Subject HOW ABOUT SOME HATE-CRIMES TRIALS? Written 1251 pm Feb 18, 1991 by pnmideast in cd

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Subject: HOW ABOUT SOME HATE-CRIMES TRIALS? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Written 12:51 pm Feb 18, 1991 by pnmideast in From well!antenna Sun Feb 17 20:40 PST 1991 Subject: ADC Report on Hate Crimes American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee 4201 Connecticut Ave., NW - Suite 500 Washington, DC 20008 USA Note to Editors: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the largest Arab-American organization in the country. It is a service organization dedicated to promoting the civil and legal rights of people of Arab descent, including resistance to racism, discrimination, and stereotyping of Arab-Americans. ADC has over 25,000 members organized into 70 chapters throughout North America. For Immediate Release Contact: Scott Easton February 6, 1991 PHONE 1-202-244-2990 FAX 1-202-244-3196 1990 ADC Annual Report on Political and Hate Violence Issued: February 1991 Introduction This is the second in a series of reports documenting political and hate violence directed against the Arab-American community. Like the first report issued in 1987, the data are based on a computerized log of reports filed with the national office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The purpose of this report is to inform, sensitize and alert the American public and responsible government officials to the increased vulnerability of the Arab-American community to acts of ethnically and politically motivated violence. ADC is a grassroots civil rights organization that was founded in 1980 by former U.S. Senator James Abourezk to defend the rights of Americans of Arab descent, and to promote their rich heritage and culture. While stereotyping and defamation have plagued most ethnic and minority groups in the United States at one time or another, ADC has noted that events in the Middle East have a direct and negative impact on acts of violence against Arab-Americans. In general, American society has been tolerant and supportive of Arab-Americans as an ethnic group. However, a small minority of hate-mongers have taken advantage of crises in the Middle East to target Arab-Americans for hate crimes and acts of violence. ADC has joined ethnic, religious, peace and civil rights groups to speak out against racism and defamation and to uphold the political, civil and constitutional rights of all people. Over the last ten years, ADC has worked in coalition with these groups to oppose manifestations of political violence and hate crimes directed against Arab-Americans. Unfortunately, the 1990 report comes at a time when violence against the Arab-American community is at an all time high. Throughout the crisis in the Gulf, which began in August 1990, and since the United States and Iraq went to war on January 16, 1991, the number of attacks against Arab-American individuals and organizations has spiralled. Arab-Americans have once again become a convenient scapegoat for those who seek to vent their fears and frustrations about the war. This report is structured to give the reader an overview of the climate that breeds anti-Arab hate crimes and to document the dramatic increase in these attacks following the crisis in the Gulf. Background Arab-Americans have long been the targets of stereotyping, defamation and hate crimes. Although acts of racism and discrimination occur on a regular basis, since its founding, ADC has noted a significant increase in hate crimes and violence directed against Arab-Americans whenever the United States or its interests are involved in a Middle Eastern crisis. ADC first noted this correlation in 1985, following the TWA hijacking in Lebanon. As a result of that incident, mosques and community centers across the country were vandalized and bombed. In another tragic incident, ADC Regional Director Alex Odeh was murdered in his Santa Ana, California office at the height of the October 1985 Achille Lauro fiasco. When the U.S. bombed Libya in 1986, Arab-American homes and businesses were targeted and Arab students were attacked and beaten. And, following reports of the death of U.S. hostage Colonel William Higgins in 1989, racist anti-Arab banners declaring "Shi'te Hunting Season Opens Today" and "Let's F-16 Beirut" were placed over freeways in New York City. The occurence of hate crimes in a multi-ethnic society such as the U.S. is symptomatic of a larger tendency to reject the unique contributions of minority groups and cultures. European immigrants faced these problems in the early part of the twentieth century. More recently, Asian and Hispanic immigrants have been the visible targets, while other ethnic communities, including African-Americans and Native Americans, continue to be victims of racism and discrimination. When this racism is coupled with U.S. involvement in conflicts overseas, the potential for violent attacks against the minority community concerned multiplies. Japanese-Americans were targeted and vilified during World War II to the point that they were stripped of their constitutional rights and illegally interned in prison camps. The growing centrality of the Middle East in world politics and the increased political visibility of Arab-Americans have made our community more vulnerable. The Arab world has long been perceived in the West in terms of a set of negative stereotypes, which have been transferred to Americans of Arab