About Identifications . . .

By featuring Arabs and Arab-Americans in this year’s Los Angeles Festival, Arab community leaders and festival officials hope to “build bridges” and “defuse stereotypes” (“Los Angeles Festival Has Faith in Arab Theme,” March 18). That goal is admirable and understandable.

What is neither laudable nor understandable is the comment attributed to Don Bustany, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee: “Every time a reference is made to (bombing suspect) Mohammed Salameh or (mosque leader) Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the names never appear without the adjectives ‘Arab,’ ‘Egyptian,’ ‘Palestinian’ or ‘fundamentalist.’ I don’t remember Ivan Boesky or Michael Milken being identified as ‘Jewish.’ There is not a fair standard applied.” Is Bustany that disingenuous? He’s made a comparison where none exists.

When any foreigner is written about in the American press, his or her nationality is always noted. Further, in the World Trade Center bombing case, it is relevant that Sheik Rahman is Egyptian and a Muslim fundamentalist.



Associate Director

Anti-Defamation League

Los Angeles