Countering Anti-Arab American Sentiment
(From: USAS Listserv)
From: Amanda Klonsky
Date: Thu Sep 13, 2001 10:37 pm
I am writing to you on this sad day because I am very concerned about my Arab American brothers and sisters who have come under violent attack here in Chicago and across the country in the past few days. Yesterday the windows at a mosque school in Bridgeview, a Chicago suburb, were shot out. No school children were hurt, but this was only because there had been so many threats that all mosque schools in the area had to be closed. There have already been too many stories of Arab American college students feeling afraid to go to class because of the hostility that exists on campus, and today I heard that physical fights were breaking out at a Southwest side highschool between African American and Arab American students.
I would like to know what concrete steps people in other cities
and on other campuses are doing to help protect and aid the Arab Americans
in their communities. It is critical that we pull together now and make sure
that no modern day lynch mobs are allowed to further terrorize our neighbors
and friends. How are we going to make sure that people are safe in their schools
and places of worship? How are we going to ensure that people are safe on
our campuses and in our neighborhoods? Attacks on Arab American mothers, fathers,
sisters and brothers are just as much an "attack on America" as
were the savage terrorist acts of Tuesday morning. Please respond to thisemail so that we can begin to share ideas as to how we can best respond to this emergency. I look forward to hearing your ideas and plans.
In Peace and Solidarity,
From: Nancy Steffan
Date: Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:12 am
At least 4 Muslim women were verbally and/or physically harassed
on our campus yesterday (Wednesday). Since many Muslim women are easily identified
by the way they dress, they have been the targets of this kind of bigotry.
A group of people on met on campus today to discuss an escort system for students
who feel threatened. We exchanged
schedules and will hopefully be able to arrange for people to drive students to and from campus, and walk them to their classes. It's not getting at the root of the problem, but hopefully it will help these people feel safer on campus and in the community.
We're coordinating this with the Muslim Student Union, which probably exists in one shape or form on most campuses, and it might be a place to start if you are looking for ways to support them. What are other people doing?