To the editor:
My family was lucky on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. My sister had business at the World Trade Center on Monday, not Tuesday; my husband's flight home from Boston was scheduled to leave at noon; and my sister-in-law's brother decided to work from home instead of going to the Pentagon. Even though each phone call brought good news, my loved ones have been traumatized, and I have wept many times the last few days.
Our entire nation was shaken by the hideous crime that occurred Tuesday. Our pain and outrage are understandable. However, we must not allow the call for justice to become an excuse for bigotry and hatred. Many individuals of Middle Eastern descent who are loyal United States citizens or visiting students are as horrified as the rest of our nation. Even though Osama bin Laden is the logical suspect, we must be diligent in our efforts to remember that the crimes of a few people do not represent the views of an entire ethnic group or religion.
Maybe this is easy for me to say because my family was not physically harmed, but it still must be said. We cannot tolerate a repeat of the prejudice and injustice suffered by United States citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. Bigotry will not solve our problems or ease our pain.