Report: American Muslims one year after 9/11
A report released today by a national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group indicates that American Muslims took a strong stand against terrorism in the year since the 9/11 attacks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) report, called “American Muslims: One Year After 9/11,” outlines condemnations of the attacks by national Muslim leaders, Islamic scholars and local religious institutions.
To download the report, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/911report
The report quotes a statement issued within hours of the attacks and endorsed by almost every major American Muslim organization. That statement read in part: “American Muslims utterly condemn what are”¦vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”
It also quoted a full-page CAIR advertisement published in the Washington Post on September 16, 2001. The advertisement stated: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of those who have been killed or injured…May we all stand together through these difficult times to promote peace and love over violence and hate.”
Other issues discussed in CAIR’s report include: 1) the American Muslim community’s support for efforts by law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice, 2) Muslim assistance in the 9/11 relief efforts, 3) outreach by local Muslim communities in the wake of the attacks, 4) support offered to Muslims by Americans of other faiths, 5) the post-9/11 backlash against Muslims or those perceived to be “Middle Eastern,” 6) the role anti-Muslim rhetoric plays in promoting hate and bigotry, and 7) the curtailment of civil liberties by government policies targeting Muslims and Arab-Americans.
“The events of 9/11 marked a turning point for the American Muslim community. It is not yet clear whether the voices of interfaith tolerance will win out over those preaching anti-Muslim prejudice,” said Dr. Mohamed
Nimer, the report’s author.
An earlier CAIR study indicated that a majority of American Muslims experienced bias or discrimination since the 9/11 terrorist attacks but, more than three-in-four also experienced kindness or support from friends or colleagues of other faiths.
National Muslim groups also called on all faith communities to participate in a “National Day of Unity and Prayer” on September 11, 2002, by opening houses of worship for interfaith visits, prayers, congregational exchanges, and other activities intended to foster national unity and religious tolerance. Almost 100 such events are scheduled nationwide.