Arab American/Islamic American Organizations
This section looks at Internet responses to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It provides examples of commentary from a wide variety of groups, from civil rights groups to extremist organizations. This includes both the strongly positive and the strongly negative.
The intent is to provide a snapshot of responses to the tragedy, not to comment on or to categorize the inherent nature of these groups.
Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee.
A statement from Ghassan Abul Ghanam of ADC Fresno suggested that the committee has repeatedly warned that the U.S. policy of military support to Israel would bring the U.S. into the Mideast conflict as a "direct party." The statement suggested that the decision by successive U.S. administrations to ignore Israeli "atrocities" expedited the confrontation. "Violence begets violence! What do you expect when you wage war against a people that have done you no harm?!" It suggested, though, that the Mossad might have a hand in the attacks.
This Virginia-based pro-Pakistani Internet newsletter edited by Syet Adeeb issued an article on its message board posing the question of whether Israel attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. It urged all U.S. agencies to "deeply investigate to determine [whether] the anti-American regime of Israeli international terrorist, serial killer and war criminal Ariel Sharon" played any role in the attacks. It suggested that Israel had a motive: to create hatred and conflicts between Americans and Muslims/Arabs.
Islamic News and Information Network.
This e-mail mailing list is not an organized group, but a collection of people posting on subjects related to Islam and Arab Americans. Posts to this list repeated statements from various Arab American groups condemning the terrorist act, asking Muslims to offer help, and fearing a backlash. Some posts were critical of Israel; a few accused Israel of being behind the attack.
New Trend Magazine.
Kaukab Siddique, on this Baltimore-based Web site, wrote that, "the suffering of those who are non-combatants is one of the worst horrors of war." Jamaat al-Muslimeen provided advice to American Muslims, including suggestions to sympathize with and help all victims in whatever way they can, to not talk unnecessarily about the attacks or offer conspiracy theories, and possibly to avoid religious dress in order to avoid persecution. New Trend warned about a possible backlash against American Muslims and says that it already had reports from various cities that Muslims were being threatened.
American Muslim Political Coordinating Council (AMPCC).
Following a meeting in Washington, DC, leaders of this group issued a statement asserting an "unequivocal condemnation based on our religious values and our identity as American Muslims" and stressing that "we do not need to defend every maniacal incident emanating from the Muslim world or the Muslim community, just as other religious groups need not defend their extremists." They offered compassion to the victims and "solidarity with all Americans in the face of danger," and condemned the act regardless of the identity of the perpetrators-even if they are Muslims. They deplored what they believe is irresponsible reporting that suggested the Muslim world projects only anti-American sentiment, and they warned against "opportunists" who may attempt to exploit the situation "in order to promote a political agenda aimed at tarnishing the name of Islam and Muslims." They concluded by acknowledging a need to organize activities to help the victims medically, psychologically, and "in every other way we can."
Palestine Media Watch.
This online publication by American Arabs and non-Arabs designed "to fight anti-Palestinian bias in the U.S. media," established in October 2000, urged people to "keep the media honest." It suggested that the stories of Palestinians cheering the news of the terrorist attack were actually about people experiencing emotions analogous to the feeling African-Americans expressed when they cheered the OJ Simpson not guilty verdict. It claimed that Palestinians are not cheering the death of Americans, but rather "the humbling of their arrogant, hypocritical, mighty tormentor." It urged people to make themselves felt, but that they should 1) highlight that the event was "an unspeakable horror," 2) stress that no one should jump to conclusions, and 3) emphasize that it helps no one to fan emotions.
Muslim Public Affairs Council.
This group issued a statement saying that 1) "we feel our country, the United States, is under attack," 2) all Americans should stand together to bring the perpetrators to justice, 3) warning against generalizations that will only "help the criminal and incriminate the innocent," and 4) offering "resources and resolve" to help the victims of these "intolerable acts," and pray to God to protect and bless America. In a separate statement, they advised Muslim community leaders to report any suspicious behavior and threats to law enforcement, to act vigilantly to protect Muslim schools and mosques, to channel official statements through legitimate, authorized spokespeople, and to prepare to offer humanitarian and emotional support to victims of terrorist attacks and hate crimes.
Hard-Core White Supremacist Organizations
The Posse Comitatus.
This Christian Identity group, led by August Kreis, praised the attack. In a brief statement posted to his Web site shortly after the attack, Kreis wrote: "Hallelu-Yahweh! May the WAR be started! DEATH to His enemies may the World Trade Center BURN TO THE GROUND! Rev. 18…Keep Yahweh in your hearts folks for His wrath is upon His enemies!"