descent. In 1990, Arab-Americans once again saw events in the Middle East result in a violent backlash against their community. The crisis in the Arabian Gulf which erupted in August 1990, produced a sharp increase in the level of public hostility towards Arabs and Arab-Americans. Following the deployment of U.S. troops to the region, anti-Arab violence and crime increased nearly a hundred-fold: prior to August 8, ADC logged five incidents of anti-Arab hate crimes; in the following months, ADC received more than 40 additional reports. Unfortunately, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent U.S. military build-up in the Arabian Gulf aroused some individuals to strike out against Arabs and Arab-Americans in an effort to avenge the actions of the Iraqi government. Over the last several years, numerous organizations and individuals have begun to recognize and openly condemn anti-Arab racism. Many voices have spoken out against anti-Arab bigotry, and the National Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church, the Unitarian-Universalist Association, the Presbyterian Church and other religious bodies have publicly condemned such attacks. Many of these groups have also implemented study programs on Arab and Middle Eastern culture, religion and history, and have encouraged their congregations to build solidarity with both Arab Christians and Arab Muslims. Churches and other organizations spoke out in 1990. Scores of Christian, Jewish, peace, human rights and ethnic organizations and leaders signed a statement of concern about anti-Arab bigotry and violence circulated by ADC. This appeal awakened an especially strong and widespread response, and garnered the support of several groups who had not previously addressed the issue. A number of organizations made a point of publicizing ADC's appeal and mobilizing their networks to add their own response, issuing press releases and statements condemning anti-Arab bigotry. The U.S. press gave an unprecedented level of attention to the anti-Arab backlash to the Gulf crisis, as evidenced by an editorial in the New York Times and a syndicated column by Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During a gathering of several hundred Arab-American leaders and the press on September 24, 1990, President Bush forcefully condemned anti-Arab hate crimes and discrimination, and said: "Today some Americans are the victims of appalling acts of hatred. And this is a sad irony that while our brave soldiers are fighting aggression overseas, a few hate-mongers here at home are perpetrating their own brand of cowardly aggression. Death threats, physical attacks, vandalism, religious violence and discrimination against Arab-Americans must end. These hate crimes have no place in a free society and we are not going to stand for them." In February 1990, Congress passed a bill requiring the Justice Department to collect annual statistics on hate crimes, thus allowing legislators and law enforcement agencies to assess the scope of the problem and plan effective countermeasures. This legislation defines a hate crime as an assault on a person or property which "manifests prejudice" regarding race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. It is an important step forward in recognizing and eliminating hate crimes. The Justice Department has set up a special hotline for the public to use in reporting hate crimes. The number is (800) 347-HATE. Over the last five years, ADC has held meetings with Justice Department and FBI officials to urge them to vigorously pursue hate crimes directed against Arab-Americans. Unfortunately, however, we have also found that these same law enforcement agencies occasionally engage in discriminatory actions against Arab-Americans. In 1987, seven Palestinians and one Kenyan (the "LA 8") were arrested in Los Angeles and publicly labelled a terrorist threat. In fact, they were engaged in legitimate political activities protected by the First Amendment. During court proceedings for the "LA 8", a Justice Department contingency plan was revealed, which provided a blueprint for the mass arrest of thousands of Middle Eastern residents of the U.S. The plan also included provisions for their detention in camps in Louisiana and Florida and their possible deportation. In addition, a 1990 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office indicates that the FBI has engaged in surveillance of Arab, Muslim and other ethnic organizations which have been engaged only in legitimate political activities protected by the First Amendment. Even as this report goes to press, the FBI is questioning over 200 hundred Arab-American community leaders regarding their political views and their knowledge of possible terrorist threats in the U.S. ADC is disturbed by what appear to be "fishing expeditions" into the personal and political lives of Arab-Americans. ADC also objects to the FBI's assumption that Arab-Americans, by virtue of their ethnicity, would have special knowledge of or contacts with any terrorist activity. This policy serves to stigmatize the community and gives the impression that Arab-Americans are a "suspect" class, thereby providing those who wish the community harm justification for their hostility and acts of violence. In addition, Palestinian and Lebanese political activists and organizers in the peace movement report that they are under surveillance by the FBI. Such actions are viewed as an attempt to "chill" the legitimate political activities of