Appeal to fellow Americans
My dear fellow Americans,
Since 9/11 there has been a tremendous increase in the hate crimes in our country, over 68%, since last year they have increased to over 121%. Your fellow Arabs and Muslims live in constant fear.
Muslim businesses, homes, community centers, schools and our Masjids ( Mosques) have been attacked. I have personally received hate messages and threats. In the latest incident was an arson attack on a Pakistani-owned business in Washington State on July 9.
According to media reports, white crosses and an anti-Arab obscenity was found spray-painted inside a Pakistani-owned market in Seattle. The store was heavily damaged by an intentionally set fire as firefighters found a gas can inside the store.
On July 7, CAIR's Houston office called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a bomb attack on an area mosque as a possible bias crime. Suspects have been apprehended in that case, but the motive has not yet been established.
Earlier this year in Texas, a man was arrested for threatening an El Paso Islamic center, an arson suspect was arrested at the scene of a fire at a Muslim business in San Antonio and vandals scrawled racist graffiti on the interior of a Lubbock mosque.
Incidents targeting Muslim individuals and Islamic institutions have occurred recently across America. A Muslim woman driver in Illinois and a Muslim shopper in California were assaulted at the end of June by attackers shouting anti-Muslim and racist slurs.
In Florida, vandals wrote "Kill all Muslims" inside the Islamic Community Center in the Tampa suburb of Lutz. The FBI is also investigating vandalism and threatening messages targeting the Islamic Community of Southwest Florida in Charlotte Harbor. In Missouri, vandals painted a Nazi swastika and the word "die" on an addition under construction at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. Three Miami Islamic centers were vandalized.
This is obviously the result of our administrations policies, negative media coverage and our own inability to provide first hand contact to our fellow Americans but it is still no excuse to act so violently against Arabs and Muslims, just based merely on our religion.
We need your help to put an end to these crimes. If you see or hear injustice, please don't walk away speak up. If you know of a plan to attack a Muslim or Arab please call the authorities and stop the cycle of violence.
I am urging all of you to please break the silence about the hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs. We need you to send a clear message to all those who are committing these crimes that it is not acceptable in our country.
In these situations silence is betrayal.
Samina Faheem Sundas
July 10th, 2004