Earlier this week the United States blew-up a car in Yemen which contained
high-ranking al Qaeda operatives and, reportedly, an American citizen from
Lackawanna, New York named Kamal Derwish. Mr. Derwish was an unindicted
co-conspirator of the “Lackawanna Six.” Here are some comments made about the arrest at the time.
This is an excerpt from a 9/16 CNN broadcast:
ZOGBY: Or more — I think more to the point, the kind of anti- nativist hysteria that took place after World War I when we had, you know, people being pummeled to death and the very similar kind of hysteria that time against all things foreign. This time it’s more directed specifically at Arabs and Muslims. I think that’s the period but we’ll end up feeling bad. We’ll be embarrassed and we’ll take a look at ourselves and we’ll say why did we do it? The point is that we have time for self reflection today and I think the fact that we’re even having the conversation, you and I, and there are many others having the conversation, is a good thing, but Governor Pataki ought not to be doing what he’s doing in New York.
Khalid Qazi, president of the Western New York chapter of the American Muslim Council, said the arrests were shocking and painful. He said he knew three of the men, whom he described as good citizens.
“I can never suspect them doing anything anti-American,” he said. “We need to know more before we make up our minds on this.”
James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, warned against rushing to judgment.
“I don’t know if these men are innocent. For the first 24 hours, everyone is
hysterical,” Zogby said. “A month later, after the case falls off the front
page, we discover there was nothing there at all.”