U.S. citizens and residents. It is a disturbing paradox that the overzealous policies designed to prevent terrorist attacks are directed in an indiscriminate manner against a community which is itself the victim of hate crimes. ADC has raised these issues in meetings with the FBI and elected officials, seeking an end to such practices and requesting congressional hearings to review these "investigations." Arab-Americans look to law enforcement agencies to protect their lives, property and civil liberties. They should not have to fear that these same agencies may infringe on their right to free exercise of political speech and activity, as guaranteed in the American Constitution. Discussion of Report This listing of hate crimes has been compiled from cases reported to ADC which we believe fall under the Justice Department description of "hate crimes," including physical assaults against individuals or groups, vandalism and destruction of property and harassment, intimidation and threats. This log is representative, but is by no means comprehensive, since many cases do not come to our attention or are never reported at all due to the unfortunate reality that many victims fear further repercussion. Most incidents were reported directly by the victims, some from second parties such as an ADC chapter contact and others from press reports. This log does not include the innumerable reports received of discrimination in employment, housing, education and airline travel. Nor does it include the endless series of negative stereotypes of Arabs in the media. These are long-standing problems which ADC deals with on a daily basis. It should also be noted that since the Gulf crisis, ADC has received an increase in such reports, including anti-Arab slurs by radio talk shows and disc jockeys. These slurs help to create an atmosphere which encourages and provides spurious "legitimization" for anti-Arab violence. Also not included are commercial attempts to capitalize on anti-Arab hostility. Recently this has included advertisements with negative images of Arabs and the marketing of products such as T-shirts with rifle cross-hairs superimposed on an Arab figure on a camel and the slogan "I'd fly 10,000 miles to smoke (military jargon meaning `to destroy') a camel." HATE CRIMES CHRONOLOGY January-March 1990 - Flint, MI: Arab-American organizations and leaders continue to receive death threats, which have continued for years. (The perpetrator was arrested later in the year, pleaded guilty and in November was sentenced to 6 month incarceration, 3 years probation and a $2000 fine.) 3/29/90 - Quincy, MA: Islamic Center of New England was the target of an arson attack. Damage amounted to a half million dollars. (Incident occurred shortly after an American missionary from Massachusetts was killed in Lebanon.) 5/18/90 - Washington, D.C.: ADC received call from a psychologically disturbed person from California who delivered a threatening and disjointed "message from the Jews to the Arabs." Several days later he sent a threatening telegram. 7/90 - Dallas, TX: Arab-American received hate call after publishing a letter to the editor. The caller used the epithet "Arab pig" and hung up. The same person has called after previous letters were published in the press. 08/08/90 - Los Angeles, CA: ADC office received a threatening and highly offensive message on the phone machine. 08/09/90 - Cincinnati, OH: Arab-American family restaurant received two phone threats. Caller stated: "If they go to war, a bomb will be put in your restaurant." After the war began in January 1991, there were additional threats and another Arab-American store was fire bombed on two separate occasions. 08/14/90 - San Francisco, CA: ADC activist received a letter threatening his life and his children's due to a newspaper interview he gave to a local paper on the Iraq-Kuwait conflict. 08/14/90 - Santa Ana, CA: A prominent Arab-American walked a visitor to his car about midnight and found a Star of David spray-painted on the car. 08/15/90 - Dearborn, Ml: Arab-American newspaper reporter received a phone message from a male caller stating "I want to leave a message for Mr. --, I will kill you if the Americans in Kuwait are hurt." The FBI was contacted and is investigating the case. 08/15/90 - Gaithersburg, MD: Iranian-American family mistaken as Arabs reported that they were attacked and beaten by members of a road crew. The father received a fractured skull and is partially paralyzed. One of the attackers was quoted as saying "I want to kill these foreigners to teach them a lesson about complaining in our country." 08/22/90 - Albuquerque, NM: Two Arab-Americans who were interviewed by a local newspaper received threatening notes and a rash of abusive and threatening calls numbering nearly 100. Reports were made to the police and the FBI. Reporter indicated that as a result many other Arab-Americans were afraid to talk or give their names to the media. 08/22/90 - Columbus, OH: Arab-American received call on answering machine with vile language cautioning him to watch over his shoulder as he was going to be the next hostage. Copy of tape was given to law enforcement officials for investigation. 08/22/90 Orange County, CA: Arab manager of gas station received a call from a woman who called him, erroneously, an Iraqi and said she would burn down his place. 