Just like Muslims in Queens had recently hit the streets to play the victim card, so have Muslims in Dallas. Islam victimizes people across the world, but they don't say a word about that....
Dallas-area Muslims fear backlash from arrests tied to terror plot
October 19, 2009
By SELWYN CRAWFORD / The Dallas Morning News
North Texans were both angry and relieved last month when federal agents arrested a Jordanian teenager in a failed plot to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.
But for area Muslims, the arrest of 19-year-old Hosam "Sam" Smadi evoked yet another emotion – fear.
"Being a Muslim in America today is not easy," said Hadi Jawad, a longtime Dallas business owner and a volunteer at the Dallas Peace Center. "We feel under siege. There is open season on our faith. Muslims are painted with a broad brush."
Jawad and other Muslims praise the work of law enforcement in arresting Smadi, as well as two other terrorism suspects in New York and Illinois. But because of all three suspects' Islamic faith, they say the arrests cast aspersions on Islam that hearken back to the atmosphere that existed immediately after 9/11.
Though most area Muslims are quick to say the mood of the country has not returned to that bitter level, most add that their lives here would be practically unbearable if any Muslim terrorist were to carry out another attack on American soil
"We have to work toward a common yardstick of justice, but we are just one catastrophic incident away from the post-9/11 atmosphere and even worse," said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, a Muslim civil rights organization. "We have to accept the double standards, as bad as they are. That's just the fact, unfortunately."
Muslims in North Texas say they don't know of any physical assaults on them of late, but that after any high-profile negative event involving Muslims – such as the arrest of Smadi – they face increased racial taunts and verbal harassment.
Al-Marayati says suspicions about Muslims persist, in large part, because Americans – most of whom are Christian – either can't or won't make a distinction between the mainstream and fringe elements of Islam, while they discern that difference for others. He says, for example, that when non-Muslims commit extreme acts, they are quickly dismissed as being crazy or weird or having some deep-seated emotional problem, and are not viewed as representative of an entire group of people.
But Muslim bad actors, he said, don't get the same treatment.
"When a Christian does something ... that's how it's reported, that they happen to be a Christian," Al-Marayati said. "But if it's a Muslim, it's as if it's the [Muslim] religion that's driving it."
Mohamed Elibiary, president of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, a Muslim interfaith organization in Plano, agrees.
"The average American thinks it must be the religion" that pushes Muslim extremists, Elibiary said. "There must be something about them. That sentiment has been there since 9/11, and it hasn't gone anywhere."
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