With Ashcroft's Warnings, Muslims Await New Tensions

June 7, 2004

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle


On June 7, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "The racial epithets don't surprise Maher Martha anymore. He most often hears the anti-Muslim rhetoric when he stands outside the San Francisco electronics store where he works. He says the hatred intensified after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and worsens every time the government increases the terrorist alert level. Martha, a Christian who is originally from the Palestinian territories, says those who discriminate don't bother to look beyond his physical features. Shortly after war broke out between the United States and Iraq, a passer-by told Martha: 'We've taken over your country, now we're going to take over your women.'... Martha is expecting heightened tensions after Attorney General John Ashcroft warned the nation that al Qaeda is planning an attack on U.S. soil in the next few months. On Wednesday, Ashcroft released photos of seven suspected al Qaeda operatives that the FBI has been pursuing for months."