The arrest of a Muslim, Pakistani-born U.S. citizen for allegedly trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square to kill Americans has some Muslims fearing a backlash of prejudice and violence.
Faisal Shahzad, who has lived in Shelton and most recently in Bridgeport, was charged Monday night with terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with the failed attack.
Several area Muslim leaders held a press conference Wednesday in Bridgeport.
Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Connecticut chapter, was among the leaders who participated.
"We condemn this act and are asking people for calm and to let the investigation play out," Dhaouadi said. "We are asking people not to paint the Pakistani or Muslim community with one brush. We are confident the perpetrator will be prosecuted to the fullest extent." ...
Area Muslim leaders interviewed Wednesday said they didn't know Shahzad.
Washington, D.C.-based CAIR issued a statement Tuesday condemning the attempted attack. The organization said the alleged actions of the suspect are not representative of the nation's Muslim community, and urged citizens "not to allow the incident to be exploited to advance growing anti-Islam sentiment."
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad issued a statement which said, "American Muslims repudiate all acts of terrorism and will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to keep our nation safe and secure." (More)