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WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY”
als translated into languages spoken in the communities, and the creation of hate crime "hotlines."
Relationship With Affected
Nowhere were the benefits of a pre-existing government relationship with potential victim communities more apparent than in Dearborn, Michigan. Community leaders in Dearborn told Human Rights Watch that before September 11 they had regular and consistent meetings with the Dearborn mayor's office, the Dearbom Chief of Police, the Wayne County prosecutor's office, the state attorney general's office and the U.S. attomey for the Eastern District of Michigan on a range of issues affecting Arabs and Muslims in and around Dearborn.213 According to community leaders, these meetings ensured that government agencies "more or less knew our concers, regardless of whether we were always in agreement."
Even if state law only permits hate crimes prosecution when bias is the sole motive, it is nonetheless important where crimes have multiple motives that police record such crimes as hate crimes to establish a barometer of a given population's vulnerability.” Illinois amended its hate crimes law so that a crime may be prosecuted as a hate crime when it is motivated “in any part" by bias." Though the purpose of the amendment was to facilitate the use of the Illinois hate crime statute in mixed motive cases, one of the benefits of the law is that tracking of mixed motive crimes is no longer precluded. According to Elizabeth Schulman-Moore of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights in Chicago, as a result of this amendment all crimes with a bias motive "no matter how small” are recognized as such by local government officials,
Affected Community Outreach
Prior to the September 11 attacks, many government agencies in the cities researched had scant relationships with Arab and Muslim communities, even in cities with substantial Arab and Muslim populations and despite previous histories of bias-motivated attacks. Nevertheless, outreach efforts after the September 11 back lash were robust. Outreach efforts included meetings at mosques, community forums, printed materi
The open channels of communication and high level of interaction between Dearbom offi. cials and members of the Dearbom Arab and Muslim communities enabled community leaders to mobilize otticials promptly to address a potential backlash after the September 11 attacks. City leaders also had access to information with which to assess the needs of the Arab and Muslim communities following the September 11 attacks. According to Imad Hamad, Midwest Director of the ADC in Dearborn, Michigan:
We were able to call the mayor's of-
Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Jaber, executive director. ACCESS. June 4. 2002; Human Rights Watch Interview with Daniel Saab. Dearbom cominumy police olliver, June 1, 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Imad Hamad, June 9, 2002. 215
Human Rights Watch interview with Imat Hamar, June 5.2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Jaber, executive director. ACCESS, June 4, 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Nasser Beydoun, American Arab Chamber of Commerce, Juno 5. 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Detective Christie Lynn-Bonner, Seattle Police Department, August 2. 2002. 210
Human Rights Watch interview with Elizabeth Schulman-Moore, attorney, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights. June 17, 2002.
Daniel C. Vock, “House passes bill expanding hate crimes," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 25, 2002.
Human Rights Watch merview with Eliabeth Schulman-Moorc, June 17, 2002.
UNITED STATES: “WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY"
possible backlash against our community. By 1:00 p.m. the Mayor was on the local cable public access channel warning people against committing hate crimes against Arabs in Dearbom and the police cars were patrolling our shopping areas and neighborhoods.?
crimes (in the Muslim community), it was a fear of the federal government. The fear of detention or deportation continued even when the fear of hate crimes ended."
Outreach after September 11: Barriers to Trust
The general fear of government among Arab and Muslim immigrant communities remained one of the more significant challenges posed in creating working relationships with those communities on hate crime issues after September 11. According to Rita Zawaideh of the Arab America Community Coalition, an umbreila group of Arab organizations in western Washington: “In countries where many Arab immigrants are from, the government and the police are repressive, they are
not your friend. This general fear of government was aggravated by the detention and deportation of Muslims and Arabs by the federal government after September 11 and by fears that reporting hate crimes would draw attention to non-citizens who had violated the terms of their visas. Knpa Cbadhyay, hate crimes coordinator for the South Asian Network in Los Angeles related her experience organizing a community forum on September 11-related civil liberties issues: “We invited the FBI and INS. One hundred and fifty people attend a similar past forum, however only sixty attended this one. We later found out from many (who didn't attend) that they were afraid of being detained by the INS." Similarly, Stephen Wessler of the Center on the Prevention of Hate Violence in Portland, Maine, stated: "what struck me most was not a fear of hate
The importance of such training was underscored by Sheila Bell, Communications Director for the Muslim Law Enforcement Officers Association of New York City. As an example, Bell cited the practice in Middle Eastern culture of not looking authority figures in the eye during discussions because doing so is a sign of disrespect. Bell stated that officers in the New York City police department have mistaken this habit as an effort to be deceitful. Similarly, Guru Roop Kaur Khalsa, a gurdwara official in Phoenix, narrated a discussion she had with a police officer who along with other officers were assigned to protect the gurdwara shortly after Balbir Singh Sodhi's murder, discussed in section III above." The police officer reported to Khalsa that the members of the officers' families were “very nervous" about them protecting the gurdwara because they thought Sikhs might be terrorists attiliated with Osama Bin Laden be
Human Rights Watch interview with Imad Hamad, June 1.02
Human Rights Watch interview with Rita Zawaideh. Spokesperson, Irab American Community Coalition, Au
Human Rights Walch telephone inlerview with Stephen Wessler, August 27, 2002. See also, "Fear Of Detention Haunts South Florida Muslims: Dozens Held By U.S. Agencies In Terror Inquiries," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, hiy 9. 2002 2. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Kripa Ubahay. Anu-Discominalion and Hate Crimes Program Coordinator. South Asian Network, August 21, 2002.
