Four House Democrats introduced a Congressional Resolution on Friday acknowledging the hate, discrimination, racism, and xenophobia that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities across America continue to experience two decades after the September 11 attack.
The lawmakers, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Judy Chu (CA-27) also acknowledge that the government targeted individuals on account of their faith, race, national origin, and immigration status. Additionally, they outline specific forms of relief to support those affected.
“We must fully condemn all manifestations and expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious bigotry while also finally acknowledging the climate of hate that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities have experienced in the two decades since September 11, 2001,” said the Congresswomen.
“As we acknowledge that our own government implemented harmful policies that unfairly profiled and targeted Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities, we must also celebrate that these very communities have met these challenges with unwavering courage, strength, compassion, and resilience while uniting in the aftermath to advocate for civil and human rights — work which continues to this day to benefit all Americans.”
We will never forget 9/11 & those we lost. Neither will we forget the heroism of those who rushed to help.
But while we must continue to stand up to terror, we must ensure that Arab, Muslim, Sikh, & S. Asian American communities are not scapegoated again just for who they are. pic.twitter.com/N8HK9mGXD7
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) September 11, 2021
The resolution puts forward a series of recommendations to support those affected by the hateful profiling and targeting that has occurred during the 20 years since the September 11 attack. This includes:
- Creating an interagency task force to work with community-based organizations to review these government policies, investigate and document their impact, and dismantle those policies which continue to profile and unfairly target these communities.
- Holding hearings by congressional and civil rights bodies to explore the findings and recommendations of this interagency task force in consultation with and centering community-based organizations.
- Allocating resources to community-based organizations outside and independent of law enforcement that center the experiences and demands of Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities to support the needs of victims of hate and state violence, including language support, mental health, comprehensive support, system navigation, and crisis response and recovery.
- Calling on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Health, and the National Science Foundation to work together to study the impact of hate, government targeting, and profiling on physical and mental health.
Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities have long experienced discrimination and violence in the U.S., which intensified after the attacks. During the first week after the attack, community organizations documented 645 incidents of bias and hate against Americans perceived as Middle Eastern or South Asian descent. This climate of hate also led to bullying and violence in their everyday lives and in their workplaces, businesses, community centers and houses of worship.