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U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom Speaks at Wichita Islamic Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2011

WICHITA, KAN. – The Department of Justice is committed to keeping Muslim and Arab-Americans safe, U.S. Attorney told Wichita Muslims today during a speech to the Wichita Islamic Society.

"The Justice Department is actively working to protect American Muslims from threats and violence directed at them because of their religion or ethnicity, and to prevent acts of discrimination against them in the workplace, schools or other places," Grissom said.

Grissom spoke during a day-long meeting at the Islamic Center of Wichita that was sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Grissom explained that U.S. Attorneys across the nation are reaching out to Muslims and Arab-Americans at a time when Justice Department officials have heard from some Muslim leaders that they are uneasy about their relationship with the government.

"First of all, I want to tell you that I have the highest respect for the contributions of Arab Americans and Muslims in helping to build and strength

en this nation," Grissom said. "They have served this nation as police officers, teachers, civic leaders and soldiers. They deserve the right to worship and to practice their faith in peace, free from intimidation, violence and suspicion."

Grissom referred to recent undercover sting investigations across the nation that have resulted in terrorism charges, some of them involving Muslims or Arab-Americans. Such investigations are conducted under strict guidelines, he said, and at each step the investigation is reviewed to make sure there is no entrapment.

"As long as I am U.S. Attorney in the District of Kansas we will work to protect civil rights with the same vigor that we pursue national security," Grissom said. "We will commit ourselves to impartial and aggressive enforcement of our nation's laws."

 

 

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