PETITION TO STOP RETALIATION AGAINST AMERICAN MUSLIM
AND ARAB COMMUNITIES
Dear President Bush:
We are deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks of
Tuesday, September 11th. In the wake of these
attacks, we the undersigned are also highly concerned
about the backlash against Islamic Americans and
Arab-Americans in our nation. We hereby urge you to
make a statement condemning these acts of violence and
The thoughtless targeting of Islamic or Arab-American
people and institutions is already occurring, and
without sensible discussion these acts of hatred and
violence may escalate once further information about
the source of the terrorist plots is revealed.
We must work towards the eradication of terrorism
and of the conditions which motivate this terrorism.
However, acts of hatred and violence directed at
innocent people (and based only on the victims'
appearance, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or
national origin) do nothing to deter terrorism and
instead only aid and perpetuate the aims of the
terrorists. We must seek justice, but our acts of
retribution will be fully justified only if they
circumvent (rather than encourage or perpetuate) the
targeting of innocent civilians.
We believe that it is imperative that you make a
public statement condemning hate-crimes against the
American Muslim and Arab-American communities in the
U.S., and re-enforcing the understanding that the
terrorist acts perpetrated on September 11th were
the work of an extremist group (or groups) whatever
their religious affiliations or national origins.
You certainly know that the views and actions of
these extremist groups (whoever they might be) are
not widely shared amongst the members of our very
diverse Muslim and Arab communities. Lashing out at
our own citizens (or, for that matter, at innocent
foreign nationals who reside in the U.S. or abroad) is
a mistake and results from confusion about who is
accountable for the acts.
A message from the President on these issues would
be very powerful. It is important that the people
of the entire nation understand that this message is
backed by our President as well as by the political
figures from whom we have already heard (these
figures include NYC mayor Giulani, CA governor Gray
Davis, and San Francisco's Chief of Police Fred Lau,
among others). These leaders have spoken eloquently,
but their words are heard most clearly by their own
constituents. A message from our President could be
heard more clearly by the people of our entire nation
and by people around the world. Such a message would
provide a nucleus for growing national and world unity
Let's stop the backlash before these horrible acts
of terrorism claim the lives of even more innocent
US citizens and foreign visitors.
Thanks you for considering this matter. We all depend
on you to act accordingly.