08/22/90 - Chicago, IL: A young Palestinian was struck in a market and told to go back to Iraq. 08/23/90 - Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that an Arab-American family filed a lawsuit against their neighbors who had harassed and threatened them because of their national origin. The incidents included the throwing of stink bombs in their yard at 1:30 a.m., "turfing" the family's lawn and a steady diet of threats and racial epithets. The family was forced to sell their home and move. 08/23/90 - Herndon, VA: A bomb threat was received at an office building housing several organizations affiliated with an Islamic charitable foundation. The caller stated, "This is an Arab-owned building. You'd better get your people out - we're going to blow it up." 08/24/90 - New York, NY: Gang of ten young men approached a male rider in the New York subway on Second Avenue about 3:00 a.m. and asked in a threatening fashion if he was an Arab. The victim was then attacked and beaten, causing him to run off the train at the next stop. He was followed by the gang. The conductor called the police after being informed by witnesses on the train. 08/24/90 - Charlestown, MA: The Boston Globe reported that an Arab-American was threatened and taunted by neighbors and told to move out of his residence or "he will die." The landlord was also threatened if she did not "kick that Arab out." An anonymous letter writer threatened to burn down the building. The writer made reference to the tenant being an Arab and the writer's son being in the U.S. Army "fighting the Saudis." (sic) The Arab-American moved out in 24 hours and now floats from one friend's house to another. The Boston Globe has also reported that other Arabs in Boston and New Hampshire have experienced incidents of harassment and anti-Arab jibes. 08/28/90 - Los Angeles, CA: The ADC regional office received two calls from different individuals who used profane language and told the staff person to "go back home." 08/30/90 - Washington, D.C.: Bomb threat called into the National Office of ADC by a man claiming, "There is a bomb in your building...37 minutes." 08/30/90 - Missouri: Arab-American who wrote an article on the Gulf crisis for a local newspaper reported that he received a hostile phone call from a woman who stated, "You belong to Iraq or Iran. I don't care where you go but get out of this country. You don't belong here." 09/2/90 - Houston, TX: Arab-American talk show host received package which contained a fake bomb of cigars in cases wired to a small clock. A note was attached saying, "....have a good cigar and don't be late for the show." The bomb squad evacuated the building and determined it to be a threatening hoax. 09/04/90 - Augusta, GA: The President of the local Islamic Society reported that he received a call threatening his life if he did not stop his public statements. 09/06/90 - Kansas City, MO: Politically active Palestinian family reported that two shots were fired at their car from a .22 caliber weapon. The family had previously received repeated phone calls threatening the wife with kidnapping. She was told to be careful when she opened her door. For three nights a car with two men in it was parked across the street from their home. The family had previously won a lawsuit imposing a $10,000 fine on Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League, which has been described by the FBI as a "terrorist organization." 09/08/90 - Patterson, NJ: After receiving death threats, an Arab businessman withdrew his offer to pay $500 to anyone who named their newborn child "Saddam." The death threats included a copy of a news story about his $500 offer with a red X across his picture and the word "DEAD" in bold red letters. 09/10/90 - Indiana, PA: Arab-American who made TV comment about Gulf crisis reported 6-7 harassing calls. Callers insulted Arabs and stated "We will get you," and "Go back to your country." On the same day, a stone was thrown through his window. 09/14/90 Toledo, OH: A Palestinian student reported that while he was waiting at a bus station, he was approached by six men, who asked if he was an Arab and where he was from. The group's manner was quite menacing and they said that they intended to beat him up. He managed to reason with them, then took refuge in the station security office. 09/26/90 Dallas, TX: Arab-American who has published op-ed articles in the local press reported that he had received a death threat in mail. The note read: "FUTURE HEADLINES OF THE STAR-TELEGRAM: `-- -- found in his burning car this morning. Police suspect a bomb was planted under the hood of his car by someone who finds his opinions invalid.' Or, `Police discover body of a man and a woman in an apartment at -- Ave. The man, who had been nailed to the floor, was identified as -- --.'" 10/02/90 - Houston, TX: ADC member reported that the owner of the "Baghdad Carpet" store has received hostile phone calls and letters, including a bomb threat. He was told to "change the name of your business." The owner is Armenian. 