(Washington, DC) - As the conflict with Iraq progresses, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights affirms its commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans. To provide a remedy for potential hostility against Arab and South Asian Americans, people of the Muslim faith, and those perceived to be from these communities, the Commission is publicizing its toll-free hot line for discrimination.
Instituted after the September 11 attacks, the hot line received hundreds of calls reporting incidents of harassment and discrimination.
"Republishing the hot line now is a proactive measure to discourage intolerance and prejudice," said Commission Chairperson Mary Frances Berry. "War or a heightened terrorist alert does not justify the compromising of any person's civil rights or civil liberties. No one should be a target simply because they are, or appear to be, a member of an ethnic or religious population."
Those who believe they have experienced discrimination may call 1-800-552-6843 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to report their complaint. As a fact-finding body, the Commission will keep a database of all calls and refer those requiring action to appropriate federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Contact: Kimberley Alton (202 376-7700)