Friday, October 23, 2009

Muslims in Massachusetts Play the Victim Card

And cue the Muslim victim card..........ACTION! It has only taken Massachusetts Muslims two days to play the usual Islamic victim card after a couple of Boston Muslims were busted for planning to open fire on mall shoppers.

Shocked and dismayed
By Bronislaus B. Kush and Linda Bock TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Friday, October 23, 2009

WORCESTER — Boston television crews were preparing to broadcast live last evening from Alhuda Academy on the latest news concerning a teacher charged in a terrorist plot when a young man slowed his sport utility vehicle and rolled down the window.

“Is this the place where they train terrorists to kill Americans?” he asked the cameramen before pulling away.

Similar scenes were repeated outside the East Mountain Street school during the course of the day after word spread of the arrest of Tarek Mehanna, who is accused by federal authorities of plotting to kill soldiers, mall shoppers, and politicians.

The arrest has prompted fear of possible retaliation among area Muslims.

“There's no question that there is a climate of fear building in our community as a result of this arrest,” said Tahir Ali, a longtime spokesman for local Muslims. “There are some who are worried that all Muslims will be viewed as terrorists.”

The 27-year-old Mr. Mehanna, who taught science and religion to middle-schoolers at the academy, was arrested Wednesday at his parents' Sudbury home.

According to court documents and federal officials, Mr. Mehanna was allegedly part of a conspiracy between 2001 and 2008 that intended to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure soldiers and two unidentified politicians who were members of the executive branch but are no longer in office.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston said the men also planned attacks at malls because U.S. civilians pay taxes to support the government and are “nonbelievers.”

Mr. Mehanna's friends and family, including his father, Ahmed Mehanna, a professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, were shocked to see him depicted as a would-be terrorist

“No, definitely not,” said the elder Mr. Mehanna, when he was asked whether he believed the charges against his son.

News trucks started to line the front of the academy early in the day yesterday and school officials quickly blocked off the parking lot with orange cones. Workers from two security companies were observed checking doors and the alarm system.

Worcester police were called by the school to disperse the gathering media. A police officer dispatched to the school told reporters not to trespass on school property and not to block the driveways.

Imam Abdul Karim, the spiritual leader of the local mosque, appeared from behind closed doors around 2:30 p.m. to deliver a statement. He declined to answer questions and asked reporters to leave because he said the cameras were making students nervous.


“Violence and aggression in any way, shape or form is absolutely against the teachings of Islam that we uphold,” said the statement. “Muslims in (the) greater Worcester area have been peaceful and law abiding citizens for more than 50 years. We stand by the judicial system. We are confident that the truth of these matters will surface in due course, and that justice will be served.”

It is unclear when Mr. Mehanna last taught at Alhuda.

Local Muslims said they believed Mr. Mehanna was a member of the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland.

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