terrorist attack, financial trader Amrik Singh was chased for
blocks by group of men who yelled, ''You better take that fucking turban off." Rabyaah Al-Thaibani reported her uncle received a death threat
from a supplier for their Brooklyn grocery store, and they kept the store closed after the terrorist attack. "He said he would kill my uncle and the
whole family if we didn't watch out. The Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn received hundreds of calls from Arab-Americans who
have been threatened. Roula Abu Hassan reported that her health teacher at a Brooklyn high school declared in class, "Palestinian children all
want to become terrorists." Mohammed Abdur Rahman of the Islamic Center in Queens, received numerous death threats on his answering
machine: "I hope you have fun with Satan and in eternal hell fire for a thousand millenniums because that is where you're going to be." On Long
Island, a market in Smithtown owned by a native of Pakistan was the target of what the police considered a probable arson attack Wednesday
morning. In Ronkonkoma, a man was arrested on suspicion of waving a pellet gun and shouting obscenities at a South Asian gas station
worker. An Islamic school was shut down after a caller threatened to harm hundreds of students in the Islamic Institute of New York: "He said he
was going to paint the streets with our children's blood." Although the school was closed, it still received several threats a day. On Wednesday,
a couple yelled insults at a Lebanese-American who was desperately searching for survivors: "You should go back to your country, you fucking
Arabs, we should bomb the shit out of you." An Arab American deli owner in Ardsley, was pepper-sprayed when he identified himself as an
Arab. Social worker Suad Abuhasna noted, "Girls have been hit, kicked, touched in places they don't want, and threatened. They hit two women
in Bay Ridge yesterday. But everyone is too scared to call the police." Verbal harassment of Muslims and Arab-Americans was common on the
streets of New York. In some cases, people who had lost friends or family in the terrorist attack were yelled at or threatened because of their
appearance. At Syracuse University, a flier was posted that declared, "An Orange a day keeps the Arabs away," which referenced an article
and an editorial cartoon in The Daily Orange's Friday issue, which depicted an Arabic man clogging a pipe that represented the flow of world
peace. On Monday, a man in Washington Heights spit in the face of a man and made anti-Arab remarks. In Ridgewood, Queens, a man
threatened to kill a Jordanian newsstand worker. In Manhattan, the Afgani-owned Chickens-R-Us had "Don't support terrorists" spray-painted on
the restaurant's awning.
NORTH CAROLINA At Duke University, junior Hazim El-Haddad said: "My friends have been telling me to stay in my room and to lock my door.
I overheard stuff like 'fucking Palestinians,' and 'damn Arabs.'" At North Carolina State University in Raleigh, a student who wore a black scarf
said she had been spat upon, and many Arab students reported harassment. Rania Masri, a national board member of Peace Action, reported:
"In Raleigh, N.C.--where I live -- the local mosque received two bomb threats the day of the attack. The Islamic School in Raleigh had to
close--due to fear for its students' safety. People driving by the mosque have been spewing racist statements--such as 'sand niggers go home'
and 'death to you all.' Several Arab women wearing Hijab had stones thrown at them from passing cars, and have been spat on at the main
OHIO In suburban Cleveland, Sukhwant Singh, a Sikh priest who lives at the Guru Gobind Sikh temple, awakened early Wednesday to find
bottles filled with gasoline hurled in the temple's windows and flames rising. On Monday, a 29-year-old man smashed his car through the
entrance of an unoccupied Ohio mosque at 80 m.p.h., landing in a fountain.
OREGON On Sunday, near Eugene, a California woman was arrested for trying to pull the turban off the head of a Sikh man at a highway rest
stop. A man in Portland, Oregon called an NPR show to say that any Arabs who are American citizens should turn themselves in to the FBI for
interrogation: "If they aren't with us, then as far as I'm concerned, they need to be exterminated as brutally as they exterminated us."
PENNSYLVANIA Looters pillaged two Arab-American grocery stores in Philadelphia. On Sept. 19 in Meadville, a man attacked a high school
student of Middle Eastern descent in the parking lot of the teen-ager's school. Sheik Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council
of America was threatened by motorists and then stopped by police on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for looking suspicious because of his robes
and beard. Kabbani was returning from the memorial service at the National Cathedral, but the FBI advised him not to fly.
TENNESSEE In Tennessee, an anonymous caller directed two Arab American clinic workers to "get out of our country" and called them
TEXAS In Dallas, a Pakistani man was found shot to death at his store on Saturday night, with no evidence of a robbery. In Irving, six shots were
fired into a window of the Islamic Center. A mosque in Denton, sustained thousands of dollars of damage after an unknown assailant pitched a
Molotov cocktail at the building on Thursday. Two other Dallas-areas mosques were vandalized Wednesday. At the University of Texas in
Austin, Muslim students have had their baggage searched and meetings in their student union broken up. Monday night, Ashraf Khan, a
32-year-old San Antonio businessman from Pakistan, was removed from a Delta Airlines flight to Dallas before takeoff because the crew was
not comfortable having him on the plane.