10/03/90 - Houston, TX: ADC member reported that an Arab-American woman recently received hate mail. She had been receiving "horrible" calls every 3-4 weeks since she was on the radio in May. Also: An Arab-American home was littered with toilet paper and splattered with raw eggs. Also: The press reported that a Saudi couple was beaten at Sharpestown Mall. They protested that they were Saudis. An attacker stated, "We don't care. You're Arab." 10/18/90 - Gaithersburg, MD: Palestinian-American family reported harassment and vandalism for the past two months, apparently from hostile neighbors. Car tires were slashed and eggs were thrown at the house. Family property on the porch was broken. They received numerous phone calls where the caller just hung up. One caller asked for the husband by name, claimed to be with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, stated that "You have 48 hours to leave the U.S. because you are from Iraq," and hung up. A neighborhood woman who spoke to her in a friendly way at a bus stop had her car windows smashed. The wife states that "I feel like a stranger in my own home. We have been in the U.S. since 1972 and never experienced anything like this. I can't believe that this is happening to me." 10/19/90 - Madison, WI: Arab-American activist reported three bomb threats attempting to disrupt his talk at the University of Wisconsin criticizing U.S. intervention in the Gulf. 10/22/90 - San Diego, CA: American-born grocery store owner of Iraqi descent reported that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 135, has circulated a flier associating him with Saddam Hussein in an attempt to mobilize anti-Saddam/Iraq sentiment against him. The owner is accused of "holding his employees hostage." The flier states that negotiating with the owner is "like negotiating with Saddam Hussein" and features a photo of Saddam. The union is attempting to organize workers at the grocery. The San Diego press also reported that a "rowdy" stomped on a Saudi Arabian flag hanging in one of the owner's stores. 11/19/90 - Chicago, IL: Bogus letter threatening Arab students at University of Illinois at Chicago and purportedly signed by the university president. Letter was sent to human rights organization supporting Palestinian rights after it held a campus event. Letter makes reference to "Jewish storm troopers" and the JDL. 11/28/90 - Houston, TX: ADC member reported that an Arab-American association and a restaurant have received hostile phone calls recently. In another incident a rabbi and two other men entered an Arab-American business with the apparent intention of beating him up. The store owner drew a gun to defend himself and frightened them away. 12/05/90 - New York, NY: The press reported threats against supporters of Palestinian rights. An unsigned letter mentioning the "Kach Underground Movement" threatened retaliations for the death of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League the right-wing Israeli extremist Kach Party. The threats targeted both Arab-Americans and Jewish leaders who have been critical of Israeli policies. 12/10/90 - Falls Church, VA: Arab-American reported harassing calls and letters. His last name is Hussein (a very common Arabic name) and he is identified with Saddam Hussein (no relation). He has received "many, many calls, day and night." Calls included threats on his life and threats to blow up his house. 12/90 - Portland, OR: Just before Christmas, two Kuwaitis were beaten up at a shopping mall. Incident witnessed by several Arab-Americans. Motive was apparently anger that Kuwaitis were out shopping, while American troops were in the desert protecting them. 12/30/90 - Scranton, PA: Arab-American couple received harassing and "very, very scary" phone message at 11:30 p.m. The call was a tape recorded message featuring two voices - one angry and accusing the other of hatred of Jews, the other pleading and denying such sentiments. The couple's phone number is unlisted, but they recently attended a public meeting on the Gulf crisis and were seen there by recognized members of a Zionist organization. 1/1/91 - small town, Michigan: Vandalism: During the night of January 1, 1991, a person threw a rock through the window of a house owned by an Arab-American family. 1/4/91 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Unauthorized entry: Two editors of a campus newspaper at the University of Wisconsin were caught at 1:00 a.m. by campus security officers in the offices of an Arab-American organization. Records in the office were later found to be in disarray. 1/5/91 - Richmond, Virginia: Threatening telephone call: An Arab-American activist received a call the day after he took part in a peace rally. The caller threatened, "Stop supporting Saddam or we will blow your house up." 1/10/91 - San Francisco area, California: Assault and battery: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a Kuwaiti was beaten while delivering a pizza on Haight Street. 1/11/91 - San Diego, California: Attempted bombing: The American Muslim Council reported that an incendiary device was planted in the building housing the Islamic Society of San Diego, short-circuiting power but not igniting. Nobody was injured. 1/11/91 - Portland, Oregon: Harassing telephone calls: An Arab-American family received obscene and harassing telephone calls. The caller demanded that victims, "Go back to Arab land." The caller also telephoned then hung up when the phone was answered. 1/11/91 - Cleveland, Ohio: Threatening telephone call: An Arab-American activist received a telephone call containing this threat: "This is John from the Aryan People. If any attacks are made on this country, you people are all going to pay. Do you understand?" 1/11/91 - Baltimore, Maryland: Assault: Four or five drunken men verbally assaulted a man calling him a "Filthy Arab! Arab pig!" and shouted obscenities. The man was a Polynesian Jew. 1/12/91 - Fremont, California: Harassing statements: The San Jose Mercury News reported that a man in a grocery store ordered a American originally from India who was wearing a traditional Sikh headdress to, "Go back home, you damned Iraqi!" 