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The September 11 hate crime backlash confirmed the fears of Arabs and Muslims in the United States: a major terrorist attack gave rise to a nationwide wave of hate crimes against persons and institutions perceived to be Arab or Muslim. Unlike previous hate crime waves, however, the September 11 backlash distinguished itself by its ferocity and extent. The violence included murder, physical assaults, arson, vandalism of places of worship and other property damage, death threats, and public harassment. Most incidents occurred in the first months after September 11, with the violence tapering off by December.

Both official and community-based organization tabulations-derived from self-reported incidents and newspaper accounts-clearly demonstrate the severity of the September 11 backlash. The FBI reported that the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes rose from twenty-eight in 2000 to 481 in 2001, a seventeen-fold increase.70 The ADC reported over six hundred September 11-related hate crimes committed against Arabs, Muslims, and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim, such as Sikhs and South Asians.71 Tabulating backlash incidents ranging from verbal taunts to employment discrimination to airport profiling to hate crimes, CAIR reported one thousand seven hundred and seventeen incidents of backlash discrimination against Muslims from September 11 through February 2002.72

State and local agency data provide additional perspective on the extent of the violence. In Chicago, the police department reported only four anti-Muslim or anti-Arab hate crimes during the year 2000; in the three months of September through November 2001, the number was fifty-one.73 In Los Angeles County, California, there were twelve hate crimes against persons of Middle Eastern descent in the year 2000, compared to 188 such hate crimes in 2001.74 In Florida, the attorney general directly attributed the 24.5 percent increase in the total number of hate crimes registered for the year 2001 to September 11-related bias.75

Not surprisingly, the persons most vulnerable to September 11-related hate crimes were those easily identified as Arabs or Muslims, including Muslim women who wear hijabs.76 Sikhs who wear turbans also appear to have been disproportionately targeted, presumably because of the erroneous assumption by many Americans that men wearing turbans are Arab or Muslim. Similarly, bias-motivated property attacks were often directed at property that could easily be identified with Muslims or Arabs, such as mosques.

Many Arabs and South Asians who have come to the United States seem to have clustered in certain jobs, including driving taxis, or have become small business owners, running gas stations, convenience stores, and motels. This may account for the prevalence of backlash victims among persons with these occupations. Two of the three September 11-related murders for which charges have been brought were of convenience store workers.77 The other September 11-related murder for which charges have been brought was of a gas station owner.78 In Tulsa, Oklahoma and Seattle, Washington, taxi dispatch services noted that after September 11 they had received threatening calls saying that their Muslim and Arab taxi workers would be killed.79
In addition to bias-motivated criminal acts, the September 11 attacks spurred complaints of non-criminal acts of discrimination and racial profiling. As of May 2002, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws, had received 488 complaints of September 11-related employment discrimination. Of these, 301 involved persons who were fired from their jobs.80 Similarly, as of June 2002, the U.S. Department of Transporation (DOT) reported that it had investigated 111 September 11-related complaints from airline passengers who claimed that they were singled out at security screenings because of their ethnic or religious appearance.81 The DOT reported that it was also investigating an additional thirty-one complaints of persons who alleged they were barred altogether from boarding airplanes because of their ethnic or religious appearance.82 The overwhelming number of September 11-related discrimination complaints compelled the DOT and EEOC to specially track and report the backlash incidents. 83

Polls conducted by national Arab and Muslim advocacy groups measured the cumulative perceptions created by September 11-related criminal and non-criminal bias incidents in the Arab and Muslim communities. In July 2002, CAIR polled 945 Muslim Americans on how September 11 and its aftermath affected them. The poll found that 48 percent believed their lives had changed for the worse since September 11.84 While 79 percent said they experienced an act of kindness or support from friends or colleagues of other faiths since September 11, 57 percent experienced an act of bias or discrimination, ranging from a disparaging remark to employment discrimination to a hate crime.85 A poll of Arab-Americans conducted in May 2002 found that that 20 percent had personally experienced discrimination since September 11.

