In the Aftermath: Reaching Out, Offering Assistance and Correcting Misconceptions

September 16, 2001

Source: Newsday

On September 16, 2001, Newsday reported on the volunteer efforts of American Sikhs and Muslims: "It was an offer of camaraderie, born of patriotism to the United States and increasing fear of fellow Americans. A stream of at least 20 yellow cabs driven by Arab-American and Sikh taxi drivers lined up along Lexington Avenue near 26th Street yesterday, with the drivers offering free cab rides to the throngs of grief-stricken people who gathered at the Armory to report people missing and feared dead at the World Trade Center. American flags swung from the taxi cabs' antennas. Signs placed in the back windows bore patriotic messages such as, 'Pak-American taxi volunteer. God Bless America.' The cab drivers, fearing they are easy targets for harassment since the attack is being blamed on radical Middle Eastern Muslims, said they want to be embraced as American countrymen and not unjustly vilified as members of a murderous clan. They want to help...The drivers said they know people who are missing and may have died as a result of Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center."