In the wake of the tragedies in New York City and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, some Americans have erroneously assumed that all Muslims and Arabs are guilty by association. There are ways you can fight this stereotype and make people realize that Muslims and Arabs were victims of the terrorist attacks, too.
One important thing you can do is educate yourself about Islam and Arab cultures. Islamicity offers a brief explanation of the beginnings of the religion and the Five Pillars of Islam. Check out BeliefNet for a discussion on Islam and its relation to other religions. One article explains how Islamic extremists have taken tenants from the Koran and perverted them to their own intentions.
The Arab American Institute offers demographics about this diverse cultural group. Arabs can be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or of another faith; they may have roots in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt or one of dozens of other countries in the Middle East or North Africa. Check out Tolerance.org's list of well-known Arab Americans in the arts, politics, sports and other areas. The Detroit Free Press prepared this guide with 100 Questions and Answers about Arab Americans that provides more cultural information.