Arabs still reeling from 9/11 backlash. (Growing Fears).
On a chilly Friday evening in November, after prayers at a local mosque, Mamoun Alrifai and his brother, Reza, relaxed in the basement of the Southwest Side home where they live with their parents. Observant Muslims, the brothers like to share the faith: In the driveway, their car was plastered with stickers proclaiming, "Islam is the way" and "No one is perfect, but God forgives."
But moments later, around 9 p.m., the calm was broken. "My brother and I noticed flashlights and commotion in the backyard and went out to see what it was," said Alrifai, 22. "We were greeted by police who showed us their badges and said they needed us to go upstairs."
By then, Alrifai said a federal agent had knocked at the front door and crossed the threshold as it opened. The agent announced that he wanted to search the house. But when Alrifai and his father, a 30-year Chicago resident, asked to see a warrant, the agent said he didn't have one.
"I asked him to leave, and he said, 'No,"' recalls Alrifai, a Chicago-born Palestinian American Palestinian Americans are Americans of Palestinian Arab ancestry. It is difficult to say when the first Palestinian immigrants arrived at the United States; however, many of the first immigrants to arrive were Christians fleeing Ottoman Palestine in the late 1800s, others came as a . "I told him, 'I know my rights. You have to leave."' But the agent's response floored him: "He told me, 'As of right now, you have no rights.'"
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment about the incident.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, stories like Alrifai's have rippled through Chicago's Arab community; stirring a deepening well of fear and intimidation. Reports of visits from federal agents have been accompanied by a spike in hate crimes, verbal abuse verbal abuse Psychology A form of emotional abuse consisting of the use of abusive and demeaning language with a spouse, child, or elder, often by a caregiver or other person in a position of power. See Child abuse, Emotional abuse, Spousal abuse. and federal anti-terrorism measures that community members believe are aimed at them.
"Since 9/11, this community has become a target for harassment," said Mahmud Ahmad, a local community activist. "It's been nothing more than a fishing expedition Also known as a "fishing trip." Using the courts to find out information beyond the fair scope of the lawsuit. The loose, vague, unfocused questioning of a witness or the overly broad use of the discovery process. ." Ahmad and others say the sole fact that Arabs share the ethnic identity of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers has cast them under a cloud of mistrust that has persisted even as the first anniversary of the attacks passed without incident earlier this year.
All of it came as a blow to a community with a century of history in Chicago. The 2000 census counted nearly 45,000 Arabs in the six-county area, concentrated on the Southwest Side and in southwest suburbs such as Bridgeview, Oak Lawn Oak Lawn, village (1990 pop. 56,182), Cook co., NE Ill., a suburb of Chicago; inc. 1909. It is chiefly residential with some light manufacturing. Products include metalwork, wood products, and school supplies. and Burbank. However, estimates from community-based experts put the number at 150,000--one of the largest concentrations nationwide.
The community has followed the same well-worn path of other immigrant groups. It is largely Muslim, with a smaller percentage of Christian members who share the same culture and speak the same language, Arabic.
After decades of insularity, the community had begun to emerge from its shell, establishing mosques, schools, newspapers, businesses, a bar association and several charitable organizations.
Nothing typified its growing economic foothold like the 87th Street strip mall strip mall
A shopping complex containing a row of various stores, businesses, and restaurants that usually open onto a common parking lot.
Noun 1. just west of Harlem Avenue in heavily Arab-populated Bridgeview. Developed three years ago as a "one-stop" shopping center shopping center, a concentration of retail, service, and entertainment enterprises designed to serve the surrounding region. The modern shopping center differs from its antecedents—bazaars and marketplaces—in that the shops are usually amalgamated into for all things Middle Eastern--from groceries to clothing--the plaza has become a community epicenter.
But in the wake of Sept. 11, that relaxed social setting has eroded. And a community that saw itself finally becoming a part of the local fabric witnessed that weave unravel, thread by thread.