1/12/91 (approximately) Dearborn, Michigan: Bomb threat: The Detroit Free Press reported that a bomb threat was telephoned to Fordson High School, where approximately 50% of the students are of Arab descent. The Fordson basketball team reports ethnic hostility at games: "Go back to Saudi Arabia. You are not wanted here!" 1/14/91 - New York, New York: Threatening telephone call: A caller gave the name and address of the Arab-American who received the call, and then threatened, "You will die within 48 hours. I am very sorry --, but you are a DEAD man!" 1/14/91 and preceding days - small town in Pennsylvania: Harassment in school: Iraqi-American children are harassed often in school by faculty and students. The harassment includes mention of internment camps and statements that the Americans should kill all of the Iraqis. [WAR BEGINS] 1/16/91 - Atlanta, Georgia: Harassing telephone call: An Arab-American family received a telephone call in which the caller said, "Hello. You are a mother-! Get out of the country." The next day, they received two additional calls with the simple message: "Get out." 1/16/91 - Chicago, Illinois: Employment Harassment: While the United States began offensive operations against Iraq, the supervisor of an Arab-American security guard at a food manufacturing company called and informed him that the company wanted him fired from his position, "because he might do something." When he reported to work the next day, the Arab-American security guard was ordered to leave the premises because he was trespassing. 1/16/91 - Los Angeles, California: Harassment: A disc jockey discussing the FBI questioning of Arab-American business and community leaders advised listeners to report to the authorities if they saw an Arab-American doing anything suspicious. 1/17/91 - Cincinnati, Ohio: Bombing: An incendiary device was used to bomb a grocery store owned and managed by Arab-Americans. This was the second blast at the store in a week. The local FBI does not believe that the bombing is related to anti-Arab backlash, but has declined to explain the reasons for its belief. A local newspaper estimated damages at $15,000. 1/17/91 - Detroit, Michigan: Shooting threat: A person called the office of an Arab-American organization and threatened that he would be coming to the office with a high-powered rifle. 1/17/91 - Tampa Bay, Florida: Threatening letter: A threatening letter with the following message was attached to the front door of four stores owned by Arab-Americans: "WARNING. Dear owner: for your own safty [sic] you shoud [sic] close your store for 2 or 3 days before something bad might happens [sic] and you will not like it. Take this as a warrning [sic]." Though requested to do so, both the Tampa Bay police and the FBI refused to record the incident. 1/17/91 - Providence, Rhode Island: Harassing letter: A harassing letter was sent to an Arab-American: "You are nothing but a traitor to your country. Go back to Syria where you belong before you get hurt!" 1/17/91 - Syracuse, New York: Threatening telephone call: A woman called an elderly Arab-American woman and warned, "You are going to get it," and concluded the call with an ominous laugh. The caller is believed to have made harassing telephone calls to other Arab-Americans. 1/17/91 - Fort Worth, Texas: Vandalism: The American Muslim Council reported that the windows of the Islamic Society were smashed. 1/17/91 - Fort Worth, Texas: Threatening telephone calls: The American Muslim Council reported that a restaurant owner received threatening telephone calls. 1/17/91 - Northbrook, Illinois: Bomb scare: The American Muslim Council reported that prayers for peace were interrupted by a telephone bomb threat. The community's Imam has moved out of his apartment for safety. 1/17/91 - Providence, Rhode Island: Threatening letter: An Arab-American activist received a threatening letter: "You are nothing but a traitor to your country. Go back to [your country of origin] before you get hurt." 1/17/91 - St. Petersburg, Florida: Threatening telephone calls: An Arab-American grocery store received calls in which the caller threatened to burn the store down. Rumors of a boycott of the store abound. 1/17/91 - Washington, D.C.: Threatening telephone calls: An Arab-American organization received six threatening and harassing telephone calls. 1/17/91 (approximately) - San Jose, California: Bomb scare: The San Jose Mercury News reported that a person issued a bomb threat against the Islamic Education and Information Center of San Jose and shouted racial epitaphs at children wearing traditional Arabic garb, prompting the center to cancel religious classes. 1/17/91 Detroit, Michigan: Shooting: The mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, stated that a Chaldean (Iraqi Christian) party store owner reported that two individuals in combat fatigues opened fire on him as he approached his business. 1/17/91 (approximately) San Jose, California: Threatening telephone calls: The San Jose Mercury News reported that a caller left hate messages on the answering machine of the Silicon Valley Congress of Arab Americans: "If you . . . are going to live here, you ought to keep your mouths shut." "You don't belong here. Don't call yourselves Arab AMERICANS." 1/18/91 - Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harassment: A person detonated firecrackers in a garbage can and burned holes in a rug on the porch of an Arab-American household. 