The full dimensions of the backlash may never be known. As discussed in section V, there are two reasons for what amounts to a systemic gap in public knowledge about the extent of hate crimes in the United States. First, the federal hate crimes reporting system contains significant limitations, including the voluntary nature of the reporting system and the failure of some local law enforcement agencies that ostensibly participate in the federal reporting system to furnish information on hate crimes to federal authorities. These gaps in the federal hate crimes reporting system were detailed in a September 2000 U.S. Department of Justice-funded study, which estimated that almost six thousand law enforcement agencies in the United States likely experience at least one hate crime that goes unreported each year.86 Second, the racial or ethnic identity of a crime victim without more is an insufficient basis on which to determine whether a crime is hate-related. Absent specific indicia of bias-e.g, statements made by the perpetrator-hate-based crimes may not be recorded as such.

Anti-Arab or Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
During The Years 2000 and 200187

Anti-Arab and Muslim Hate Crimes During 2001
Before and After September 11, 200188


      I stand for America all the way! I'm an American. Go ahead. Arrest me and let those terrorists run wild!89

      -Frank Roque, after being arrested for the murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi

At least three people were murdered as a result of the September 11 backlash. There is reason to suspect four other people may also have been murdered because of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred.

    Balbir Singh Sodhi

Balbir Singh Sodhi, a forty-nine-year-old turbaned Sikh and father of three, was shot and killed while planting flowers at his gas station on September 15, 2002. Police officials told Human Rights Watch that hours before the crime, Sodhi's alleged killer, Frank Roque, had bragged at a local bar of his intention to "kill the ragheads responsible for September 11."90 In addition to shooting Sodhi three times before driving away, Roque also allegedly shot into the home of an Afghani American and at two Lebanese gas station clerks.91 The Maricopa County prosecutor's office was due to try Roque for Sodhi's murder on November 12, 2002.

Vasudev Patel
On October 4, 2001, Mark Stroman shot and killed Vasudev Patel, a forty-nine-year old Indian and father of two, while Patel was working at his convenience store in Mesquite, Texas.92 A store video camera recorded the murder, allowing law enforcement detectives to identify Stroman as the killer. Stroman said during a television interview that anger over the September 11 attacks caused him to attack any store owner who appeared to be Muslim. He further stated during the interview: "We're at war. I did what I had to do. I did it to retaliate against those who retaliated against us."93 In addition to killing Patel, Stroman also shot and killed Waquar Hassan on September 15, 2001 (see below), and also shot Rais Uddin, a gas station attendant, blinding him.94 Stroman was tried and convicted of capital murder for killing Patel and sentenced to death on April 3, 2002.95

Waquar Hassan
Waquar Hassan, a forty-six-year-old Pakistani and father of four, was killed while cooking hamburgers at his grocery store near Dallas, Texas on September 15, 2001. Although no money was taken from Hassan's store, police in Dallas initially believed that he was killed during a robbery because he had been robbed twice that year.96 Hassan's family, however, believed his murder was a hate crime because nothing was stolen by the assailant and the murder had occurred so soon after September 11.97 His family also pointed out that customers visiting Hassan's store after September 11 subjected him to ethnic and religious slurs.98 The case remained unsolved until Mark Stroman admitted to killing Hassan to a fellow prison inmate in January 2002.99 Murder charges against Stroman were dropped once he was convicted and sentenced to death for Vasudev Patel's murder.100

Ali Almansoop
On September 17, 2001, Ali Almansoop, a forty-four year old Yemini Arab, was shot and killed in his home in Lincoln Park, Michigan after being awoken from his sleep by Brent David Seever. At the time of his murder, Almansoop was in bed with Seever's ex-girlfriend.101 Immediately before killing Almansoop, Seever said that he was angry about the September 11 terrorist attacks. Almansoop pleaded that he did not have anything to do with the attacks.102 Seever shot Almansoop anyway. Seever acknowledged to police investigators that he killed Almansoop in part because of anger related to September 11. Prosecutors chose to prosecute the matter as a murder, rather than a bias-motivated murder, because they believe Mr. Seever's motivation for murdering Almansoop was motivated in part by jealousy over Almansoop's relationship with is ex-girlfriend. Mr. Seever had been stalking his ex-girlfriend before the murder.103

