Arab-Americans aren’t second class citizens

In response to the recent terrorism in New York City, vandals attacked a mosque in Lynnwood. Not only does this put the vandals on the same level as the terrorists, it is a stupid thing to do. When prospective terrorists arrive in the U.S., they most likely move into areas populated by and associate with people of their ethnic background in order to blend into the country.

Since people of the Islamic faith who moved here to enjoy life in the U.S. are as likely as those of any other faith to be loyal American citizens or citizens-to-be, who better to be alert to these prospective terrorists? If we are to protect ourselves against future terrorism, we need the help of all Americans. Treating Middle Eastern- Americans as second-class citizens will certainly not encourage them to express their patriotism in this way. Instead, they will feel frightened, self-protective and unable to confront the possibility that another immigrant may be a terrorist.

Take an American of Middle East descent to lunch today, smile when you meet them on the street or in the market, make them know they are as welcome in this country as anyone else and that we count on them for loyalty to our way of life. Remember, hate is not the American way.


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