Muslims pleased by arrests, caution against speculation
A national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today congratulated law enforcement officials for the arrest of two suspects in the series of sniper attacks in the Washington, DC, area, and at the same time cautioned against speculation and stereotyping based on the name of one suspect.
“Along with all Americans, Muslims hope today’s arrests will bring an end to this tragic episode. The swift apprehension of the suspects can only be attributed to effective law enforcement by a number of local, state and national agencies. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those killed or injured in these senseless attacks,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“We are concerned that because a suspect in this case has the last name of ‘Muhammad,’ American Muslims will now face scapegoating and bias. Police reports indicate the suspects acted alone, based on their own motivations. There is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims. We therefore ask journalists and media commentators to avoid speculation based on stereotyping or prejudice. The American Muslim community should not be held accountable for the alleged criminal actions of what appear to be troubled and deranged individuals,” said Awad.
He urged American Muslims to go about their normal routines, but with added caution.
Last week, CAIR asked members of the American Muslim community to help the survivors of the sniper attacks and the families of those killed by donating to a fund set up for that purpose.