In the U.S.: Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians Face Threats, Violence - Immediate Backlash

September 12, 2001

Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On September 12, 2001, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that, "As broadcasters and politicians speculated yesterday that Islamic terrorist groups had orchestrated the deadliest attack on U.S. citizens since Pearl Harbor, many Muslims here prayed for the victims and their families -- and struggled with the fear that they might be targets of retaliation, however undeserved." The article reported that, in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, "Muslims reported more than 200 incidents of harassment, threats or violence." In Pittsburgh, the Mayor visited an Islamic Center to provide assurance to the local Muslim community. Local Muslims offered prayers for those who lost their lives, and also offered as a reminder that such acts of terrorism are not in keeping with Islam. "Mohammed Idrees, president of the 700-member Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, noted that the Koran says 'If you kill one innocent person, it's as if you have killed all of humanity.' The terrorists, he said, 'are exploiting Islam to justify horrifying acts.'"