In the wake of 9/11 there was a serious possibility of widespread attacks on Muslims in the United States. By and large, President Bush defused that possibility. And for this I give him credit. Even so, there were cases of significant mistreatment of South Asians in particular. There were people rounded up for deportation and mistreated while in detention before being deported. A number of regrettable things did happen.
More recently there has been a resurgence of anti-Muslim attitudes. The proposed Muslim community center in lower Manhattan near what was the site of the World Trade Center has threatened to become a new rallying point for hate and anti-Muslim sentiment.
I think it is important that a political leader has stood up and taken a firm position on this. A principled stand can make an immense amount of difference preventing demagoguery. I commend Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his calm and dignity in dealing with this matter.