Within hours of the terrorist attacks, 22-year-old Manal EL-Hrisse, in her black headscarf, was shouted at by a woman who said, "I wish I had a gun. I would shoot you right now." Such reactions led some women to exchange headscarves for hats--or simply stay indoors.
American-born Arab Muslim teenagers fielded painful questions from their peers. "People asked, 'How do you fit into America?'" said 19-year-old Salma Nassar of southwest suburban Burr Ridge. Even the community's younger members felt the backlash: A 7-year-old named Osama was so taunted by classmates Classmates can refer to either:
Hundreds of Arabs across the country reported that they were spit on, threatened and attacked with weapons. Some were even killed, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. news reports, police statistics and interviews with community members. Hate crimes spiked in Illinois and in Chicago, particularly on the city's Southwest Side.
Ahmad said the widespread unease among local Arabs has been further fueled by accounts of visits from federal agents to the 87th Street strip mall, and the federal government's shutdown of two local Muslim charities--the Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence BENEVOLENCE, duty. The doing a kind action to another, from mere good will, without any legal obligation. It is a moral duty only, and it cannot be enforced by law. A good wan is benevolent to the poor, but no law can compel him to be so.
BENEVOLENCE, English law. International Foundation--amid accusations that the groups funded terrorism.
"This is a war on Islam, not a war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act ," said Seema Imam, vice chair of the Hickory Hickory, city, United States
Hickory, city (1990 pop. 28,301), Burke and Catawba counties, W N.C., at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mts.; inc. 1870. It is a processing and trade center for an abundant agricultural region (grain, soybeans, poultry, hogs, Hills-based Muslim Civil Rights Center. Imam said she has donated to Benevolence International for years, as a way of fulfilling the Muslim requirement of charitable giving.
For her and many others, the crackdown on the charities smacks of the type of surveillance they've become accustomed to, one that stretches back more than 30 years. The feeling is compounded by the events that have unfolded in the wake of the terrorist attacks--a string of detentions and deportations, questioning by government agents and federal legislation passed as part of the war on terrorism. It has left many Arab Americans This is a list of famous Arab Americans. Academics
"What we're doing is making these people feel unwanted," said Matthew Piers, attorney for Benevolence International. "That's very dangerous in an open society, because it creates outcasts."
But the fallout has inspired a new generation of Arab Muslims, many of whom were born here, to step forward and grab hold of their rights as citizens. "I never knew how American I was until 9/11," said Gihad Ali, a 20-year-old poet and DePaul University sophomore. DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
By midnight on that cold November night, Alrifal, an imposing figure with short-cropped dark hair and glasses, paced frantically on the sidewalk in front of his house, trembling trembling
visible muscle tremor caused by fever, fear, weakness, electrolyte imbalance, especially hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia, and neuromuscular disease.
trembling disease slightly. He said federal agents refrained from the search until they had a warrant, but refused to leave the house. Plainclothes plain·clothes or plain-clothes
Wearing civilian clothes while on duty to avoid being identified as police or security: a plainclothes detective. agents from the FBI, Secret Service and Illinois State Police went in and out freely, Alrifai said. Police squad cars and the dark, unmarked vehicles of federal agents camped out on the tidy residential street just west of Midway Airport, blocking the road for late-returning neighbors, in a vigil that lasted all night.
It was about 4:30 a.m. before agents arrived with two warrants, one for the house, the other for the family's cars. Nearly six hours later, the Alrifai family, all of them U.S. citizens, watched as federal agents took a computer hard drive, two laptops, some bank statements and a pile of Islamic literature ''This article or section is being rewritten at
Islamic literature is a field that includes the study of modern and classical Arabic and the literature written in those languages. from the house.
The family remains in the dark as to why the raid took place. "We have no idea whatsoever," Alrifai said. "I wish we knew." But it's not likely they'll find out--at least not for now. Attorneys for the family say documents that explain the government's probable cause Apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution, or that a Cause of Action has accrued, justifying a civil lawsuit. for the search have been sealed.
Nine days after the terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush declared to the nation that "no one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith." But state and local police data demonstrate that the violence unleashed went far beyond words.
