Words of Caution
It is rare that the Center feels obligated to take a position on any subject not related to Disability issues. However, the tragic events of September 11, have changed that. First let us state that we serve an International Community, we are based in the U. S. but many of our board members live outside the U. S. and are citizens of other countries. We clearly understand that and we clearly understand that great understanding is needed to continue to serve the international community.
The recent terrorist attacks upon the U. S. have brought us great sadness and anger. The heartfelt feelings and prayers of the staff, members of the board of directors and the members of the advisory board are with the people who are affected by the terrible Incidents of September 11, 2001.
However, attacks against Arab Americans and Muslims in the U. S. are not to be tolerated. This is plainly wrong. It cannot be tolerated and will be dealt with by U. S. authorities in an appropriate manner.
Below are the world of Senator Maria Cantwell, the speak eloquently to the issue and the Center fully supports her position.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Larry West or Jennifer Crider
September 17, 2001
Senator Maria Cantwell Calls for an End to Hate Crimes Against Arab Americans and Muslims
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell today made the following statement: "The unimaginable tragedy of September 11, 2001 must not be compounded by senseless acts of racism and violence against Arab Americans and Muslims. Arab Americans and Muslims are first and foremost Americans. They are our neighbors, coworkers, friends and teachers. They, too, lost friends, relatives and other members of their community in the terrorist attacks, and they are among those valiantly working to restore and rebuild our country.
"The terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 were acts of cowardice and hate. The threats, harassment and crimes committed against Arab Americans and Muslims following those attacks, while motivated by fear and outrage, are also acts of cowardice and hate. We are better than that. Our nation is founded on principles that do not sanction, and will not tolerate, such behavior.
"What makes America strong is the diversity of its citizens. Now is the time to embrace our diversity and to value each other regardless of how we look or what religion we practice."
Senator Cantwell is a cosponsor of Senate Amendment 1560, the Sense of the Senate regarding discrimination against Arab Americans. To read the amendment (link to Thomas search: http://www.congress.gov/cgi-lis/bdquery ).
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (UCCR) has established a hotline for reports of hate crimes against Arab American and Muslim of violent incidents following the terrorist attacks on September 11. The hotline number is 800-552-6843.
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