RUSHING TO BASH OUTSIDERS

For a while last week, something in the national mood appeared to be turning darkly against Arab Americans--at least for as long as it was supposed that the Oklahoma blast might be the work of Islamic terrorists. In a replay of the harassment they suffered during the Gulf War, mosques reported receiving telephone threats. On Larry King Live, former Oklahoma Congressman Dave McCurdy pointed to an Islamic conference, full of fire-breathing rhetoric that was held in Oklahoma City in 1992. That was one reason, he said, that he knew terrorism "could happen here."

When it emerged that the first serious suspects...

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