One example was the beating of taxi driver taxi driver n → taxista m/f
taxi driver taxi n → chauffeur m de taxi
taxi driver taxi n → Mustapha Zemkour, in Evanston, whose assailants allegedly yelled, "This is what you get, you mass murderer mass murderer
1. A person, especially a political or military leader, who is responsible for the deaths of many individuals.
a. A person who kills several or numerous victims in a single incident.
b. ," according to press reports. In Chicago, another 55 such hate crimes were reported in which the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were mentioned, said Anthony Scalise, commanding officer of the Chicago Police Department's civil rights section.
Shortly after the attacks, Chicago police implemented a new tracking code for hate crimes specifically related to Sept. 11. None of these hate crimes had been reported in 2002.
"We've had a zero-tolerance policy Noun 1. zero-tolerance policy - any policy that allows no exception; "a zero-tolerance policy toward pedophile priests"
policy - a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government; "they debated the policy or impolicy of the proposed legislation" since the very beginning," Scalise said, adding that the police department helped sponsor community forums and published a brochure in Arabic on how to report hate "Anti-Arabian" hate crimes soared from four in 2000 to 60 in 2001, according to police data. So far this year, 124 hate crimes have been reported, said Scalise. Seven were "anti-Arabian" and two were "anti-Islamic."
In all, Chicago police recorded 215 hate crimes in 2001, up from 182 the previous year. The heavily Arab-populated Chicago Lawn Police District led all police districts with 25 incidents, roughly 12 percent of the citywide total.
Hate crimes also surged statewide. Illinois State Police reported 49 "anti-Arab" hate crimes in 2001, up from nine in 2000 and one in 1999. Ten "anti-Islamic" hate crimes were reported in 2001, compared with none the previous two years.
Charges of discrimination associated with the terrorist attacks persist as well, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Immediately after the attacks, the EEOC EEOC
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EEOC n abbr (US) (= Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) → comisión que investiga discriminación racial o sexual en el empleo began tracking charges brought by those who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim, Arab, South Asian or Sikh. As of Oct. 11, 2002, the commission counted 671 charges filed nationally. Illinois, with 52 charges, ranked third among all states. Only Texas and California, with 75 each, had more.
Although official hate crimes have dropped off, the "unkind words" President Bush denounced a year ago continue to flow. Shortly after the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, DePaul student Renad Khalil, 18, said she was wearing her headscarf while walking on West Fullerton Avenue when another woman told her to remove it.
"She said, 'It's very unpatriotic of you to be wearing that,"' recalled Khalil, who was born to Palestinian parents. Khalil explained that she was an American. But the woman's reply shocked her: "Not when the Muslims are killing Americans."
Others say they continue to sense a silent hostility. "When I walk into a place like [a restaurant], I feel accusing eyes on me," said Amneh Mustafa, who wears the hijab, or headscarf, and jilbab, the long coat worn by some observant Muslim women. "It's as if people are thinking, 'You're guilty.'"
Hate crimes and verbal harassment weren't the only things fueling the community's feeling of unfair scrutiny. Within days of the terrorist attacks, law enforcement authorities began detaining hundreds suspected of having ties to or knowledge of terrorist activity. Immigrant rights advocates say more than 1,200 individuals have been detained and most were Arab or Arab American Arab Americans are Americans of Arab ancestry and constitute an ethnicity made up of several waves of immigrants from twenty-two Arab countries, stretching from Morocco in the west to Oman in the south east to Iraq in the north. .
The advocates are troubled by a Sept. 17, 2001, interim regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Justice allowing detention without charge for 48 hours--or longer in emergency situations. Critics like Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. of Illinois say the rule is vague and allows the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Noun 1. Immigration and Naturalization Service - an agency in the Department of Justice that enforces laws and regulations for the admission of foreign-born persons to the United States
INS to hold people indefinitely.
The government would not divulge the ethnicity of detainees. "This has nothing to do with a person's race or religion," said Jorge Martinez Jorge Martínez may refer to:
The secrecy about the detainees concerns Yohnka, as well. "The government won't tell us who they are, why they were taken into detention or what's happened to them since," he said.
