Special Advisory: Be Cautious, Report Hate Crimes Immediately

ADC reiterates its call to national organizations and political leaders to speak up against the bigotry and hateful rhetoric, and to not accept any form of discrimination or profiling.

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | March 9, 2011 – In expectation of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim backlash resulting from the hearing scheduled for March 10th by the Committee on Homeland Security, US House of Representatives, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is asking that all members of the affected communities exercise extreme caution and immediately report any incidents of harassment, abuse or violence to the appropriate authorities. ADC reminds members of these communities that equal protection and due process rights are afforded to everyone, including non-citizens, in the United States. See below for more information about your rights and what to do if you are a victim of a hate crime, profiling, or other discriminatory conduct. 

ADC had expressed, and continues to express, to the Department of Justice (DOJ) our concerns over the possible backlash resulting from the scheduled hearings. Last year, ADC experienced a significant increase in the number of legal complaints, as indicated in the 2010 ADC Legal Report: Legal Advocacy & Policy Review. The reportunderscores the unfortunate reality that when the public discourse is fueled with anti-immigrant sentiment and xenophobia, there will inevitably be a backlash against the communities targeted by such hateful rhetoric. Singling out an entire religious group is discriminatorily un-American and contrary to our constitutional principles. Such targeted actions and hateful rhetoric, as already experienced, lead to an increase in hate crimes against Arab, Muslim, and South Asian-Americans, as well as those perceived to be Arab or Muslim. 

If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or legal@adc.org.

Precaution Advisory:

ADC is releasing the following advisory statement to members of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Sikh-American communities.

o    Ensure that any place of worship you attend is prepared with an emergency plan that can be implemented should the need arise. Also, be familiar with all the exits to your place of worship, in case the building is attacked. For Muslims, contact your local law enforcement officials and ask for protection during the night prayers. Lastly, it is advisable to find out whether your place of worship has an open line of communication with law enforcement. 

o    If you are placed in physical danger because of your ethnicity, religion or national origin: Call the police (dial 911 in most communities), and/or contact the local FBI office. It is the FBI's job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. List of FBI field offices  

o    Ensure that your children are aware that they can report any incidents of bullying or harassment to a school official or other adult. Work with your children's school to implement an anti-discriminatory policy, if a satisfactory one is not already in place. 

If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or legal@adc.org