After 9/11 Arab-Americans Fear Police Acts More than Hate Crimes, Study Finds

June 12, 2006

Source: The New York Times

On June 12, 2006 The New York Times reported, "In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Arab-Americans have a greater fear of racial profiling and immigration enforcement than of falling victim to hate crimes, according to a national study financed by the Justice Department. The study also concluded that local police officers and federal agents were straining under the pressure to fight terrorism, and that new federal policies in this effort were poorly defined and inconsistently applied. The two-year study, released today by the Vera Institute of Justice, explored the changed relationship between Arab-Americans and law enforcement in the years since the 2001 terrorist attacks. The Vera Institute is a nonprofit policy research center based in New York. About 100 Arab-Americans and 111 law enforcement personnel, both F.B.I. agents and police officers, participated in the study, which was conducted from 2003 to 2005. Some respondents were interviewed privately and others took part in focus groups in cities around the nation, which were not identified in order to protect the identities of the respondents. Both Arab-American community leaders and law enforcement officials interviewed in the study said that cooperation between both groups had suffered from a lack of trust... While Muslims represent a spectrum of ethnic and national backgrounds, the study focused on Arab-Americans in order to understand the experience of one group more deeply, said Nicole Henderson, the lead author of the report. An estimated two-thirds of Arab-Americans are Christian."