Martinez said the secrecy protected "the privacy of the detainees and the ongoing investigation."
What the advocates do know is that most of the detainees were held on minor visa violations or on criminal charges unrelated to terrorism, and that Immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. judges were authorized to hold their deportation trials in secret. As detainees were released, news was leaked about rough treatment in detention, including solitary confinement solitary confinement n. the placement of a prisoner in a Federal or state prison in a cell away from other prisoners, usually as a form of internal penal discipline, but occasionally to protect the convict from other prisoners or to prevent the prisoner from causing , prompting Amnesty International Amnesty International (AI,) human-rights organization founded in 1961 by Englishman Peter Benenson; it campaigns internationally against the detention of prisoners of conscience, for the fair trial of political prisoners, to abolish the death penalty and torture of to issue a 47-page report.
It is not known how many detainees are from Chicago, but each story elicits a string of others until a pattern emerges that community members say looks like a policy of racial profiling The consideration of race, ethnicity, or national origin by an officer of the law in deciding when and how to intervene in an enforcement capacity.
Police officers often profile certain types of individuals who are more likely to perpetrate crimes. . It could get worse, they fear.
A sweeping set of new laws New Laws: see Las Casas, Bartolomé de. and broad law enforcement powers was passed as part of the government's war on terrorism. Yohnka and others say the USA-PATRIOT Act, whisked through Congress Oct. 26, 2001, sharply reduces the due process rights of non-citizens-even those legally in the country-who can be arrested without a warrant and, if designated a national security threat, detained indefinitely.
The act also broadens the definition of a "terrorist organization," according to the ACLU ACLU: see American Civil Liberties Union. of Illinois. Almost two months after it became law, the PATRIOT Act Patriot Act: see USA PATRIOT Act. paved the way for the closure of two local Muslim charities--Global Relief Foundation in Bridgeview and Benevolence International Foundation The Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) was a purported nonprofit charitable trust based in Saudi Arabia. It was a front for al-Qaeda and is now banned worldwide by the United Nations Security Council Committee 1267. in Palos Hills. The government blocked the charities' financial assets Financial assets
Claims on real assets. and seized property. Almost a year later, their names were placed on the U.S. Treasury U.S. Treasury
Created in 1798, the United States Department of the Treasury is the government (Cabinet) department responsible for issuing all Treasury bonds, notes and bills. Some of the government branches operating under the U.S. Treasury umbrella include the IRS, U.S. Department's list of designated terrorist organizations This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since December 2006. .
The government charged Enaam Arnaout Enaam Arnaout is an American of Syrian descent, who pleaded guilty to using charitable donations to support fighters in Bosnia without apprising the donors of this , a resident of southwest suburban Justice and chief executive officer of Benevolence International, with using some of his organization's charitable donations to finance violent activity overseas. Arnaout denies any wrongdoing wrong·do·er
One who does wrong, especially morally or ethically.
A naturalized nat·u·ral·ize
v. nat·u·ral·ized, nat·u·ral·iz·ing, nat·u·ral·iz·es
1. To grant full citizenship to (one of foreign birth).
2. To adopt (something foreign) into general use. U.S. citizen born in Syria, Arnaout has been held in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago since his April arrest. His trial is slated to begin in February.
Arabs report that federal agents have visited them in their homes and businesses since the attacks. On Nov. 9, 2001, according to press reports, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft John David Ashcroft (born May 9 1942) is an American politician who was the 79th United States Attorney General. He served during the first term of President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2005. Ashcroft was previously the Governor of Missouri (1985 – 1993) and a U.S. issued a memo authorizing interviews with a list of 5,000 men between the ages of 18 and 33 who had entered the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. after Jan. 1, 2000, on non-immigrant visas from countries where al-Oaeda has a "terrorist presence." More than 100 letters were sent to men in the Chicago area, according to press reports.
"The letters asked for 'voluntary' help," said a southwest suburban man who asked to remain anonymous. "But no one felt as if they could refuse."
