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
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.