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Stephen Wessler, August 27, 2002
"Vultural competency," retrievert on September 21, 2002,
trom http://www.aoa.gov/mav2001 factsheets:CulturalCompetency hunl
Human Rights Watch interview. Pramilla Jaypal, execulive director with Hate Free Zone of Washington, July 31, 2002 221
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Sheila Bell, communications director, Muslim Law Enforcement Officers Association, August 27. 2002. 224 Hunun Rights Watch interview with Guru Roop Kaur Khalsa, Phoenix Gurdwara, August 9, 2002.
UNITED STATES: “WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY"
cause of their turbans and beards.
225 ing exposure to Sikhs while protecting the gurdwara, the officer told Ms. Khalsa that they felt much more comfortable performing their duties to protect them.
times not been able to speak English well enough to be understood completely. Language was also a barrier for community groups organizing outreach events with government agencies. For example, Rita Zawaideh of the Arab America Community Coalition noted that even though police officers in the Seattle Police Department initiated and participated in outreach meetings at every mosque in Seattle after September 11: "They weren't always understood because not everyone speaks English."2 31
On the federal level, the Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice (CRS) organized and sponsored numerous cultural competency training sessions nationwide after September 11 for a wide range of federal employees, including congressional staffers, FBI agents, and federal civil rights officials. These forums usually involved presentations by members of the Muslim and Sikh faiths on aspects of their faiths and cultures that may impact the work of federal officials. The sessions typically ended with a question and answer period. On the local level, cultural competency training often was done “on the fly” with government officials and police officers learning about relevant cultural traits of the various communities as they worked with them after September 11. In Seattle for example, the police force did not have any training on Muslim practices for police officers. Instead, officers who worked with these communities learned about basic Muslim beliefs as they visited city mosques after September
In the Dearborn Police Department, language barriers have been overcome by the appointment of an Arab community police officer who speaks Arabic.? At the national level, the Civil Rights Division has made a concerted effort to publish brochures explaining civil rights protections in the languages of the back lashaffected communities. The brochures, written in languages such as Arabic, Farsi, and Punjabi, have been distributed in the Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities by mailing them to community organizations and places of worship. The Civil Rights Division states that it has mailed thousands of these brochures to affected community groups since September 11. They are also available on the Civil Rights Division website.
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Sheila Bell, August 27. 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Rita Zawaideh, August 5, 2002.
Human Rights Walch interview with Ollicer Daniel Saab, Dearborn Police Department. May 31, 2002
Human Rights Watch interview with Joseph Zoghy, special assistant for the Assistant Attorney General's 9/11 Backlash Initiative, U.S. Department of Justice, March 29, 2002
See http://www.usdoj.gov/crtilegalinfo: nordng brochure himl. retrieved on September 23, 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Sharee Freeman, executive dirator, Community Relations Service, Department of Justice May 5. 2002.
Human Rights Watch mterview with Sergeant Jerry Hil. August 8 2002; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Robin Toma, exæutive director. Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. Jugust 27, 2002,
Human Rights Watch inler iew with Detective Christie Lynn-Bonncr, Scattle Police Department, Iugust 2. 2002.
"WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY"
Asian community with whom the Civil Rights Division could work once it was clear that those communities were vulnerable to backlash violence. 234 In the Sikh and South Asian communities the CRS was in many cases the first federal government agency to ever contact them. 235 The Civil Rights Division appointed specific persons to undertake outreach with each of the affected communities. These persons took calls from community leaders, e-mailed news of progress in backlash-related matters to community e-mail listserves, and spoke at eight community forums organized by the Civil Rights Division nationwide on September 11-related civil rights
Leaders of community organizations reported a very high level of satisfaction with their access to liaisons and ability to discuss urgent matters with them. The Civil Rights Division was generally known for having an “open door policy” in which "a meeting with division beads can be arranged anytime there is an issue of pressing concem.
Community organizations in New York, especially in the Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh community expressed frustration in their level of interaction with the New York City Police Department and other city officials who might have been of assistance on hate crime issues. Especially in the Sikh and South Asian communities, civil rights activists stated that there was only one community police officer in the whole police department assigned to interact with members of the huge Sikh and South Asian communities. Furthermore, Sikh and South Asian community leaders stated that in general government agencies had not organized any forums for the community members to educate them on police protections from hate crimes and that community members did not know who to contact if they were a victim of a hate crime.