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division had preceded the letters with a statement prohibiting the use of threats of violence or discrimination against Arab or Muslim Americans, according to Martinez of the justice department.
He said the FBI has opened 403 investigations into backlash crimes against individuals of Arab, Muslim, Sikh and Southeast Asian origin, and that 11 federal prosecutions have been initiated.
"They come saying, 'We're here to protect you from hate crimes,"' said Jim Fennerty, an attorney who has handled several cases involving FBI visits. "But then they quickly start asking, 'Do you know so-and-so, and so-and-so?"'
Standing in front of his home on the day it was raided, Alrifai recalled that federal agents visited him shortly after Sept. 11, wanting to know if he had experienced any hate crimes. "And now look," he said, gesturing toward law enforcement officials
Arab Muslims say what's happening in their community feels ominously similar to the treatment they knew In their countries of origin. "We come from an area [of the world] where there is no democracy," said Ghassan Barakat, publisher of Al-Bostaan, a local Arab American newspaper. "Someone commits a crime, and the whole family, the whole village or town gets scared and shaky; and says, 'OK, we don't want anything to do with him."'
Community leaders said the fear has caused withdrawal from civic life. Equally disturbing for them has been a drop in giving to Arab and Muslim institutions and low attendance at fundraisers.
"You'd think people's reaction toward the charities would be one of outright defense," said Caise Diab Hassan, 29, a former board member of Benevolence International. "But when you see your community's strengths taken down, you begin to retreat even more."
Before the terrorist attacks, they said, families gave generously to their charities. Many gave as part of the practice of zakat zakat (zə-kät`) [Arab.,=purification], Islamic religious tax, one of the five basic requirements (arkan or "pillars") of Islam. All adult Muslims of sound mind and body with a set level of income and assets are expected to pay zakat. , a 2.5 percent tithe tithe
Contribution of a tenth of one's income for religious purposes. The practice of tithing was established in the Hebrew scriptures and was adopted by the Western Christian church. on income required as one of the five pillars of Islam The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic: أركان الإسلام) is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. . Now, with two of their largest charities closed, many are choosing to make their donations privately to those in need.
Seema Imam, a Muslim convert of 30 years, views it as an erosion of her freedom of religion. For years, she said, her family wrote zakat checks to charities such as Benevolence. "When my kids had their first jobs, I would say, 'Hey, I see you have a savings account Savings Account
A deposit account intended for funds that are expected to stay in for the short term. A savings account offers lower returns than the market rates.
Notes: . Figure out 2.5 percent, take it over to BIF BIF
In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Burundi Franc.
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion. , or put it in the mall to support an orphan,"' she said. She and others say they fear the crackdown could extend to other Islamic religious practices and institutions--like mosques.
Arab civic organizations are also having trouble raising funds. "People used to rarely turn me down," said Manal El-Hrisse, executive director of the United Muslim Americans Association, a Palos HIlls-based nonprofit that encourages Arab and Muslim voter registration Voter registration is the requirement in some democracies for citizens to check in with some central registry before being allowed to vote in elections. An effort to get people to register is known as a voter registration drive. Centralized/compulsory vs. and political Involvement.
But now it seems nearly impossible, she said. Her organization relies almost exclusively on member donations. But several pledges she received before Sept. 11 have since been revoked. "The feeling is that there are already enough people in jails just because they happen to be Arab. Why get yourself in trouble?"
Hassan said he's not a "mosque rat," but attends often enough to recognize some of what he calls the "new faces" at prayer. "We know there are informants," he said. "I was talking with a friend the other day about Middle East politics, and there was a guy I saw out of the corner of my eye writing things down. I had to do a double take. My friend saw him, too. So there is an element of paranoia."
But fear and retreat have not been the Arab community's only responses. In the Chicago area, three out of every five Arabs were born here, according to community-based experts. And this new generation is emerging to claim its rights.
"We have a generation that's raised here," said Hassan. "We have numerous people going through Ph.D. programs in Middle East history. We have engineers and doctors. We have an economic foundation."
