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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Statement: Fear No Reason For Backlash Against Muslims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

By Barry Grissom, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas

The Paris attacks, and then San Bernardino, have raised people’s anxieties and concerns about terrorism. But as Americans we must not let fear drive us to hateful and divisive acts toward Muslims in this country.

As U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, keeping the American people safe is my top priority. At the same time, I urge Kansans not to turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That is what the terrorists want and it is the only way they can succeed -- by manipulating us into betraying our own values.

Just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideals that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all Americans of every faith to reject discrimination. At the Department of Justice, we always have a concern when we see rhetoric cross the line and become threats or violence. So we are monitoring any potential backlash and will respond where we see action that violates our country’s protections against hate crimes.

Let me also make this clear: Decisions as to the resettlement of refugees within the United States are part of the federal government’s constitutional and statutory authority over immigration. Various federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of national origin, and the Department of Justice takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure that those laws are enforced in appropriate circumstances.

Barry Grissom is the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas.

Updated February 4, 2016

Civil Rights