'We Are Not the Enemy'

Hate Crimes Against Arabs, Muslims,and Those Perceived to be Arab or Muslim after September 11

Public officials tried vigorously to contain a wave of hate crimes in the United States after September 11, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Nevertheless, anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States rose 1700 percent during 2001. The report documents anti-Arab and anti-Muslim violence and the local, state and federal response to it. The forty-one page report, “We Are Not the Enemy,” draws on research with police, prosecutors, community activists, and victims of hate crimes in six cities (Seattle, Washington; Dearborn, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and New York, New York) to review steps taken by government officials to prevent and prosecute hate crimes after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The report also examines the scope and extent of these hate crimes, which included murder, assault, arson, and vandalism. “Government officials didn’t sit on their hands while Muslims and Arabs were attacked after September 11,” said Amardeep Singh, author of the report and U.S. Program researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But law enforcement and other government agencies should have been better prepared for this kind of onslaught.”