Abdo Ali Ahmed
On September 29, 2001, Abdo Ali Ahmed, a fifty-one-year-old Yemini Arab and Muslim, and father of eight, was shot and killed while working at his convenience store in Reedley, California.104 Cash in two registers and rolled coins inside an open safe were left untouched. In addition, Ahmed's gun, which he kept for protection, reportedly remained in its usual spot, indicating that he may not have felt in mortal danger.105 Two days before his murder, Ahmed had found a note on his car windshield which stated, "We're going to kill all of you [expletive] Arabs."106 Instead of contacting the police, Ahmed threw the note away.107

Ahmed's family and local Muslim leaders have told the local press that they believe his killing was a hate crime.108 However, largely because no perpetrator or perpetrators have been found for whom a motive can be established, police have not classified the murder as a hate crime. California Governor Gray Davis offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Ahmed's killers.109 At the time of this writing, the investigation into Ahmed's murder was stalled because police had run out of leads.110

Adel Karas
On September 15, 2001, Adel Karas, a forty-eight-year-old Arab and Coptic Christian, and father of three, was shot and killed at his convenience store in San Gabriel, California. According to press reports, his wife, Randa Karas, believes he was murdered because he was mistaken for a Muslim. She points out that no money was taken from the cash register and that her husband had a thick wad of bills in his pocket. Local police told Human Rights Watch that they do not believe his murder was bias-motivated because there is no evidence to indicate anti-Arab or anti-Muslim bias. The murder remained unsolved at the time of this writing. 111

Ali W. Ali
Ali W. Ali, a sixty-six-year-old Somali Muslim, died nine days after being punched in the head while standing at a bus stop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 15, 2002.112 According to press reports, the only known witness to the attack saw the assailant walk up to Ali, punch him, stand over him, and then walk away.113 His son and Somali community members attributed the attack against Ali to anger created against Somalis by a front page local newspaper article that appeared two days before the attack.114 The article said that Somalis in Minneapolis had given money to a Somali terrorist group with links to Osama Bin Laden.115 After originally finding that Ali had died of natural causes, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office on January 8, 2002 ruled Ali's death a homicide.116 Ali's family regards his murder as a hate crime. Both local police and the FBI have been unable to find Ali's assailant.117

Violent assaults related to September 11 were numerous and widespread. A review by the South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) of news articles published during the week following September 11 found reports of forty-nine September 11-related assaults.118 CAIR received 289 reports from Muslims of assaults and property damage incidents across the United States from September 11 until the second week of February.119

Issa Qandeel
On the morning of September 13, 2001, Issa Qandeel, a Palestinian Muslim and an Arab, was leaving the Idriss Mosque in Seattle, Washington when he smelled gas near his jeep and saw a man, subsequently identified as Patrick Cunningham, come out from behind his jeep. Cunningham was carrying a can of gasoline and a gun. When Qandeel asked Cunningham what he was doing behind the jeep, Cunningham walked away.

When Qandeel tried to stop him, Cunningham shot at Qandeel three times, although his gun did not discharge any bullets. Cunningham then started running away and Qandeel chased him. Cunningham shot at Qandeel again and this time a bullet did discharge, although it missed Qandeel. Cunningham was apprehended when he crashed his car trying to get away. Police later discovered that Cunningham planned to burn cars in the mosque driveway because of anger at the September 11 attacks. Federal authorities prosecuted Cunningham for attacking Qandeel and attempting to deface a house of worship. He pled guilty on May 9, 2002 and was scheduled to be sentenced on October 18, 2002. He faces a minimum of five years of incarceration.120