Richard Butler issued a very brief statement parroting the words of (and possibly written by August Kreis): "Hallelu-Yahweh! DEATH to Babylon! Rev.18…Keep Yahweh in your hearts folks for His wrath is upon His enemies! Praise His Holy name…Hail Victory! Pastor R. G. Butler."
This prominent white supremacist and former Klansman issued a statement about "Black Tuesday" on his Web site. He called the day a "day of tragedy for the wounded heart of America." Duke claimed to have for years tried to prevent this occurrence, by urging that the U.S. not get involved in "other people's wars." His other comments were overtly anti-Semitic. Duke stated that the "most powerful lobby" is in the service of a foreign government, and that the "same powerful, Zionist Lobby" dominates the entire media spectrum, but it is "not this foreign lobby that ends up suffering." The people who suffer are "our people, the normal moms and pops, and sons and daughters of America." The U.S. is now reaping the whirlwind, while "our masters already plan their war against the terrorism that they themselves inspired." He said that if the U.S. doesn't "break the grip of this Zionist power in our midst," then Americans will come to live in a world of death, agony, and fear of terrorism.
World Church of the Creator.
This racist and anti-Semitic group issued a press release stating: "PRO-ISRAEL FOREIGN POLICY COSTS THOUSANDS OF LIVES TODAY." It blamed the U.S. government for the tragedy because it has been "slavishly pro-Israel in its aggression against its neighbors." It called upon "all White people" to demand an end to aid to Israel and the liberation of the U.S. "from the manipulations of the Jews that have had such terrible consequences."
World Church of the Creator (mailing list discussion).
Members of this racist and anti-Semitic group were distributing a message by a Pennsylvania member suggesting that if the responsibility for the attacks can be laid at the feet of "any one particular group or nationality," then the time has come "for each and every one of us to exact a toll of retaliation from those responsible." If, for instance, it was determined that Palestinians were responsible, "then it is my personal feeling, in violation of the stated policies of the World Church of the Creator, that we should leave the bodies of Palestinians, wherever we may find them, littering the streets…" Other members said they hope that people will "open their eyes and see what the Jew has done." One speculates: "Guess Rev. Hale has a new topic for up and coming speeches."
Metzger, head of White Aryan Resistance, suggested soon after the event that "if the U.S. Criminal leaders had kept its nose out of the middle eastern feud thousands of Americans that are dead would still be alive. Intervention and international policing to protect transnational corporations, banking and Jew intrigue are the causes-disaster is the effect."
American Nazi Party.
Rocky Suhayda of ANP suggested that Americans had "better get used" to such attacks and to "a growing POLICE STATE, that IS coming."
National Socialist Movement.
Subscribers to the National Socialist Movement mailing list stated: "the jews are our misfortune altho (sic) shocking the events of today should come as no surprise, the eternal disease ridden international jew is the enemy of all the pure races of mankind and freedom loving peoples the world over, we do not want to be apart of some jew -white race traitor lead coffee colored raceless mongrell society."
Miscellaneous Hate Groups/Anti-Semitic Groups
This Holocaust denier alleged on his Web site that the U.S. government was responsible for the attacks. He made analogies with the Maine explosion, Pearl Harbor, and the Oklahoma City bombing. "Was it 'Muslim militants' or was it agents of our own government?"
"Patriot" (militia, sovereign citizen, anti-government) Organizations
This popular, Texas-based "patriot" leader warned of a "50 percent chance the Feds are releasing biologicals," stated that only the government "stands to gain," and essentially blamed the entire attack on the U.S. government, calling Osama bin Laden a "known CIA asset."
The Republic of Texas.
This sovereign citizen group, through its "Secretary of Defense," Charles A. Doreck, was urging people to join the Republic of Texas Defense Forces. A separate Republic of Texas statement suggested that these incidents "prove" the U.S. government cannot protect us from foreign attack and that it is thus time to "redouble our efforts…and to continue to fight for the safety and liberation of our homelands."
Various militia groups issued "alert warnings." Many were concerned whether or not, as one Texas militiaman put it, "if…FEMA has moved in to try and take charge of our country. I know that Militia units out there will OPPOSE IT!" The head of the California High Desert Militia, Tony Hogrefe, issued an "official position" stating that the militia "fully supports" President Bush, and any actions he takes "short of martial law."