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Local Muslim applies for FBI

Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

James Jordan, an Arab Muslim and Carson City resident, filed an application with the FBI to serve as a translator in the war against terrorism.

“This is the least I could do as an American citizen,” said Jordan who emigrated from Jordan in 1978. “We should all do what we can to support the FBI that will protect us from these bastards.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller called on support from American citizens who are proficient in speaking Arabic and Farsi as well as those who speak Pashto and Chinese Mandarin.

At the same time, Mueller denounced the hate crimes which have been committed against the Muslim community since terrorists struck the United States on Sept. 11.

“I want to make it very clear, vigilante attacks and threats against Arab-Americans will not be tolerated,” he said. “Though we are all saddened by the recent acts of terrorism against our nation, such acts of retaliation violate federal law and run counter to the very principles of equality and freedom upon which our nation is founded.”

Jill Derby, who lived in the Middle East and studied the culture for her doctorate degree, said she is saddened by the stories of hate crimes against Muslims.

“It breaks my heart to hear the kinds of things I’m hearing,” she said. “It would be as terrible mistake for us to generalize them as it would for the rest of the world to generalize Americans or Christians on the basis of Timothy McVeigh.”

But Jordan said he has not been the target of any racially or religiously motivated discrimination.

“Our American friends are very supportive,” he said. “The day this happened, our neighbors came over and assured us we’re all in this together.”

Derby said she received equally hospitable treatment during her travels in the Arab world.

“I have never been treated with greater kindness and generosity,” the Gardnerville resident said said. “Although they may not agree with our politics, they really like American people.”

Jordan said the first priority of the United States should be to determine absolutely who was behind the attacks.

“The safety of the American people should be number one,” he said. “We need to find solid evidence then put those people on trial. If we cannot put them on trial, then we go after them and kill them.”

The attacks, he said, horrified not only the Christian world.

“As an Arab Muslim, I feel what happened to the American people was felt by people all over the world,” Jordan said. “I think I feel the same thing you feel when you watch the television. They’re killing innocent people.”

Jordan ran the Carson City Mosque for the past four years but it is closing due to lack of funds.