Kulwinder Singh
On September 13, 2001, Raymond Isais Jr. allegedly assaulted Kulwinder Singh, a turbaned Sikh taxi worker, in SeaTac, Washington. After getting into the back seat of Singh's taxi, Isais told Singh, "You have no right to attack our country!" He then started choking Singh. After both men then got out of the taxi, Isais started punching Singh, pulled out tufts of his beard and knocked off his turban. Isais called Singh a terrorist during the assault. Local police were able to apprehend Isais Jr. the same day using a description provided by Singh. He was charged with a hate crime by local country prosecutors.121

Swaran Kaur Bhullar
On September 30, 2001, Swaran Kaur Bhullar, a Sikh woman, was attacked by two men who stabbed her in the head twice as her car was idling at a red light in San Diego. The men shouted at her, "This is what you get for what you've done to us!" and "I'm going to slash your throat," before attacking her. As another car approached the traffic light, the men sped off. Bhullar felt that she would have been killed by the men if the other car had not appeared. She was treated at a local hospital for two cuts in her scalp and released later that same day. Local police and federal law enforcement officials have been unable to identify Bhullar's attackers.122

Faiza Ejaz
On September 12, 2001, Faiza Ejaz, a Pakistani woman, was standing outside a mall in Huntington, New York waiting for her husband to pick her up from work. According to press reports, Adam Lang, a seventy-six-year-old man sitting in his car outside the mall, allegedly put his car in drive and started driving towards her. Ejaz was able to avoid the car by jumping out of the way and running into the mall. Lang then jumped out of his car and screamed that he was "doing this for my country" and was "going to kill her." Mall security agents seized Lang. Sergeant Robert Reecks, commander of the Suffolk County Bias Crimes Bureau, told reporters: "if she hadn't jumped out of the way, he would have run right over her."123 Lang was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, which requires an enhanced penalty if the crime is bias-motivated.

On June 18, 2002, FK, an American Muslim woman who wears a hijab, was allegedly assaulted by a woman in a drug store near Houston, Texas. Before assaulting FK, the woman told her that she had learned about "you people" over the last ten months and doesn't trust "a single damn one of you." Before FK could get away from the woman, she slammed FK to the floor and began pulling at her headscarf, which had the effect of choking her. Though FK told the woman she could not breathe, she kept pulling at the headscarf. FK then pulled off her headscarf, in violation of her religious obligations in a desperate effort to alleviate the choking. The woman then dragged FK by her hair to the front of the store. When police arrived, the woman was holding FK by her ponytail on the front sidewalk of the store. She told police that she was making a citizen's arrest. The police told her to let FK go, at which point FK was able to put her headscarf back on. 124

Karnail Singh
Karnail Singh is a Sikh man who owns a motel in SeaTac, Washington. In mid-October, 2001, John Bethel, a local vagrant who sometimes came into Singh's motel for coffee and food, told Singh, "You better go back to your country. We're coming to kick your ass." A few days later, on October 19, Bethel entered Singh's motel and shouted, "You still here? Go back to Allah!" before hitting Singh with a metal cane while he stood behind the counter in the motel lobby. Singh, who bled profusely from the blow, spent half a day in the hospital and required ten stitches on his head. Bethel was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon.125

Satpreet Singh
On September 19, 2001, Satpreet Singh, a turbaned Sikh, was driving in the middle lane of a two lane highway in Frederick County, Maryland. A pickup truck pulled up close behind Singh and the driver started making profane gestures towards him. The pickup truck then moved alongside Singh's car on his left and the driver took out a rifle. Singh increased his speed to get away from the pickup truck. Seconds later he heard rifle shots. No bullets hit Singh or his car. The pickup truck then turned around and started traveling in the opposite direction. Singh filed a criminal complaint with the local police. At the time of this writing, local authorities have not been able to ascertain the identity of the person who shot at Singh.126

