Pramila Jayapal / Image - X @PramilaJayapal
Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Judy Chu, and André Carson introduced a resolution with a dual objective. First, it acknowledged the tragic events of September 11, and then it condemned the hatred, xenophobia, and racism that negatively impacted Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities in the United States in the wake of the attacks.
“On September 11, 2001, we lost thousands of lives to the worst terrorist attack to ever happen on American soil. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the attack and more than 4,500 others have died since from related illnesses – this day irrevocably changed our country and its impact is still felt. As we mark this tragic day, we must also reflect on the lasting damages faced by Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities in the aftermath,” said Congresswoman Jayapal.
“The murders of Balbir Singh Sodhi, Waqar Hassan, and Adel Karas in the days following the attack were shocking displays of hatred. Xenophobia and racism have no place in this country, and today we recognize the shared trauma that these communities faced as they experienced stigma, discrimination, and losses of liberty,” she added.
The resolution includes a list of suggestions for helping those who have been profiled or targeted in the two decades since the September 11 attacks. These include the establishment of an interagency task force, in collaboration with community-based organizations, to assess government policies, investigate their impact, and dismantle any policies that continue to unfairly profile and target Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities.
The resolution also calls for hearings by congressional and civil rights bodies to further explore the findings and suggestions put forth by this interagency task force in consultation with community-based organizations.
Furthermore, the resolution advocates for the allocation of resources to independent community-based organizations, separate from law enforcement, that prioritize the experiences and needs of these communities. These resources would support hate crime prevention efforts and assist victims of hate and state violence, including services like language support, mental health support, comprehensive assistance, system navigation, and crisis response and recovery.