Other officials join in rejecting attacks on Muslims and Arab-Americans

(WASHINGTON, DC - 9/13/2001) - A prominent American Muslim advocacy group today applauded remarks by President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other government officials condemning attacks on American Muslims and Arab-Americans in the wake of terrorist incidents in New York and Washington, D.C. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says anti-Muslim attacks have included vandalism and shootings at American Islamic centers, threats against Muslim institutions and attacks on individuals who are identifiably Muslim.

In a phone conversation today with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, President Bush (president@whitehouse.gov) said: "...we must be mindful that as we -- as we seek to win the war [against terrorism], that we treat Arab-Americans and Muslims with the respect they deserve. I know that is your attitude as well, certainly the attitude of this government, that we should not hold one who is a Muslim responsible for an act of terror."

In a news conference today, Attorney General John Ashcroft (AskDOJ@usdoj.gov) said: "Since Tuesday the Justice Department has received reports of violence and threats of violence against Arab-Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern and South Asian descents. We must not descend to the level of those who perpetrated Tuesday's violence by targeting individuals based on their race, their religion, or their national origin. Such reports of violence and threats are in direct opposition to the very principles and laws of the United States and will not be tolerated."

Just after the attacks, Mayor Giuliani said: "Nobody should blame any group of people or any nationality or any ethnic group. The particular individuals responsible or the groups responsible, that's up to law enforcement and it's up to the United States government to figure out. And citizens of New York should, even if they have anger, which is understandable, and very, very strong emotions about this, it isn't their place to get involved in this. Then they're just participating in the kind of activity we just witnessed. And New Yorkers are not like that." 

Other elected officials, including Rep. Tom Davis (202-225-1492) of Virginia issued similar statements. Rep. Davis said: "Anyone who resorts to acts of violence against Arab-Americans and/or American Muslims is giving the perpetrators of these heinous acts exactly what they wanted. Now more than ever, Americans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds must stand tall together in defense of our rich diversity and in defiance of those who seek to tear apart the American fabric."

Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia (202-225-4376) wrote: "...our nation must resist the dark temptation toward human prejudice as the investigation of these events unfolds...No religious or ethnic group in our diverse society - including Arab Americans and Muslim Americans should be made to suffer because of fanatics half a world away."

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