Place of Worship Attacks
Mosques and places of worship perceived to be mosques appeared to be among the most likely places of September 11-related backlash violence. SAALT's survey of bias incidents reported in major news media found 104 bias incidents against places of worship reported during the first week after September 11.127 Of these 104 bias incidents, fifty-five were telephone threats, twenty-four involved harassment of mosque worshippers outside mosques, twenty-two involved property damage from vandalism, arson, or gun shots, and three were assaults on mosque worshipers.128 Arab churches, Sikh gurdwaras (houses of worship), and Hindu temples were also objects of backlash violence. The number of worshippers at the attacked mosques decreased for weeks following the attacks, apparently because of fear of additional violence.129

Although September 11 backlash violence against individual Arabs and Muslims decreased markedly by November 2001, attacks continued against mosques or houses of worship perceived to be Arab or Muslim. On November 19, 2001, four teenagers burned down the Gobind Sadan, a multi-faith worship center Oswego, New York, because they believed the worshippers were supporters of Osama Bin Laden.130 On March 25, 2002, a man who stated to police that he hated Muslims crashed his pickup truck into a mosque in Tallahassee, Florida thirty minutes after evening prayers.131 On June 11, 2002, in Milipitas, California, vandals broke into a mosque under construction, scrawled derogatory remarks such as, "F- Arabs" and damaged the interior of a construction trailer near the mosque.132 On August 24, 2002, federal authorities announced they had discovered a plan by a doctor in Tampa Bay to bomb and destroy approximately 50 mosques and Islamic cultural centers in south Florida.133 The doctor's home contained rocket launchers, sniper rifles and twenty live bombs.134

Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara
On the night of September 11, 2001, somebody threw three Molotov cocktails into the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship in Bedford, Ohio. The Molotov cocktails started a small fire that was quickly extinguished by the gurdwara's caretakers. Two windows were also broken. A report was filed with local police. No one has been apprehended for the crime.135

Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview
On September 12, 2001, over one hundred police officers were deployed to stop approximately three hundred protestors from marching on the mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois. The mosque is located in a neighborhood of mostly Arab and Muslim American families. Stopped two blocks from the mosque, the protestors then demonstrated for approximately three hours shouting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim insults such as "Arabs go home" and harassing passersby who looked Muslim or Arab. Similar protests, though smaller in size, were held over the next two days. Police from various jurisdictions cordoned off the area around the mosque, only allowing persons into the neighborhood who could prove they lived there. Many of the Muslim and Arab families remained in their homes for the next few days because they feared hostility once outside the police cordon. Scores of police protected the mosque during Friday prayers on September 14, 2001.136

Islamic Center of Irving, Texas
On the night of September 12, 2001, someone fired at the Islamic Center of Irving, leaving thirteen to fourteen bullet holes in the building. The shots were fired after the evening prayer had ended and the building was empty. For the first two or three days after the attack, local police provided security for the mosque. Immediately after the attack, the imam reported a noticeable decline in prayer attendance. He estimated that daily prayer attendance dropped from 150 to thirty or forty persons. Friday prayers dropped from one thousand to five hundred persons. Mosque attendance normalized after a few weeks.137

St. John's Assyrian American Church
On September 23, 2001, the St. John's Assyrian American Church was set on fire in Chicago, Illinois in the early morning, causing approximately $150,000 worth of damage. The fire was caused by someone who put a piece of paper through the church mail slot and then dropped a lit match onto it. Water from fire department fire extinguishers ruined holy pictures, carpeting, and floor tiles. According to the church's pastor, Reverend Charles Klutz, the person whom he believed set the fire had asked a local resident whether the church was a mosque. Reverend Klutz also stated that local police initially asked whether the church was a mosque when they first arrived at the church even though many crosses were located prominently on the church premises. Local police and federal authorities were investigating the cause of the fire at the time of this writing.138
Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio
Sometime during the evening of December 29, 2001, vandals broke into the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. The vandals broke a bathroom pipe and clogged the sink, forcing it to overflow for hours; tore frames encasing religious verses off a wall; destroyed a chandelier in the main prayer hall; flipped over the pulpit; cut the wires of high-mounted speakers and amplifiers and threw them to the ground; tore posters off a mosque classroom wall; pulled down curtains and drapes; and tipped over bookcases and file cabinets in a classroom and threw approximately one hundred copies of the Quran onto the floor.139 Water from the stopped-up third-floor sink seeped into the second floor main prayer hall, causing plaster pieces from the main prayer hall ceiling to fall. A torn Quran and a smashed clock from the mosque were found in the mosque parking lot.

