Engler Meets with Arab American Advisory Council

Contact: Susan Shafer (517) 335-6397

September 27, 2001

 

Governor John Engler today met with members of the Arab American Advisory Council in Detroit to discuss recent events where the Arab American community in Michigan has been the victim of discrimination and crime following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

"In my discussions with the Arab American Advisory Council today, I reiterated my condemnation of actions that have unfairly targeted the Arab American community in Michigan," said Governor Engler. "There is never any excuse for discrimination against anyone based on their religion or ethnicity."

 

During the meeting, members of the Arab American Advisory Council commended President George W. Bush for his leadership on addressing issues of discrimination and intolerance. Two members of the council – Dr. Yahya Mossa-Basha of West Bloomfield and Ali Jawad of Dearborn met with President Bush yesterday.

 

The Governor, in response to reports that Arab American children are being harassed at school, said he is asking members of the Arab American Advisory Council to convene meetings with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to develop a strategy to teach school children tolerance and respect for their fellow students. In addition, the Council will devise a strategy to combat harmful misinformation and rumors – especially via e-mail and the Internet – during a time when emotions are running high.