Hate Crimes Increase; Civic and Religious Leaders Struggle Over Political Differences

September 12, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On September 12, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission reported the highest increase in hate crimes in its 21 years of record keeping. In all, there were 118 suspected hate crimes targeting Middle Easterners and Muslims in the three months after Sept. 11 compared with 14 in all of 2000, the commission said. Religious and civic leaders who founded the [Muslim -Jewish Dialogue] group met just prior to the terrorist attacks - and then saw dialogue turn into bitter debate as some high-profile Muslim and Jewish leaders resigned in protest over political differences after Sept. 11. 'Muslims and Jews cannot be in the same room without having to deal with the 800-pound gorilla seated in the corner. And that, of course we all know, is the issue of Israel and Palestine,' said Nayyer Ali, a board member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council."