Arab American Institute Statement on Terror Attacks
Cautions Against Scapegoating
September 11, 2001
Information:Dr. James Zogby, President or Jenny Salan, Media Director
(202) 429-9210; 202-494-9857

Washington-The Arab American Institute issued the following statement regarding today?s terror attacks:

We are in the midst of a national nightmare of unimaginable proportions. What is unfolding is horrible and almost too painful to watch.

Arab Americans, like all Americans, are transfixed by this tragedy. We have family and friends who worked in the World Trade Center and for the Federal Government. We mourn for those who lost their lives and those who were injured. We mourn, as well, for our country in this time of national trauma.

We as a nation will be profoundly tested in the months to come. Today the burden falls on our firefighters, police and emergency service personnel teams. Tomorrow it will be legislators, national security agencies and law enforcement officials who will be called upon to provide answers, solutions and punishment for those responsible.

Because several news outlets have contacted us for comment, we felt that is important to recall how in the aftermath of Oklahoma City, Arab Americans were harassed and targeted in several communities across the United States. We urge our fellow citizens not to rush to judgement and point fingers at their Arab American neighbors and colleagues who are suffering, like all Americans, from these despicable acts.

Regardless of who is ultimately found to be responsible for these terrorist murders, no ethnic or religious community should be treated as suspect and collectively blamed.

AAI is a national organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.

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