The arrest of a Muslim man on charges connected to the deadly Washington-area sniper shootings has the Islamic community bracing for another round of threats and attacks like those that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
"The whole Muslim community was praying day and night: 'God, please. There has to be no connection to Muslims,'" Faiz Rehman of the American Muslim Council said Thursday, according to AP. "We'll probably have a backlash. People in a hurry will think that this is just a Muslim thing again. The community really fears it."
John Allen Muhammad, 41 — who converted to Islam several years ago — and John Lee Malvo, 17, were detained early Thursday. The news hit Muslims hard.
"It's like a ball in your stomach: 'Oh God here we go again,'" said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Every time we seem to make some advancements, it's like we take one step forward and two steps back."
"We're doing what we did after Sept. 11: holding onto our seats, holding on for the ride and hoping this one will be shorter," said Jumana Judeh, an activist in the Arab-American community in Dearborn, Mich.
According to AP, more than 2,000 bias incidents against Muslims were reported to authorities in the year after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Albawaba.com)
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