El-Hrisse, who is earning a master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. In political science and justice, sums it up this way: "I still have faith In the Constitution."
On a late August evening at the Mosque Foundation, after Muslim worshippers had knelt for the maghrib prayer, they descended in modest dress and shoeless feet to the mosque's lower level community room for a session entitled "Muslims: Guilty Until Proven Guilty." The forum gave a community, stunned stun
tr.v. stunned, stun·ning, stuns
1. To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.
2. To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.
3. and reeling from what had befallen it during the past year, a chance to discuss whether America's promise America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth is a foundation started by Colin Powell in 1997 to help children and youth from all socioeconomic sectors in the United States. of civil rights and freedom included them.
Downstairs, about 80 men and women, mostly Palestinian immigrants, solemnly settled into metal folding chairs to hear about their civil rights from a panel of experts. Two attorneys were present to brief people about their rights under the law.
Over the course of the evening, participants were told that they did not have to talk with federal agents who visited them, they should demand to see a warrant from agents seeking to search their home or office, and they had the right to have a lawyer present if called upon to testify. One participant said he had received a grand jury subpoena subpoena (səpē`nə) [Lat.,=under penalty], in law, an order to a witness to appear before a court. A subpoena ad testificandum [Lat. .
But most striking were the voices from younger participants urging the community to organize itself and fight back.
Khalil, the DePaul student who was admonished to remove her headscarf, said that, while other women took off their headscarves in fear, she decided to wear hers in the wake of the attacks. "I felt I needed to show my Islam. I wanted to prove I was just as American as anybody else."
"We held a press conference and said [to the government], 'We're going to fight you,'" said Hassan, who, in addition to his work with Benevolence, is a founding member of Granada Muslims and Jews for Human Rights. "'What you're doing is trampling on our existence, on our religious and spiritual institutions. You're trampling on what makes us a community and what makes us a people.'"
It's an about-face that runs counter to the way many say they were raised. Many Palestinians, who came to Chicago because of increasingly difficult conditions in their homeland, retain a desire to return, even though their children were born here, grew up speaking broken Arabic and became American. "I remember in fifth grade, the teacher said, 'If you're American, stand up.' I was the only one sitting down," said 20-year-old Gihad Ali, who was born in Chicago and whose parents came to the city in the late 1960s. "My parents always told me I'm not American because we never planned to stay."
But Ali said that something inside her changed after Sept. 11. She does not wear a headscarf regularly but has experienced harassment similar to Khalil's. "People are telling you you're not American. It's like, 'Wait a second. Yes, I am.'"
After the terrorist attacks, she sat down to write a poem about her name, commonly spelled jihad, which in U.S. popular culture has come to symbolize something violent, but which she said has multiple positive meanings. Her poem reads:
... See Gihad, I'm not a "holy war," or a terrorist type plan
I'm not with hamas
nor al-Qaeda or the taliban
rather Gihad is a struggle for the sake of Allah
a struggle of the holiest kind
from the simplest things like giving thanks
to purifying the thoughts of my mind.
"I feel that Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims don't have a voice," Ali said. "One of my goals is to give us that voice. America is what we make it. It's up to us to change what we don't like."
Arab Enclaves The 2000 census counted nearly 45,000 Arabs in the six-county area, with some of the highest numbers on Chicago's North and Sourthwest sides and in the southwest suburbs Bridgeview, Oak Lawn and Burbank. However, estimates from community-based experts put the number at 150,000--one of the largest concentrations nationwide. North Side 3,508 Southwest Side 2,022 Burbank 1,273 Bridgeview 1,104 Oak Lawn 2,142 Note: Chicago's 'North Side' includes the Albany Park, Lincoln Square, North Park and West Ridge community areas. Chicago's 'Southwest Side' includes the Ashburn, Chicago Lawn, Gage Park and West Lawn community areas. Source: U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by The Chicago Reporter.
RELATED ARTICLE: Arab Community Has Deep Roots in Chicago
Although often portrayed as a new and foreign element, Arabs have been a part of Chicago since the first large wave of Arab immigration to the United States This article may be too long.