1/18/91 - Tulsa, Oklahoma: Vandalism: The American Muslim Council reported that evening prayers were interrupted by rocks thrown through windows. 1/18/91 - Tulsa, Oklahoma: Shooting: The American Muslim Council reported that shots were fired at the home of a Muslim businessman. 1/18/91 - Tulsa, Oklahoma: Vandalism: The American Muslim Council reported that a Muslim school was vandalized and money was stolen. An American flag was left behind at the school. 1/18/91 - Detroit, Michigan: Threats and violence: The mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, stated that since the beginning of the war, the Detroit Police Department has recorded dozens of reports of threatened bombings or other violence aimed at businesses whose owners are of Middle East descent. He said that there have been numerous bomb threats and other threats related to the war. 1/18/91 - Wooster, Massachusetts: Threatening telephone call: An Arab-American received a telephone call: "Go Israel. Death to Palestinians." 1/18/91 (approximately) - Massachusetts: Employment harassment: FBI agents interrogated an Arab-American after they received an anonymous tip that he would commit a heinous act of terrorism at the utility which employed him. The agents satisfied themselves that the tip was false, but the Arab-American's job is in jeopardy and the Arab-American is taunted daily at work about his ethnicity. 1/18/91 - Atlanta, Georgia: Harassing telephone call: An Arab-American family received three harassing telephone calls between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The caller uttered obscenities and said,"Are you happy with what you have done to Israel? Why don't you go back and be with your Saddam Hussein?" 1/19/91 - Washington, D.C.: Harassment: At least two buckets of white wash were dumped from the roof of a building on a group of Arab-Americans who, with 25,000 other Americans, were marching to protest against the war in the Gulf. 1/20/91 - Washington, D.C.: Police harassment: A permanent resident from Egypt was stopped by a police officer for stopping his car in a no-standing area. The police officer, upon discovering a suspended driver's license, immediately hand-cuffed the man and said, "You are under arrest. You are my P.O.W." He ridiculed the Egyptian to passers by: "Does this guy look like an Iraqi or an Egyptian? Do you believe he is not a terrorist?" 1/20/91 - New Haven, Connecticut: Harassment: A group of Arab-Americans discussed activities of their Arab-American organization in a restaurant. As each member of the group left the restaurant, he or she was photographed from three different angles simultaneously by three persons who had patronized the restaurant. 1/21/91 - Blissfield, Michigan: Arson: A restaurant owned by an Arab-American was set ablaze in the middle of the night causing $250,000-$500,000 damage. The fire department indicated that the fire was caused by arson. A few days before the blaze, vandals had spray-painted on the side of the restaurant: "U.S.A. No. 1!" 1/21/91 - near Dearborn, Michigan: Assault and battery: Two Arab-American gas station attendants were attacked at their gas station by four men who heard them conversing in Arabic. One of the Arab-Americans received injuries requiring eight stitches as a result of the attack. The attackers uttered, "You dumb Iraqis!" as they prepared to attack. 1/21/91 - Washington D.C. area Employment harassment: A person with a grudge made a false report to the FBI that an Arab- American would commit an act of terrorism. The Arab-American now fears that he will lose his job because he has work requires a security clearance. 1/21/91 - Lakeland, Florida: Bombing: The Washington Post reported that a pipe bomb exploded at the garage door of a family believed to be Iraqi. The family, actually from India, had received a threatening telephone call one-half hour before the blast. There were no injuries or property damage. 1/23/91 - Washington, D.C.: Harassing telephone call: An Arab-American charity received a telephone call in which the caller stated, "This is for the Palestinians," then shouted obscenities. 1/23/91 - Los Angeles, California: Arson: A delicatessen owned by an Arab-American was set ablaze. The police suspect arson. Graffiti scrawled on the wall of the deli read: "You *!!* Arab, go home!" (undated) - Indianapolis, Indiana: Bomb scare: The American Muslim Council reported on January 24 that the Islamic Society of North America had received a bomb threat. 1/24/91 - San Francisco, California: Vandalism: The San Jose Mercury News reported that the front windows of four Arab- American-owned food stores were smashed. The vandals hurled batteries and a fire extinguisher through the plate glass. 1/24/91 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Threatening letter: The day after local television stations reported several instances of threats against Arab-Americans, an Arab-American received a letter at work containing a death threat. 1/25/91 - small town in Tennessee: Employment harassment: An Arab-American reports that at work, posters, including one with the phrase "I'd fly 10,000 miles to smoke a camel" proliferate. One employee suggested putting the Arab-American's picture over the picture of Saddam Hussein in one anti-Saddam Hussein poster. When he complained of harassment to his supervisor, the Arab-American was shown the door. 1/25/91 (approximately) small town in Texas: Threatening telephone calls: Arab-American family received three telephone calls beginning at 2:00 a.m. in which the caller threatened to shoot them to death. 1/26/91 - Washington, D.C.: Threatening telephone call: A caller threatened an Arab-American, "I'm going to send you to Louisiana," then hung up. The reference is to an INS detention camp maintained in Oakdale, Louisiana. 1/27/91 - North Bergen, New Jersey: Assault: A woman wearing a Muslim headdress was attacked by three other women in a department store. 1/27/91 - Louisville, Kentucky: Threatening telephone call: An Arab-American received a telephone call threatening, ~"You will be gone within two weeks!" The next day, he received an obscene call. 1/27/91 - Queens, New York: Assault and battery: New York City police reported that a Pakistani man was assaulted and repeatedly beaten by four men who called him an "Arab terrorist." He was not seriously injured. 1/28/91 - Washington, D.C.: Assault and robbery: At the campus of George Washington University in downtown Washington, D.C., five students attacked an Arab-American student. They pushed him, shouted, "! you, Arab. You people are the cause of all problems," and ran off with his book bag. 1/29/91 (approximately) - Detroit, Michigan: Arson: A grocery and wine store owned by an Arab-American was set ablaze and looted. The owner of the store was known to have extended credit to his neighbors. 1/30/91 - San Diego, California: Bomb scare: A bomb scare was called in to disrupt a lecture to be given by Dr. Edward Said at the University of California at San Diego. 2/2/91 - small town in Texas: Harassment: An Arab-American couple are repeatedly harassed in public places by a person who loudly declares that the are terrorists and Hitler who "should go back to Saddam." The harasser threatens to report them to the FBI. 2/2/91 (approximately) Dearborn, Michigan: Vandalism: Anti-Arab slogans were scrawled on the walls of a business owned by an Arab-American. A STATEMENT OF CONCERN We view with concern reports that the crisis in the Persian Gulf is creating a backlash against Arab-Americans. Threats have been made against Arab-American organizations and individuals who have spoken publicly about the issue. Inflammatory and bigoted remarks on talk shows and call-in radio programs are helping to create a climate of opinion conducive to anti-Arab racism and violence. Previous Middle East crises, especially those involving U.S. military action or threats to American lives, resulted in a surge in public hostility directed against Arabs and Muslims -- death threats, beatings, vandalism against homes, businesses and mosques, even bombings of mosques and community centers. Such incidents led several national churches to respond with statements and resolutions expressing their concern. We appeal to our fellow citizens to not let anger at the actions of the Iraqi government be transformed into a generalized hostility against Arabs and Arab-Americans - or even against all Iraqis or Iraqi Americans, who are not responsible for the actions of the Iraqi government which initiated the hostilities. In fact, Arab-Americans' relatives and friends in the Middle East are especially endangered by the conflict. We appeal to our elected officials and other opinion makers to refrain from appeals to bigoted or racist attitudes and stereotypes. Demagogic rhetoric could only worsen the situation for both Arabs and Americans. Furthermore, we urge public officials and law enforcement agencies to be scrupulous in honoring the civil liberties of both Arab-Americans and Arab nationals visiting the U.S. American Civil Liberties Union, Ira Glasser American Friends Service Committee American-Israeli Civil Liberties Coalition Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America Episcopal Peace Fellowship Evangelicals for Social Action Irish National Caucus Japanese American Citizens League Lutheran Human Relations Association of America National Assembly of Religious Women National Conference of Black Lawyers National Council of Churches National Council of La Raza Reformed Church in America Young Women's Christian Association of the USA Ygal Arens Robert Z. Alpern, Unitarian-Universalist Association* James E. Andrews, Presbyterian Church (USA)* Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman, Leo Baeck Temple*, Los Angeles William Sloane Coffin Henry Der, Chinese for Affirmative Action* Deborah Evanson, National Lawyers Guild* Rabbi Marc A. Gruber, Westbury NY. Bishop Thomas G. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit* Arthur Hertzberg Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Kehilla Community Synagogue*, Oakland William Johnston, Episcopal Church People for a Free Southern Africa* Coretta Scott King Myron B. Kuropas, Ukrainian-American Justice Committee* John A. Lapp, Mennonite Central Committee* Benjamin Spock Sr. Mary Luke Tobin, S.L., Sisters of Loretto* Joe Volk, Friends Committee on National Legislation* Bishop C. Dale White, United Methodist Church* Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, KAM Isaiah Israel*, Chicago Sr. Patricia Wolf, Sisters of Mercy of the Union* * Organizations listed for purposes of identification only Source: Peacenet Via New York Transfer News 718-448-2358, 718-448-2683 --- [ This file has travelled through the Socialism OnLine! BBS at +1-203-274-4639, 24 hours, 300-9600 bps HST/MNP/V42bis, on its way to you, the reader of this file. Please share any information you have about "big brother." Venceremos! ]


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