The damage to the mosque was estimated at $379,000. The mosque was closed after the incident but planned to reopen in October 2002. Both local police and the FBI are conducting investigations.140

United Muslim Masjid
On November 16, 2001, during an evening Ramadan prayer service, rocks were thrown through two windows of the United Muslim Masjid in Waterbury, Connecticut. Approximately thirty-five to forty people were in the mosque at the time. Local police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Dr. Magdy Adbelhady, a member of the mosque, said that local police were responsive to mosque member concerns and seemed to be taking the matter seriously. He said that immediately after the attack on the mosque, mosque attendance had dropped but was now back to normal.141

There have been press reports of more than fifteen arsons and attempted arsons that may be part of the post-September 11 backlash. 142 Local law enforcement agents believe that fires at six houses of worship were September 11-related hate crimes.143 The other press-documented cases of arson involved places of business owned or operated by Muslims, Arabs, or those perceived to be Muslim or Arab. There have been three convictions and one indictment thus far for September 11-related arsons.144

Curry in a Hurry Restaurant
On September 15, 2001, James Herrick set fire to the Curry in a Hurry restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah, causing minimal damage. Herrick admitted to setting the fire because he was angry over the September 11 attacks and knew the restaurant owners were from Pakistan. A federal district court in Utah sentenced him on January 7, 2001 to fifty-one months in jail.145

Prime Tires
On September 16, 2001, someone allegedly set fire to Prime Tires, a Pakistani-owned auto mechanic shop located in an enclave of Pakistani businesses in Houston, Texas. The fire destroyed the store. The store had received threats immediately after September 11. Thus far, police have been unable to ascertain who started the blaze and the motive of the perpetrator.146

70 "Crime in the United States - 2001," Federal Bureau of Investigation, retrieved on October 30, 2002, from

71 "ADC Fact Sheet: The Condition of Arab Americans Post-September 11," American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from[]=hate&sword_list[]=crime.

72 "Anti-Muslim incidents," retrieved on September 8, 2002, from

73 "Hate Crimes in Chicago: 2001," Chicago Police Department, p. 13, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from

74 "Compounding Tragedy: The Other Victims of September 11," Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, p. 12, 14, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from

75 "Hate Crimes in Florida: January 1, 2001-December 31, 2001," Office of Attorney General, p. 6, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from

76 Hijab is the practice among Muslim women of covering the head and body.

77 Vasudev Patel and Waquar Hassan were killed while working in convenience stores.

78 Balbir Singh Sodhi was killed while working at his gas station.

79 Curtis Killman, "Tulsa-area Muslims feel fear," Tulsa World, September 16, 2001; "Bush Appeals For Calm Amid Incidents Of Hate; Threats And Attacks Have Targeted Mosques, Arab Americans," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 14, 2001.

80 "EEOC Provides Answers About the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs," Press Release, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, May 15, 2002, retrieved on September 23, 2002, from

81 William Wan, "Four Airlines Sued For Alleged Post-Sept. 11 Discrimination," Cox News Service, June 4, 2002.

82 Ibid.

83 William Wan, "Four Airlines Sued For Alleged Post-Sept. 11 Discrimination," Cox News Service, June 4, 2002; "EEOC Provides Answers About the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs," Press Release, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, May 15, 2002, retrieved on September 23, 2002, from

84 "Poll: Majority of U.S. Muslims suffered post September 11 bias," Council on American-Islamic Relation, August 21, 2002, retrieved on August 28, 2002, from

85 Ibid.

86 "Improving The Quality And Accuracy Of Bias Crime Statistics Nationally: An Assessment of the First Ten Years of Bias Crime Data Collection," The Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research College of Criminal Justice, p. 61 (2000).