Please discuss this issue on the talk page and help summarize or split the content into subarticles of an article series. occurred between 1899 and 1921, according to Louise Cainkar, a fellow with the University of Illinois University of Illinois may refer to:
The vast majority came from the region known today as Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories This article is about the Palestinian territories as a geopolitical phenomenon. For more on their geography, demographics and general history, see West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian territories , according to Cainkar's study of the Chicago-area Arab community, "Meeting Community Needs, Building on Community Strengths." Most were Syrian-Lebanese Christians, who tended to assimilate quickly into American society. Almost exclusively male, they were economically successful and brought over their families before U.S. immigration quotas took effect.
Palestinian Muslims arrived as well but took a different path. They, too, had left their wives and children behind to venture to the United States for work as peddlers or small shop owners, hoping to amass money and return to their homeland. But, being Muslim, they were less able and less willing to assimilate, according to Cainkar. Many lived in all-male rooming houses near East 18th Street and South Michigan Avenue, and sold their goods in the nearby and newly emerging African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. community, where some eventually opened food and dry goods stores. Today, Palestinians are the largest Arab group in the Chicago area.
Palestinian migration increased after World War II, this time bringing wives of men already living here. The war following the founding of Israel in 1948 and the Six-Day War Six-Day War: see Arab-Israeli Wars.
or Arab-Israeli War of 1967
War between Israel and the Arab countries of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. in 1967 created new waves of immigrants.
In 1965, the United States dramatically loosened immigration policies, and by 1969 the number of Palestinian and Jordanian immigrants in Chicago had quadrupled. Now reunited "Reunited" was a #1 hit in the United States in 1979 by the Washington, D.C.-based group Peaches & Herb.
"Heart of Glass" by Blondie Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 5 1979 Succeeded by
"Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer with their families, Palestinian males moved into homes and apartments in South Side neighborhoods that whites were leaving. By the 1970s, they had settled in the Chicago Lawn and Gage Park areas, which remain ports of entry for the city's Arab community.
Arab-owned grocery stores, insurance companies, restaurants, law offices and community centers sprung up on West 63rd Street between South Kedzie Avenue and South Pulaski Road Pulaski Road can refer to:
In 1981, after years of planning and fundraising, the Mosque Foundation was constructed at 7360 W. 93rd St. in southwest suburban Bridgeview. After Arab immigration surged in the late 1980s, the complex expanded to include two Islamic schools. Arab families began buying homes around the mosque, and an "Arab village" started to form in an out-of-the-way enclave to the west of Harlem Avenue, where side streets now bustle with Muslim children on roller blades and bicycles.
By the 1990s, most of the successful, middle-class Palestinians and Jordanians had moved to Bridgeview and other suburbs, including Oak Lawn and Palos Hills. Census data show that Bridgeview had become 7 percent Arab by 2000, up from 2 percent in 1990. The Arab village had an American twist, however. The Mosque Foundation runs in a decidedly democratic fashion, according to Rafeeq Jaber, the organization's past president. Governed by a constitution, each member of the mosque has voting rights Voting rights
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. and elects a president who is subject to term limits.
Arab charitable societies first began to appear locally in the late 1960s. Many, like the United Holy Land Fund, incorporated in 1968, were dedicated to sending aid to Palestinians worldwide. In the I 990s, Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence International Foundation established headquarters in the southwest suburbs, both with the stated mission of helping impoverished Muslims and others throughout the world.
But the federal government has repeatedly placed Arabs here under surveillance for their political activity. "Beginning in the late 1960s, there was surveillance of anything Palestinian," said Talhami, who explains this was the heyday of the Palestine Liberation Organization--and also the era of the Chicago Police Department's Red Squad Red Squads are police intelligence units that specialize in infiltrating, harassing, and gathering intelligence on political and social groups. Dating as far back as the Haymarket Riot in 1886, Red Squads became common in larger cities such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles , a secret unit that investigated hundreds of groups because of their political beliefs.
