Arab Americans Stand Behind Bush

By Hallow, Ralph Z. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 12, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Arab Americans Stand Behind Bush

Hallow, Ralph Z., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Byline: Ralph Z. Hallow

Arab Americans strongly support an all-out war against countries that harbor terrorists as well as President Bush's handling of the Sept. 11 atrocities against the United States, a new Zogby poll shows.

The poll, commissioned for the Arab American Institute, found that 63 percent of Arab-American Protestants and Orthodox Christians consider Mr. Bush's performance as commander in chief to be excellent, and another 34 percent say he is doing a good job.

"Arab Americans sense they are on the defensive - 65 percent say they are embarrassed because the terrorists are Arab," pollster John Zogby said in an interview. "So there is a desire to show a strong sense of patriotism."

Millionaire Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, suspected of being the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has called on all Muslims everywhere to wage a holy war against the United States. The U.S. government has identified the perpetrators of the attacks as Muslim extremists from the Middle East - apparently causing many Arab Americans to demonstrate their patriotism by supporting the war on terrorism to an even greater extent than other U.S. citizens.

"I suspect that feeling of embarrassment was reflected in the 69 percent Arab Americans who said they support an all-out war on terrorists, compared to 61 percent of Americans overall who support such a war," Mr. Zogby said.

"You see that sentiment reflected in other things," he said. "A substantial minority of Arab Americans said they favor profiling Arab Americans, and I think that's their way of saying, `Yeah, I'll bear up under closer scrutiny.' It's a desire to demonstrate they are good Americans."

The support for both Mr. Bush and the war on terrorism is stronger among Arab Christians than among Muslims, as well as among Americans with family ties to Lebanon or Syria than to other Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East, according to Mr.

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