87 Anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States increased from twenty-eight during 2000 to 481 during 2001. See "Crime in the United States - 2001," Federal Bureau of Investigation, retrieved on October 30, 2002, from Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased from twelve during 2000 to 188 during 2001. See "Compounding Tragedy: The Other Victims of September 11," Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, p. 12 and 14, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate crimes in Chicago increased from four during 2000 to sixty during 2001. See "Hate Crimes in Chicago: 2001," Chicago Police Department, p. 13, retrieved on September 24, 2002, from

88 During 2001, Massachusetts had five anti-Arab or anti-Muslim hate crimes before September 11 and eighty-six after. See Marie Szaniszlo, "Study: 9/11 fuels anti-Arab crime," Boston Herald, September 25, 2002. During 2001, Phoenix had no anti-Arab or anti-Muslim hate crimes before September 11 and forty-six after. See "Bias Incident Statistics," Phoenix Police Department, retrieved on October 29, 2002, from

89 Human Rights Watch interview with Sergeant Mike Goulet of the Mesa, Arizona police department, August 6, 2002.

90 Ibid.

91 Ibid.

92 Michael Tate, "Mesquite seeks clues in killing of gas-store owner," Dallas Morning News, October 5, 2001.

93 "News Roundup," San Antonio Express-News, February 14, 2002.

94 Ibid.

95 "Death Sentence for Revenge Killing," United Press International, April 4, 2002. While Human Rights Watch believes all bias-motivated crimes should be prosecuted, it does not condone the death sentence in this or any other criminal matter.

96 Alan Cooperman, "Sept.11 Backlash Murders and the State of `Hate'; Between Families and Police, a Gulf on Victim Count," Washington Post, January 20, 2002.

97 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Zahid Ghani, brother-in-law of Waquar Hassan, August 25, 2002.

98 Ibid.

99 Ibid.

100 The prosecution used Stroman's confession that he killed Hussain during sentencing portion of his trial for the murder of Vasudev Patel.

101 Alan Ccoperman, "Sept. 11 Backlash Murders and the State of `Hate'; Between Families And Police, a Gulf On Victim Count," Washington Post, January 20, 2002.

102 Ibid.

103 Ibid.

104 Evelyn Nieves, "Slain Arab-American May Have Been Hate-Crime Victim," New York Times, October 6, 2001

105 Karen de Sa"Local Muslims Convinced Central Calif. Killing was hate crime," San Jose Mercury News, December 6, 2001.

106 Karen Breslav, "Hate Crime," Newsweek, October 15, 2001.

107 Ibid.

108 Jennifer Fitzenberger, "Family sees hate crime in Reedley homicide Relatives say victim was shot because he was Muslim; officials draw no conclusions," Fresno Bee, October 1, 2001.

109 "Police," Fresno Bee, November 29, 2001.

110 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Sergeant Tony Reign, Fresno Police Department, California, September 16, 2002.

111 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Lieutenant Joe Hartshorne, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, September 16, 2002.

112 "Somalis discuss freedom and fear; U.S. flags, worries of backlash abound as community meets," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 25, 2001.

113 David Chanen, "FBI questions witness in alleged hate assault," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), November 16, 2001.

114 Lou Gelfand, "Readers say Sunday article spurred unfair attacks on local Somalis," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 21, 2002.

115 "Somalis, Muslims denounce paper's story," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 16, 2001.

116 David Chanen, "Bus stop assault is ruled homicide; Somali victim's family maintains it was hate crime," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), January 9, 2002

117 "FBI questions witness in alleged hate assault," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), November 16, 2001.

