IRVINE, Calif., March 1 (UPI) -- Testimony by an FBI agent that an informant was sent to Southern California mosques has increased anxiety among Muslims in the area, Muslim officials said.
The Islamic Center of Irvine was at the center of the testimony, the Los Angeles Times reported. The informant was sent there to look for evidence that a Tustin man was involved in support of terrorism.
"It gives you a little bit of apprehension about who you trust," Omar Turbi, 50, said after Friday prayers at the Islamic Center. "Makes you think twice about what you say; what if people misunderstand you?"
Leaders say California Muslims have changed their behavior, avoiding making large donations to mosques, or giving cash instead of writing checks to avoid a paper trail. Those giving sermons in some mosques have been asked to stay away from politics, especially criticism of U.S. policy.
"Some average Muslims interested only in praying are avoiding mosques for fear of somehow being monitored or profiled," said Hussam Ayloush of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Anaheim, Calif. "Everybody is afraid, and it is leading to an infringement of the free practice of our religion."