American Muslims fear renewed backlash

Dec. 30, 2009 at 7:29 AM
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DETROIT, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Leaders of the Detroit area's Muslim community are asking non-Muslims not to tie them to the suspect in last week's foiled terror attack aboard an airplane.

Muslim leaders Tuesday also condemned al-Qaida's claim of responsibility in suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's unsuccessful effort to blow up Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253, saying it goes against the principles in Islam's holy book, the Koran, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

"No faith or legitimate political ideology could ever justify the injuring or murdering of innocent civilians," Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Tuesday. "No cause or grievances can ever justify such wanton violence."

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed Monday that Abdulmutallab worked with it and used al-Qaida explosives in a retaliatory move against U.S. airstrikes on the terror group in Yemen.

Walid said the failed attempt to blow up Flight 253 as it landed in Detroit wasn't a jihad but "irhab" and "hirabah," translated as "terrorism" and "unlawful warfare," based on the Koran, he said.

"To our fellow Americans, we ask you not to paint all Muslims with a broad brush," Walid said. "We condemn this type of injustice."

Imam Kazeem Agboola, head of the Muslim Community Center in Detroit, told the Detroit News he has led his congregation in prayer for peace and strength to face any possible backlash.

"Patience is the key," Agboola said. "People will come to understand."

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