Will Iraq war lead to religious retaliation around the world?
As military action begins in Iraq, several news outlets report that Muslims in the U.S. fear retaliatory attacks. "If it's a quick war where not a lot of people get killed, we may be all right; but if it goes badly and lots of people are dying on both sides, all bets are off regarding an anti-Muslim backlash," Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told the Newhouse News Service.
CAIR says there have been six attacks against Muslims in the last three weeks. But police in at least one of the cases aren't ready to call it a hate crime. (World magazine this week devotes its cover story to criticizing CAIR, saying it attacks Christianity and "sometimes seems to have trouble deciding exactly which side it is on" in the war against terrorism.)
Such fear from Muslims isn't limited to the U.S. If anything, the Australian Arabic Council is even more certain than CAIR that there will be attacks on its community. "We received a 400 percent increase in racial attacks … after September 11 and this is a more direct involvement," said chairman Roland Jabbour, adding that he had "no doubt" that Australian Muslims would be vilified and attacked now that military action in Iraq has begun.
Other Muslims aren't so worried. "I'm not concerned about safety here," William Abdullah, a leader of a mosque in Montgomery, Alabama, told the Advertiser. "I don't see any reason to be concerned about it because we haven't been bothered by anyone."
In response, the U.S. Commission on International ...1
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