Attacks on Muslims and Arab-Americans

Following is a sampling of the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim backlash that surfaced following the Sept. 11 tragedy. The list actually understates the number of threats and attacks, because it does not include crimes against Indian-Americans, Sikhs, and South-Asian-Americans.

The list was compiled by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

  • Sept. 11. Chicago, IL: Three hundred people shouting anti-Arab insults were turned back by police as they attempted to march toward a mosque southwest of the city. (Chicago Tribune, Sept. 13.)
  • Sept. 12, Gary, IN: A Yemeni-American gas station owner survived an attack by a gunman who opened fire directly and fired more than 21 shots from a high-powered assault rifle. The owner was protected by one-inch thick glass. (The TimesOnline.-com , Sept. 13.)
  • Sept. 12, Atlanta, GA: Four men attempted to stab a Sudanese man, telling him, “You killed our people in New York.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sept. 13.)
  • Sept. 14, Tulsa, OK: Police investigated an attack on an Arab American who was beaten while leaving his apartment. Three people jumped on him, knocked him down, covered his eyes and beat him. After addressing him with an expletive, the men threatened, “We are going to cut you like you cut our people.” (Tulsa World, Sept. 15.)
  • Sept. 17, Meadville, PA: A man with a knife attacked a female high school student of Middle Eastern descent, yelling at her, “You’re not an American. You don’t belong here.” (Associated Press, Sept. 25.)
  • Sept. 18, Palmdale, CA: A note sent to a public high school said the World Trade Center attacks would be avenged in a “massacre” of Muslims, with the names of five students listed beneath. (Associated Press, Sept. 20.)
  • Sept. 19, Lincoln Park, MI: Ali Al Mansouri, originally from Yemen, was shot 12 times in the back while fleeing from his attacker. The victim was asleep when his attacker broke in, dragged him out of bed and, according to his own police confession and his girlfriend’s statements, threatened, “I’m going to kill you for what happened in New York and D.C.” (WDIV Detroit, Sept. 21.)

If you are aware of any incidents or hate crimes, contact the ADC Legal Department at 1-202-244-2990, or send email to

This article is also available as a letter-size PDF for student handouts

Winter 2001 / 2002