118 "American Backlash: Terrorists Bring War Home in More Ways Than One," South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, p. 7, retrieved on August 28, 2002, from SAALT is a national South Asian advocacy organization

119 "Number of Reported Incidents by Category," Council on American-Islamic Relations, retrieved on August 30, 200, from

120 Human Rights Watch interview with Issa Qandeel, July 31, 2002.

121 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Kulwinder Singh, August 3, 2002.

122 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Swaran Kaur Bhullar, June 27, 2002.

123 Pat Burson, "Terrorist Attacks; Driver Arrested in Hate Crime at Mall," Newsday, September 13, 2001.

124 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with FK, August 21, 2002. FK's name has been changed at her request.

125 Human Rights Watch interview with Karnail Singh, August 2, 2002.

126 Human Rights Watch telephone Interview with Satpreet Singh, August 19, 2002. The Sikh Coalition, a Sikh civil rights organization formed in the wake of the September 11 backlash, received nineteen reports of turbaned Sikhs being harassed by other motorists while driving since September 11. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Prabhjot Singh, director, Sikh Coalition, August 16, 2002.

127 South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, "American Backlash: Terrorists Bring War Home in More Ways Than One," retrieved on August 26, 2002, from

128 Ibid. These statistics were compiled after analyzing reports listed in the "American Backlash" report.

129 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Imam Ayaaz, Iman of Islamic Foundation of Irving, July 17, 2002; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Dr. Magdy Adbelhady, member of United Muslim Masjid, July 18, 2002.

130 Catie O'Toole, "2 in Temple Case Denied Shock Camp; Joshua Centrone, William Reeves Can't Get Out Early After Admitting Hate Crime," Post-Standard Syracuse, June 23, 2002.

131 "Florida Mosque Attack Result of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric, Says CAIR," U.S. Newswire, March 26, 2002. Charles D. Franklin was indicted in federal court on April 17, 2002 for the alleged crime.

132 "Vandals Attack California Mosque Under Construction; Derogatory Remarks Written Inside Mosque, Police Suspect Hate Crime," U.S. Newswire, June 13, 2002.

133 Stephen Thompson, Paula Christian and Natashia Gregoire, "Agents Say Mosques Target Of Arsenal," Tampa Tribune, August 24, 2002.

134 Stephen Thompson, Paula Christian and Natashia Gregoire, "Agents Say Mosques Target Of Arsenal," Tampa Tribune, August 24, 2002.

135 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Dr. Tara Singh Mangat, President, Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara, August 16, 2002.

136 Human Rights Watch interview with Saffiya Shillo, director, Ethnic Affairs, Office of Illinois Lieutenant Governor, June 12, 2002.

137 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Imam Ayaaz, Iman of Islamic Foundation of Irving, July 17, 2002.

138 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Dr. Magdy Adbelhady, member of United Muslim Masjid, July 18, 2002.

139 Many Muslims consider it disrespectful to leave the Quran or any book of knowledge on the floor.

140 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Siraj Haji, member of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio, July 19, 2002.

141 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Dr. Magdy Adbelhady, member of United Muslim Masjid, July 18, 2002.

142 These reports are from newspaper accounts and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian community organization accounts.

143 In particular, the arsons or attempted arsons against houses of worship generally thought to reflect September 11-related animus were against the Gobind Sadan, a multicultural interfaith center in Oswego, New York; St. John's Assyrian American Church in Chicago, Illinois; Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Gurdwara in Bedford, Ohio; Idriss Mosque in Seattle, Washington; Omar al-Farooq Mosque in Mountlake Terrace, Washington; and a Hindu temple in Matawan, New Jersey.

144 Convictions were obtained for the arson of the Gobind Sadan in Oswego, New York; Curry in a Hurry restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah; and the attempted arson of the Idriss Mosque in Seattle, Washington. A charge of arson has been brought for the attempted arson of the Omar al-Farooq mosque in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

145 Angie Welling and Anne Jacobs, "Feds hope hate-crime sentence is warning," Deseret News, January 8, 2002.

146 "Fire at Pakistani Shop May Be Hate-Fueled Arson," Houston Chronicle, September 19, 2001.

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