Muslim groups fear backlash

US Muslim Public Affairs Council says their community is "on a heightened state of alert".



    Fearing that an armed man who killed 13 people and wounded 31 others at a military facility in Texas, may have been Muslim, US Islamic groups were bracing themselves for a public backlash against the faith.

    The assailant, an army psychiatrist identified as Nidal Malik Hasan, was wounded at the scene but was captured alive and was in stable condition.

    Nidal Malik Hassan was described as 'upset' about his pending deployment to Iraq
    Salam al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in the US, told Al Jazeera: "We are concerned about backlash against Muslim Americans, because the culprit happens to be of Arab and apparently Muslim background. As a result, there is probably going to be some scapegoating because of his background against the Muslim American community.

    "We have received word that there are already some threats that are being made against mosques here in America. There are people who exploit these situations - they are in the blogosphere and on talk shows. However, the majority of the American media has been very responsible in trying to really tone down any kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric at this point.

    "At this point we are being a little bit cautious and on a heightened state of alert in our mosques. We are working with law enforcement closely in co-ordination to make sure our places of interest are given extra security. But at the same time [we are] reassuring our community to continue with their business and to continue being a part of the fabric of American society."

    The Associated Press, quoted US law enforcement officials, as saying that Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.

    The officials said they were still trying to confirm that he was the author.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.