Authorities' description of six suspects charged with plotting an attack on Fort Dix as "Islamic militants" is causing renewed worry among New Jersey's Muslim community.
Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained by authorities in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but none were connected to that plot.
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," said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented scores of detainees after the 2001 attacks. "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."
The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee's New Jersey chapter participated in a conference call Tuesday with FBI officials to discuss security.
"What we're all afraid of is a new backlash," said Hesham Mahmoud, a spokesman for the group. [Link]
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