In Seattle, the Mayor created an Arab advisory council after September 11. The Seattle Police Department also made presentations on hate crime issues in each of the eleven mosques in Seattle, providing names and numbers of persons that community members could contact in case they were a victim of a hate crime.." In Chicago, the creation eight years ago of an Arab Community Advisory Council in the mayor's office greatly facilitated interaction between the mayor's office, the chief of police, and the Arab community both before and after September 11.
Creation of Hotlines on Hate Crimes
Some cities and states as well as the federal government created specific hate crime hotlines to give affected community members a point of contact in government when backlash hate crimes occurred. Seattle, Arizona, California, and, at the federal level, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, all created and advertised the creation of September 11-related hate crimes hotlines. Community organizations generally reported satisfaction with the hotlines, stating that they were important in letting victim communities know that they could easily contact government.
The creation of a federal September 11 hate crimes hotline encountered serious difficulties. On September 14, 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced the creation of a “National Complaint Line... to solicit and catalogue discrimination complaints from Arab and Muslim Americans. "242 The number was publicized
** Human Rights Watch interview with Sharee Freeman, crecutive director. May 5. 2002. ** Human Rights Watch interview with Sharee Freeman, cautive director, Community Relations Service, Department of justice. May 5. 20012.
Huma Rights Watch interview with Joseph Zoghy, special assistant for the 1ssistant Attorney General's 9.11 Backlash Initiative. U.S. Department of Justice, March 29, 2012
See, bitpwww.usdoj.gov/cru legalin lo nordwy brochure html, * essed on September 23, 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Nawar Shora, attomcy
Trab Imerican Inti-Discrimination Committee, February 28, 2002.
Homan Rights Watch telephone interview with Prabhjot Singh, wrist 16. 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Rila Zarweih. AuDust 3, 2002
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Sin Yen Liny, allorney, Isian-. Imerican Legal Delense Fund, lugust 26, 2002. Human Rights Watch interview with Pripal Singh, Sikh Youth of America. \ugust 25, 2002.
Human Rights Watch interview with Pritpal Singh, August 25, 2002
"U.S. Commission On Civil Rights Innounces Complaint Line To Protect Rights Of Irab, Islamic Communities: Urges Tolerance In The Face Of Tragedy," United Slatos Commission on Civil Rights, Supleinber 14, 2001,
UNITED STATES: “WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY"
by numerous Arab, Muslim, and South Asian organizations as a means to complain about hate crimes to the federal govern ent. The number listed on the press release, however, was incorrect, forwarding callers to a dating service. Once the correct number was released by the commission three days later, the commission received approximately 140 calls from September 17 to October 2 that it considered possible hate crimes.” Nevertheless, many persons who called the line did not understand that their complaints would not be forwarded to federal law enforcement authorities. The commission, when requested by Civil Rights Division to forward reports of hate crimes to it or the FBI, refused to do so.
The commission maintained that it needed to protect the callers' anonymity so that they would not be discouraged from calling the commission. It also insisted it was an information gathering service rather than a complaint referral service."
reporting statute is the most important hate crime law. It has pushed law enforcement to train police officers to detect bias-motivations for crimes in communities... It has revolutionized awareness of hate crime issues by creating a measure of accountability in communities." Under UCR, law enforcement authorities around the United States are asked to aggregate the number of hate crime incidents by offense type and the racial, religious, national origin or sexual orientation of the victim every quarter and repon these totals to the FBI. These local reports are compiled by the FBI and published yearly by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the form of simple data on the number of hate crimes committed each year in a particular jurisdiction and the number of hate crimes committed against a particular victim type in each jurisdiction. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report is the only government-produced national snapshot on hate crimes each year.
Bias Crime Tracking
Federal, state, and city governments made varied efforts to track bias crimes after September 11. Many city governments created separate classifications for September 11-related crimes in an effort to track the course of investigations and better inform the public on such efforts. Reliable national statistics on September 11 hate crimes did not exist at the time of this writing, however, because the federal Department of Justice had not yet published its annual haie crimes report for the year 2001.
Over the past eight years, the FBI has encouraged local jurisdictions to report incidents of crime, including hate crime, using the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The NIBRS reporting system provides more than a simple summary count of the number of hate crimes committed in each jurisdiction and the victim type.
Under incidentbased reporting, local law enforcement agencies provide an individual record for each crime reported to the FBI. Details about each incident include detailed information on the type of offender, victim, offense, weapon used, and location of the offense.
Participation in both the reporting systems is voluntary. Though most police agencies in the United States report hate crimes to the FBI. not all do so. Furthermore, among the agencies that do report hate crimes, many significantly underreport the occurrence of hate crimes in their jurisdiction. A study funded by the Department of Justice found that 83 percent of the law enforcement agencies who participate in either the UCR or the NIBRS report that they
"Rights panel keeps hot line data lívin Justice: Claus of hias directed at Trabs. Muslims at issue." Washington Times, Oktober 13, 2001.
Bureau of Justice Statistics website, http://www.opp usdoj.gov/bjs nibrs hlm, retrieved on Seplomber 3. 2002.