According to several news sources, the Muslim community in New Jersey is fearing a backlash over the Fort Dix plot. Following September 11, hundreds of Muslim men were questioned by officials in New Jersey. None were connected with 911.
The New Jersey AP reports that now, Muslims fear a resurgence of anti-Islamic sentiment and incidents of bias.
"If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented many of the of detainees after the 2001 attacks told the AP. "But when the government says 'Islamic militants,' it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous. Don't equate actions with religion."
Per the NJ AP, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee's New Jersey chapter has been in contact with the FBI about the Muslim community's fears. "What we're all afraid of is a new backlash," said Hesham Mahmoud, group spokesman. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee issued the following statement: "It seems clear that a potentially deadly attack has been averted. We applaud the FBI for its efforts and repeat the American Muslim community's condemnation and repudiation of all those who would plan or carry out acts of terror while falsely claiming their actions have religious justification."
The six suspects in the plot are Muslim, male, and in their mid-twenties, the same profile as those of the 911 attackers. The affidavit of Eljvir Duka, one of the accused Muslim jihadists, points to what appears to be his religious justification for the planned attack on Fort Dix. He is quoted in The Christian Science Monitor as stating, "and at the end when it comes to defending your religion, when someone is trying [to attack] your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad." [Link]
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