"This was a time when, whatever function we had, you can bet the police would come and pick up the license plate numbers of every car parked within three blocks of the event," he said. During the 1960s and 1970s, the FBI pursued Talhami, who was once visited at work by two federal agents. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, he obtained a two-inch-thick FBI file noting his involvement with a weekly radio show called "Voice of Palestine
Voice of Palestine (Arabic: صوت فلسطين ," he said.
During the Iranian hostage crisis When a surrounded terrorist or criminal tries to hold off the authorities by force, it is considered a "barricaded suspect" situation. When a person/s holds others against their will, but keeps them hidden, it is simple kidnapping. in 1980, "every Middle Eastern person was subject to harassment," recalled Ghassan Barakat, who publishes Al-Bostaan, a local Arab American newspaper. In 1987, it was first reported that a secret inter-agency committee, including the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, drafted a contingency plan A plan involving suitable backups, immediate actions and longer term measures for responding to computer emergencies such as attacks or accidental disasters. Contingency plans are part of business resumption planning. to intern Arab and other non-citizens at a federal detention facility in Oakdale, La., in an attempt to implement counterterrorism coun·ter·ter·ror
Intended to prevent or counteract terrorism: counterterror measures; counterterror weapons.
Action or strategy intended to counteract or suppress terrorism. efforts, according to press reports. It was never implemented.
During the crisis leading into the Gulf War, a Jan. 12, 1991, article in The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times detailing FBI interviews with Arab Americans asked a question that is still on peoples' minds after Sept. 11: "Does national origin imply a connection with terrorism?"
Breakfast with the Feds
Around 6 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 5, Salim Yusef was jolted awake to pounding at the front door. "I heard voices saying, 'Come on, open up!'" said Yusef, a 22-year-old permanent U.S. resident of Palestinian origin. He had been asleep on the living room sofa in the south suburban home he shares with his brother and sister-in-law.
It was the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. They had come to arrest him. And they did so without a warrant, said Yusef, who asked that his real name not be used.
He was unable to produce his immigration papers. Yusef said they were with his attorney pending an application for a new employment card.
Yusef said agents led him in his slippers and pajamas pajamas
pajamas npl (US) → pijama msg; piyama msg (LAM to a van, handcuffed him and drove him to an immigration processing facility in Broadview, more than 30 minutes away.
He remembers this advice from an agent riding in the front seat: "If I hear you speaking any language besides English, you will regret the day you were born."
Yusef laughs warily about it now. He calls it his "breakfast meeting" with federal agents. But, on that morning, it was anything but funny. "You know when you're so afraid, you're like a deer caught in headlights? That is exactly how I felt," he said.
Yusef missed a scheduled appointment with a military recruiter that day. Instead, he found himself in a large conference room with computer stations staffed by federal immigration agents. He wondered if he would get the chance to defend the United States-or be asked to leave it.
As the morning wore on, the room filled with other Arab immigrants, Yusef said. By the time he left, he counted 16 in all, most of whom spoke English poorly or nor at all, and were not provided a translator, Yusef said.
One by one, they were summoned to a computer station for questioning, and Yusef said he heard agents tell several of them they would be deported.
But, when it was his turn, Yusef explained that his father was a U.S. citizen and that he had plans to join the military. Officials located his immigration file and confirmed his story, Yusef said.
It seemed the whole thing was a mistake. At around 1:30 p.m., Yusef said he was escorted out of the building. He called a taxi and paid the $32 fare to get home.
Marilu Cabrera, an INS INS
1. Immigration and Naturalization Service
2. International News Service
Noun 1. INS spokeswoman, would not confirm details about the Aug. 5 incident but conceded that, since Sept. 11, 2001, her agency has been "looking more closely at nationals from countries that support terrorism," a policy that flows directly from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
"The war on terrorism is our number one priority," she said. "We also understand that there are a lot of people from those nationalities who are not involved in terrorism."
Even though Cabrera said her agency does not make random arrests, Yusef still wonders why he was chosen: "Why me? I have no idea. I guess some things are meant to happen, to put you in another person's shoes, to show you another side"
Mary Abowd is a Chicago-based freelance writer.