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September 15, 2001

To the Emory community:

Since Tuesday, our country has witnessed a number of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim verbal and physical assaults. In light of this, I urge Emory University students, faculty, and staff to continue the exemplary exercise of compassion, solidarity, and fairness so steadily exhibited throughout the past week. Reports from faculty in religious and Islamic studies around the country suggest that we need to be especially attentive to the doubly difficult situation for Arab and other Muslim members of our community.

Compounding the considerable grief that American and foreign-national Muslims feel about the terrible tragedy of last Tuesday and its continuing aftermath, is the fact that many of them are being shunned, threatened, and even attacked physically because of their religion or ethnicity. When we note that the tragedy on Tuesday has been compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor, we should remember the physical internment and racist treatment of Americans of Japanese descent that quickly evolved as one of the more shameful responses to national threat.

We must bind ourselves to each other rather than divide ourselves in these critical times. The fabric of the Emory community must not be rent and torn. Let us summon all that we know of reason and patience and understanding in order to shore up our highest moral conduct in our treatment of each other in these difficult times.

With best wishes,

William M. Chace
President, Emory University



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