FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Todd Hallidy
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Date: September 20, 2001
A.G. BRADY URGES UNITY, TOLERANCE IN WAKE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
(Wilmington, DE) - Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady and U.S. Attorney for Delaware Colm F. Conolly today joined with leaders of Delaware's Muslim community and Delaware's Asian-American community to condemn harassment incidents and hate crimes prompted by the recent terrorist attacks. Since the attacks, there have been reports of 'retaliatory' hate crimes across the country, at least one in Delaware, and numerous reports of uncivil behavior nationwide.
During a news conference at Masjid Al Kauthar, a mosque in Wilmington, Attorney General Brady reminded Delawareans that their understandable anger over the attacks cannot be allowed to endanger other Americans. "Our fellow citizens have many different heritages and beliefs, but they are our neighbors. We all share shock and anger about these attacks. The rights of all of our citizens must be fully respected, regardless of ethnic or religious background," Brady said. She reminded citizens they should "not take the law into their own hands," and encouraged any citizen who has a serious suspicion about activity by any person to report it to law enforcement authorities.
Attorney General Brady also noted that some of the innocent victims killed in the terrorist attacks were Americans of Middle-Eastern heritage. "These attacks are the responsibility of extremists, not of ethnic or religious groups. If we allow intolerance and misunderstanding to divide us, the terrorists will win. If we stand together, our nation will prevail," Brady said. She further observed that the Bible, the Koran and the Gita share fundamental beliefs in peace and love for our neighbors.
Assistant Imam A.H. Muhammad, speaking on behalf of Masjid Al Kauthar, strongly condemned last week's attacks. "The religion of Islam does not condone any acts of terrorism or oppression against innocent men, women, and children. We express deep sorrow for all those injured and killed, and send condolences to their families. We join with all humanity in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political or religious cause could ever be justified or assisted by such immoral actions."
President of the Delaware Asian American Business Association Pravin Patel also addressed the matter on behalf of his membership. "The Asian-American community is shocked and outraged by these terrorist acts. We don't condone this behavior, and we have worked hard to support the victims of this tragedy and to support our country. We continue in our stores and businesses to raise money for relief efforts." The DAABA presented a check to the American Red Cross last week for $15,000.00.
Others who stressed the solidarity theme today included Reverend Tyrone Johnson, Director of Wilmington's interdenominational Churches Take a Corner organization.