Washington: Ahead of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, more than 70 Muslim, Jewish and South Asian groups have underlined the critical importance of combating terrorism without casting blame or suspicion or alienating any particular community.
The community and civil and human rights groups, including South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), on Wednesday signed a statement of shared principles in advance of the 9/11 anniversary calling for greater partnerships between communities and law enforcement.
Calling for solemn remembrance of the victims of 9/11, the statement sought "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".
The statement also seeks 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".
SAALT executive director Deepa Iyer spoke of the "current tide of xenophobia and Islamophobia" and "profiling and backlash faced by South Asian Americans".
"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," she said.
"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."