Members of Connecticut's Muslim community say help has arrived. The largest
Muslim advocacy group opened an office in New London Thursday. The group
says there have been many misconceptions after 9/11.
"The Muslim community here are a little anxious, especially the political
environment right now," says Badr Malik. "They don't feel very secure."
Badr Malik will head the New London Chapter of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Already CAIR has helped some folks in
Hartford who were being questioned by the FBI. CAIR put them at ease by
advising them of their rights.
"And that's what CAIR does basically, to bridge the gap and not have
"They need an organization like CAIR who can take their problems and take
it to a higher level," says business owner Zubair Khan.
Even though Zubair Khan has not had a negative experience himself he felt
more comfortable keeping the name and location of his store private. He
believes CAIR can help his fellow Muslims as well as others in the
community he has lived in for 12 years.
"The major problem I see being a business man is the ignorance," says Kahn.
One of the big things CAIR plans to do is public outreach. Letting folks
know what Muslim people are about and what they are not about.
"A stereotype is they look at the Muslim and they associate that with the
terrorist and this is not true," Malik says.
CAIR estimates there may be as many as five-thousand Muslims in Connecticut
and eight million nationwide.
CAIR, which is based in Washington D.C., has twenty-eight offices
nationwide. The New London Chapter is the first in New England.
CONTACT: CAIR-CT, Badr Malik, 860-995-6628, 860-575-440