The news made Nihad Awad sick to his stomach.
Like the rest of the nation, Awad, who heads the Council on American-Islamic Relations, learned this week that it allegedly was a Muslim who opened fire at a U.S. Army base in Texas, killing 13 people and injuring many more. According to witnesses, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan issued the great, exalting cry of his faith before opening fire:
"Allahu akbar!" God is great.
Hearing the story, Awad too would invoke his maker -- but with a weary lament that is echoing coast to coast among American Muslims.
"I said, 'Oh God, here we go again,' " Awad recalled. "We know what will come when a Muslim name flashes across the [television] screen. What will come is guilt by association."
In response to Thursday's shooting, mosques around the U.S. denounced the violence and implemented a range of overt and subtle security measures. In the Los Angeles area, Islamic groups contacted law enforcement officials, who stepped up patrols of mosques and Muslim community centers. (More)