Entries in Muslim Americans (2)


For Muslim Americans, Boston Bombings Bring Added Anxiety

Kate Fry(BOSTON) -- On Monday afternoon, as word spread that two bombs had been detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Imam Ibrahim Rahim found himself alone at Yusuf Mosque on Boston's Chesnut Hill Avenue.

First he offered a prayer for the victims. And then he quietly added: "Dear Lord, God, please whatever this yields, let it not be something that can in any way be associated with Islam."

In New York, at the same time, Daisy Khan, director of the American Society of Muslim Advancement, had a similar thought, reduced to less than 140 characters: "#ihopeitsnotamuslim."

"My first reaction was I hope it's not a Muslim. I even thought of a Twitter hashtag," said Khan, a leader in the project to build a Muslim community center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

The uncertainty around who perpetrated the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 has left many people anxious. But Muslim Americans await the identity of the perpetrator with particular dread.

"If a Muslim did this it will set the Muslim community back a decade," Khan said. "It will feed into the perception that Muslims are terrorists. Children are more likely to be bullied at school, individuals at work will be treated with suspicion by their coworkers."

Fear of association following a crime is a phenomenon known to nearly every minority in America. But given the scale of 9/11, an attack perpetrated entirely by foreigners, some American Muslims say they are particularly concerned about their faith being associated with the mass killing of innocent people.

It took Muslim American groups days to respond to the Sept. 11 attacks. Within hours of Monday's bombings, however, every major Islamic association in the United States had issued a statement offering condolences, expressing outrage, even directing people on how to donate blood.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, authorities said they were questioning a Saudi national, who had been injured in the blast. Many Muslims breathed a sigh of relief when investigators said they no longer believed the 20-year-old man was a person of interest, but they still wait with held breath for a suspect to be apprehended.

"Muslims have learned they have to speak out and speak out swiftly," said Khan. "It helps with our perception by other Americans, but it doesn't help keep us from worrying a Muslim is responsible."

Muslims in Boston were invited to participate in Thursday's interfaith service, in which President Obama is speaking, and are planning another event on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Study: Muslim-American Terror Attacks Dropped Significantly in 2010

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- Twenty Muslim-Americans either perpetrated or were arrested for terrorist acts in 2010, a drop from the 47 who fell into that category in 2009, according to a study released last week.

“Muslim-American Terrorism Since 9/11: An Accounting,” the report issued by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, puts the actions of a small group of people into light, writing, “Is this a problem that deserves the attention of law enforcement and the Muslim-American community?  Absolutely.  But Americans should take note that these crimes are being perpetrated by a handful of people who actions are denounced and rejected by virtually all the Muslims living in the United States.”

The authors wondered whether a spike in Muslim-American terrorism was a 2009 trend, or just a temporary uptick in the data. They found that it was the latter, and that much of the spike in 2009 was due to a group of "17 Somali-Americans who had joined al- Shabaab in Somalia. However, the number of individuals plotting against domestic targets also dropped by half, from 18 in 2009 to 10 in 2010."

Law enforcement has also improved its efficiency rate of foiling terror plots before they come to fruition, the study says. In 2010, 75 percent of Muslim Americans engaged in terrorist plots were disrupted in an early planning stage, an increase from 63 percent in 2001.

The report also shows that domestic attacks from Muslim Americans pale in comparison to the rest of the population. While 11 Muslim Americans have killed a total of 33 people since Sept. 11, 2001, the study says, there have been approximately 150,000 murders in that same time span including 15,241 in 2009 alone.

"Out of the thousands of acts of violence that occur in the United States each year, an efficient system of government prosecution and media coverage brings Muslim-American terrorism suspects to national attention, creating the impression -- perhaps unintentionally -- that Muslim-American terrorism is more prevalent than it really is," the study concluded.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio