After the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11th, can the United States and the American people continue to support the rights of Arab Americans? Can we continue to allow them the same liberties that we as Americans take for granted every day? I for one feel that this question is on the minds of many, and we will have to consider our answer very carefully as we continue to move forward through our day to day lives in perpetual fear of additional attacks.
This question has been raised at many times in our great American history. For instance, at the beginning of World War II, our nation and people were presented with a very similar question. Our elected leadership, and our "free society", had to decide what to do about another minority group as "alien enemies" of the state. The decision is one that I am sure has been regretted, and supported, by many since the end of the war.
The internment of Japanese Americans will forever be a topic of discussion for those who felt it to be the right thing to do, and for those who thought it a crime. I do not know if our nation of equality and justice for all could live with our decision if we had to consider the same type of solution to our current problem.
Arab Americans are now feeling an unfortunate backlash to the September 11th attacks. They are being singled out all over the county as targets of rage for what has happened, just as the Japanese were so many years ago. I don't know if the internment of Arab Americans will ever become an issue that we will have to address, but I can understand the rage that could bring it to light.
I for one do not feel that this could ever be an answer to our current crisis in America. The problem we face is that of overcoming fear, and rooting out and destroying its creators. We must protect the rights of all Americans, especially those of the Arab American minority.
We pride ourselves on our constitution, and what it represents, and as an American soldier have sworn an oath to protect and defend it. For if we decide that it is in our interest to take away the rights of the Arab American, we do not deserve to hold those same rights ourselves.
After all is said and done, they are just as American as any other group of Americans, and they deserve the same protections and liberties that we take for granted every day.