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PLATFORM : Judge the Person

March 21, 1993

KAUSAR AHMAD, a Pakistani raised in England and the United States, is concerned that all Muslims will be subjected to harassment because of the World Trade Center bombing. She told The Times:

Even though I may not agree with all the policies in the United States, I would never take a violent stand over it. During the Gulf War, the Arab community was ostracized and suffered hate crimes. Even those who looked like Arabs faced harassment.

Minorities are regularly stereotyped, but when there is a crisis associated with a certain group, there is an increase in hate crimes. The media haven't helped to defuse the bomb of ethnic violence. For example, why did the media have to negatively play up that (bombing suspect Mohammed A. Salameh) is a Muslim, therefore distorting perceptions and potentially inciting violence? Many of us who have lived in the U.S. have made tremendous contributions and are law-abiding citizens for the most part. We only hope to be judged as individuals, not by the actions of others. I only hope that this incident causes people to begin to dialogue and support our neighbors and affirm that we can work within the system.

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