US Muslims are watching closely as the probe into the Boston bombings unfolds, fearing a backlash like after 9/11 if an Islamist link is confirmed to the deadly attack.
Muslim activists in the U.S. also began sending out a slew of news releases, tweets and Facebook messages urging prayers and aid for the victims — and condemning whoever was behind the horrific attack.
Executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations following a statement said, “American Muslims, like Americans of all backgrounds, condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s cowardly bomb attack on participants and spectators of the Boston Marathon.”
Awad following the statement further added, “We also call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. All of us as Americans to work together to bring those responsible to justice.”
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood following a statement also condemned the Boston Marathon bombings Tuesday, but a senior member of the group painted them as part of a conspiracy aimed at undermining Muslims’ moves toward democracy.
This comes as a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper, said the Muslim group had already received “the usual hate calls,” but nothing major as yet — and underlined its main message was condemnation.
Ibrahim Hooper quoted by AFP said, “You don’t want to create the impression that you’re more concerned about vandalism at a mosque, or something like that, than you are about a violent attack that takes the lives of individuals and injures many more.”
But he told AFP, “In any of these cases that’s something that’s in the back of our mind, that there’s a possibility of a backlash. We’ll just have to see how the investigation develops.”
The number of FBI-designated hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs in America shot up dramatically after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were quickly attributed to Al-Qaeda and a team of mostly Saudi hijackers.