Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond by Anny Bakalian, Medhi Bozorgmehr
By Anny Bakalian, Medhi Bozorgmehr
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Extra info for Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond
Fourth, human resources include (1) captive audiences; (2) leaders or spokespersons; (3) a cadre of committed volunteers and supporters with the ability to recruit more members; (4) group cohesion or internal solidarity, on McCarthy and Zald’s assertion that those who “are highly organized internally (either communally or associationally) are more likely to spawn other organized forms” (1977, 1218); (5) access to elites, communication media, and expertise in using these media as resources; and (6) preexisting coalitions with outside groups, labor, organizational/social networks, and political connections (McCarthy and Zald 1977, 216; Statham 1999).
To ensure that our sample would represent most of the ethnic/religious/national groupings in the Middle East, one of our research assistants conducted six interviews over the phone with spokespersons of groups that we had missed. In April 2005 we presented our preliminary findings at an immigration workshop at the Baldy Center of the State University of New York at Buffalo. 34 Our pressing concern was to discuss a border-crossing incident that had involved several members of the local Muslim community in December 2004.
METHODOLOGY This study was initiated by a Request for Proposals sent out by the National Science Foundation (NSF) a week after the events of 9/11. Coincidentally, our center, the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC), had just received official approval from the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York. 32 We considered a number of options in studying the backlash. The first was to examine the attitudes of the general American public toward Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans for the purpose of understanding stereotypes and biases.