Sunday, September 03, 2006

Walid speaks about discrimination after 9/11

US Muslims plagued by discrimination after 9/11
By Mira ObermanAgence France-Presse
DEARBORN, Michigan -- Discrimination and harassment by law enforcement have come to plague American Muslims in the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11.
There have been suspicious looks, slurs, physical attacks, extra screening at airports and arrests on groundless charges.
And it seems to be getting worse.
A recent Gallup poll showed that 39 percent of Americans admit to being prejudiced against Muslims and that nearly a quarter say they would not want a Muslim for a neighbor.
"Most Americans don't know Muslims except for those they work with in an urban environment so all the information they get is through the media," said Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
After having shown some restraint in his rhetoric after 19 Muslim men affiliated with Al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President George W. Bush has of late been using far more inflammatory language such as 'Islamofacists,' Walid said.
"When the religious and political leaders use polarizing language these are the unfortunate side effects. It stretches from the likes of (Christian Coalition leader) Pat Robinson all the way up to President Bush."
CAIR has seen a steady increase in the number of complaints of harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment over the past five years. In 2004, complaints rose 49 percent to 1,522, of which 141 were reports of actual and potentially violent hate crimes.
It appears that those numbers will continue to rise in 2005 and 2006, Walid said...(MORE)

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