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Civil Rights Groups Express 9/11 Solidarity

WASHINGTON – National civil rights, human rights, civil liberties, Muslim, Jewish, and South Asian groups introduced their statement of shared principles and previewed their activities related to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

More than 70 diverse organizations have signed on to the statement of shared principles in advance of the anniversary calling for, among other things:

Solemn remembrance of the victims of 9/11;
Recognition of the critical importance of combating terrorism without casting blame or suspicion or alienating any particular community;
Greater partnerships between communities and law enforcement;
Respect for diversity, fairness, and tolerance, and our commitment to protect fundamental freedoms and basic human rights as well as our need for safety and security;
A respectful, evidence-based, public discourse that will foster reasoned and constructive policymaking; and
Policies that promote inclusion and respect for basic rights of every person in America.
The statement of principles and a complete list of signatories are below this advisory.

Six representatives of these organizations expanded on these shared principles and previewed their activities related to the anniversary, including:

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the report “Restoring a National Consensus: The Need to End Racial Profiling,” which shows how the use of racial profiling has expanded in counterterrorism and other contexts. Henderson said:

“We come together today to reaffirm the importance of combating terrorism but the need to do so without casting blame or suspicion or alienating any particular community. This means crafting national policies and partnerships with law enforcement that are based on our common American values such as respect for diversity, fairness and tolerance and fundamental civil and human rights.”

Talat Hamdani, mother of a first responder that was killed during the 9/11 attacks and Board Member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, said:

“Nearly three thousand Americans were killed on 9/11. They were casualties of 9/11 simply for being Americans, casualties of hatred and intolerance. As a nation, we must not give in to this same mind-set. The first responders who rushed to rescue them transcended the barriers of race, faith and ethnicity. As a tribute to all those that died that day, we need to transcend these barriers as well and reset our moral compass. We need to redeem the dignity of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”

Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First discussed key lessons learned since 9/11 and steps for the coming decade to realign human rights and global security, said:

“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Americans found strength in one another and in our common values. Ten year later, our nation should honor the lives lost that day by ensuring that national security policies uphold our most cherished principles—respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of all people.”

Deborah Lauter, National Civil Rights Director at the Anti-Defamation League, discussed why the ADL signed on to the statement of principles and highlighted the report it is publishing today assessing a range of post 9/11 issues, as well as its report “Committing to Respect: Lessons for Students to Address Bias.” Lauter said:

“9/11 was the date that hate became everyone’s problem. How have we as a society done since then in addressing the consequences of hate? The results are somewhat a mixed bag. America has struggled to find the right balance between protecting our nation from terrorist attacks and protecting individual rights. On this 10th anniversary we can take satisfaction in the fact that America’s democratic principles have broadly withstood this challenge. But the fight against hate remains critical as we seek to preserve the values and ideals we most cherish in America. “

Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) discussed the America for All of us Campaign, and identified themes around community building and resiliency in the midst of the post 9/11 crisis. She reflected on the current tide ofxenophobia and Islamaphobia, and previewed upcoming reports on profiling and backlash faced by South Asian Americans. Iyer said:

“For South Asian, Sikh, Muslim and Arab American communities, the grief that we felt on September 11th was quickly compounded with a sense of fear and uncertainty as reports of backlash, hate violence and scapegoating began to emerge. The ten year anniversary is a time for us to remember, reflect, and renew our country’s commitment to fundamental values of inclusion, equality and diversity.”

Laura Murphy, Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, discussed the ACLU’s activities around the Tenth Anniversary, including the upcoming report, “A Call to Courage: Reclaiming Our Liberties Ten Years After 9/11,” blog series, call to action, timeline of events, and book by its president, “Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and Erosion of American Democracy.” Murphy said:

“After 9/11, Americans were united by a strong sense of resolve and patriotism. Despite the terrible tragedy of the attacks, we were and are united in our belief that America, its institutions, and its values must not only survive, but also thrive. This tenth anniversary is a call to courage to overcome the fear-based rhetoric that tries to drown out voices of strength, unity and resolve.”

VIEW COMPLETE STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES ON TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11th


Supporting Organizations

Alliance for Justice

American Association of Persons with Disabilities

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of Government Employees, Women's & Fair Practices Departments

American Islamic Congress

American Jewish Committee

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Anti-Defamation League

ASIAN AMERICAN JUSTICE CENTER Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

Asian Law Caucus, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund

Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Brennan Center for Justice

Center for National Security Studies

Common Cause

DC Vote

Demos

Equal Justice Society

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Hip Hop Caucus

Human Rights Campaign

Human Rights First

Islamic Society of North America

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Labor Committee

Jewish Women International

Just Detention International

Lambda Legal

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Legal Momentum

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Public Affairs Council

NAACP

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Assoc for Equal Opportunity in Higher Ed

National Association of Human Rights Workers

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

National Congress of American Indians

National Council of La Raza

National Council on Independent Living

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Immigration Forum

National Immigration Law Center

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

National Organization for Women

National Partnership for Women & Families

Open Society Foundations

Opportunity Agenda

PFLAG National

People for the American Way

Pride at Work

Public Advocates Inc.

Rights Working Group

September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Sikh Coalition

South Asian Americans Leading Together

Southern Poverty Law Center

TransAfrica

Union for Reform Judaism

UNITED SIKHS

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society



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