UTAH At University of Utah (where a press conference by the mayor against intolerance was delayed by a bomb threat), doctoral student Farah
Ramezanzadeh reported two students directed hateful statements toward her: "One person told me, 'How dare you show your face at the
VIRGINIA Hazim Barakat arrived at his Islamic bookstore in Alexandria, Virginia, to find two bricks thrown through the window, with notes tied to
them. One was addressed to "Arab murderers;" the other said, "You come to this country and kill. You must die as well." A sign announcing the
new home of an Islamic community center near Dulles International Airport here was defaced with profane, anti-Muslim threats. The Dar
al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church called police to the mosque four times this week and canceled prayers. An 11-year-old Muslim girl was
taunted and cursed by other students. The Muslim American Society in Alexandria was closed after receiving several telephone threats.
Someone broke into the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, a mosque near Sterling, Va., and painted obscene graffiti in the worship hall and on
the outside of the building. A Muslim taxi driver had a bottle thrown at him and was chased in a car near his home in Manassas. The Manassas
Mosque reported receiving messages on its answering machine saying, "We hope you die." On Friday in Alexandria, Afghani-American
Mustafa Nazary ended up in the hospital, after being beaten by Michael Wayne Johnson. Nazary says Johnson pulled up alongside him, asked
if he was Afghan and then said, "I'm gonna kill you," following him to the car parking lot. Johnson insists that it was Nazary who uttered an
WASHINGTON At Washington State University in Pulliam, Adly Natsheh, president of Friends of Palestine, said he spoke with several upset
students who were called terrorists, told to go back to their country or heard other comments. Anita Rao, a member of the Indian Students
Association, reported: "A couple of my friends were walking down the mall and some people called them 'Palestinian bitches." "You will all die''
and "Get out of this country'' were among the messages left on an answering machine at an Islamic center in Bellevue. The Islamic School of
Seattle suspended classes out of concern for students' safety. A 40-year-old man stormed into a Seattle mosque on Tuesday and threatened to
burn it down. Late Thursday, an armed man was arrested for trying to set fire to a mosque in Northgate and firing a gun when employees tried to
stop him. The sign in front of a Lynnwood mosque was splattered with black paint. Three white men attacked a Somalian Muslim woman with a
knife Saturday in a West Seattle grocery parking lot, screaming at her and cutting the bottom of her dress with the knife. On Sunday, two white
men threatened an East-African employee of a South Seattle home-improvement store, and someone vandalized an Iranian-owned grocery in
Edmonds. In SeaTac, an Indian Sikh taxi driver was beaten up.
WASHINGTON DC James J. Zogby, president of the Arab-American Institute in Washington, reported on a threat left on the answering
machine: "Jim, you towel-head, I'll slit your throat and kill your kids."
WISCONSIN In Milwaukee, six threatening phone calls Tuesday forced the cancellation of classes at the Salam School at the Islamic Society of
Milwaukee. There were death threats directed at a Sussex family and the beating of a Sikh man the night of the attacks. In Milwaukee, a Sikh
driver's cab tires were punctured and oil was poured over the vehicle the night of the attacks, and other Sikh had received threats.
WORLD The attacks weren't limited to America. In India on Saturday, Hindu fundamentalists rioted in a Muslim area during a protest against the
terrorist attacks. Two people were killed and dozens were injured during the riots. In Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday, a school bus carrying
Muslim children was pelted with stones and bottles. Vandals tried to set fire to a Lebanese church in Australia. An Asian woman in Swindon,
England was attacked by two men and beaten with a baseball bat. An Afghan taxi driver in London was left paralyzed from the neck after he
was dragged from his cab and beaten up by three men who made comments about the attacks in New York. The Islamia School in Kilburn,
North London had to be shut down after parents and children were threatened In Bolton, 20 worshippers, some of them children, escaped
serious injury after a mosque was set alight with a petrol bomb. Bricks have been thrown at mosques in London, Manchester, Southend,
Glasgow and Belfast, and the Times of London reported, "Many Muslims have been spat at and suffered verbal abuse." In South Shields, red
letters 6 feet high declared, "Avenge USA - kill a Muslim now" on a wall near a mosque. In the same town a 20-year-old Bangladeshi man
suffered a broken jaw after being beaten and kicked by a gang of youths. At a Montreal high school on Tuesday, three Muslim students were
attacked by students "with family ties in New York." Giulia El-Dardiry, a McGill University anthropology student, said she was insulted on campus
Tuesday and told: "You Arabs should go home. You're just terrorists." A fire was set at the entrance of the former Yunus Mosque. Five school
students with Arabic-sounding names were assaulted in Oakville, Ontario, by schoolmates. In Calgary, an Islamic grade school was closed to
protect 600 children. More than a dozen Muslims have received threatening phone calls at home and on the street, such as "You guys should be
thrown out of here, you guys should be blown up." Around the world, "vigilante hacking activity" by U.S. groups has disrupted Internet service to
countries hackers associate with the airline hijackings.
WYOMING In Laramie, a woman and her children were chased from a Wal-Mart by angry shoppers who screamed in her face telling her to go
back to her country.
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