In the U.S.: Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians Face Threats, Violence (September 17 - October)

September 17, 2001

Source: The Independent

On September 17, 2001, The Independent (a London-based newspaper) reported that the murders of two gas station owners -- a Sikh man in Arizona and a Muslim man in Texas -- are feared to be hate crimes related to the terror attacks. "In Pleasant Grove, a middle-class suburb of Dallas, Texas, Waqar Hassan Choudhry, 40, was shot dead shortly after 10pm on Saturday. There was no evidence of a robbery and local detectives told Mr Choudhry's family that they suspected his killing was motivated by blind revenge...Balbir Singh Sodhi, 52, was shot dead by a white male who drove a pick-up truck into his Chevron station in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday afternoon. That killing was apparently the opening salvo in a shooting spree. The unnamed assailant attacked two other petrol stations, at least one of which was run by men of Arab origin." The article went on to explain, "Petrol station owners have been one of the groups most vulnerable to attacks across the US because they are visible and often alone, especially at night. Taxi drivers have also been insulted, threatened and in some cases attacked."