(202) 244-2990

ADC Appalled by Attack on Fort Hood, Community Urged to Take Safety Precautions

Washington, DC | November 5, 2009 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is appalled by the attack that took place earlier today against soldiers and others at Fort Hood, Texas. Preliminary news reports have indicated that a rogue Army Major Nidal Hasan and two others shot and killed at least 12 people and injured numerous others.
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, "This attack is absolutely deplorable. ADC has been consistent and on record in condemning any attacks aimed at innocents, no matter who the victims or the perpetrators may be.  Such violence is morally reprehensible and has nothing to do with any religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin.  ADC urges the FBI and law enforcement agencies to make every effort to see that justice is served." Oakar continued, "ADC also calls upon law enforcement agencies to provide immediate protection for all Mosques, community centers, schools, and any locations that may be identified or misidentified with being Arab, Muslim, South Asian or Sikh as a clear backlash has already started.  The actions of a few should not invite a backlash on innocent members of any community and we urge law enforcement and others to keep that in mind.
Additionally, due to these tragic developments, ADC is releasing the following advisory statement to members of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities. ADC feels it prudent to issue this advisory statement due to the potential of a backlash against these communities and given the historically documented acts of hate-motivated violence including vandalism against these communities.
ADC would like to emphasize that it is issuing this advisory based on experiences in the community in recent years, and purely as a precautionary measure. ADC presents these suggestions for the consideration of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities, to be evaluated by each family and individual according to their own best judgment and in the context of their own situation and relationship with their local community. ADC urges everyone to exercise common sense and rely on their own best judgment, but offers the following as suggestions should the need arise:
1) IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS PLACED IN PHYSICAL DANGER BECAUSE OF YOUR ETHNICITY, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN:
Call the police (dial 911 in most communities)
Contact the local FBI office, It is the FBI’s job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. A list of FBI field offices is included on our website, please see: https://www.adc.org/fbi_field_office.htm If the threat is imminent, go to a safe location such as a police station or church.
If you feel threatened in your home or community, move to a friend’s house, or a hotel for as long as necessary.
Contact ADC to file a complaint by emailing the ADC Legal Department at legal@adc.org or by calling (202) 244-2990.
2) IF YOUR PLACE OF WORK, PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR SCHOOL IS IDENTIFIED OR CAN BE MISIDENTIFIED WITH ARABS AND/OR MUSLIMS:
Make sure the location has an open line of communication with law enforcement.
Make sure you know all the exits to your building.
Make sure the location has a current emergency plan that is defined and can be implemented should the need arise.
3) IF YOUR CHILD CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS ARAB OR MUSLIM, OR MAY BE CONFUSED FOR BEING OF MIDDLE-EASTERN ORIGIN:
Make sure you discuss the events with your children and that they feel comfortable speaking with an adult if they face harassment by others.
Make sure your children know what steps to take to avoid confrontation with other students.
Work with your children’s school to implement an anti-discriminatory policy.
Click on the following link for a list of the FBI Field Offices across the country: https://www.adc.org/fbi_field_office.htm ADC would like to emphasize that it is issuing this advisory based on experiences in the community in recent years, and purely as a precautionary measure. ADC presents these suggestions for the consideration of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh American communities, to be evaluated by each family and individual according to their own best judgment and in the context of their own situation and relationship with their local community.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.
Contact:  ADC Legal Department, legal@adc.org