While most of us are trying to restore a sense of normalcy to our lives, some Americans are not so lucky. Nearly 10 million Arab- and Muslim-Americans are just beginning to feel the repercussions of Sept. 11, as a reactionary wave of discrimination and hate sweeps the country. These innocent Americans are increasingly being branded as cohorts of the terrorists, making them targets for retaliatory assaults. Among the most disgusting and horrific cases: a Pakistani store-owner was shot and killed Saturday in Dallas, two Muslim girls were beaten at Moraine Valley College in Illinois and dozens of mosques have been firebombed and vandalized.
These senseless attacks are the tragic result of ignorance and unfounded myths. Fortunately UW seems to finally be awar of the ourside world and is being proactive and doing its part to dispel dangerous misinformation and encourage tolerance in Madison. Its Teach-In, which will be hosted from 4-6 p.m. in 3650 Humanities, is designed to educate people about the Islamic faith and its role in the world. It will feature brief lectures on Islam as a faith and its role in American society. All in all, it is an excellent way for students who may be uninformed about the Islamic faith to learn about this peaceful religion.
For the most part, last Tuesday?s attacks united Americans. It would be sad if Muslim-Americans could not participate in this time of great national unity. For, as anyone who attends tomorrow?s teach-in will surely learn, Muslim-Americans are among the greatest believers in the American Dream.