AAI Statement on Attack at Assyrian Church in Michigan

4/6/2007 3:42:00 PM

WASHINGTON - The Arab American Institute (AAI) and Arab Americans across the country are deeply saddened by the hateful anti-Arab epithets that were spray painted on the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East in Warren, Michigan, during what is the holiest week for the Christian community. This attack magnifies the divides, created by fear and ignorance, which still must be bridged.

It is distressing and an affront to our nation’s core values that these church members were targets of attack because of their Middle East heritage. News reports suggest that the church community may victimized because the perpetrators thought the house of worship was a Mosque – a notion that is equally troubling to the Arab American community.

AAI commends the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for swiftly implementing an investigation and offering its assistance to the church and the surrounding community. AAI also calls on the FBI to investigate the vandalism as a hate crime.

Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities.