Dallas-Area Muslims Fear Backlash From Arrests Tied to Terror Plot

October 19, 2009

Author: Selwyn Crawford

Source: The Dallas Morning News


North Texans were both angry and relieved last month when federal agents arrested a Jordanian teenager in a failed plot to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.

But for area Muslims, the arrest of 19-year-old Hosam "Sam" Smadievoked yet another emotion – fear.

"Being a Muslim in America today is not easy," said Hadi Jawad, a longtime Dallas business owner and a volunteer at the Dallas Peace Center. "We feel under siege. There is open season on our faith. Muslims are painted with a broad brush."

Jawad and other Muslims praise the work of law enforcement in arresting Smadi, as well as two other terrorism suspects in New York and Illinois. But because of all three suspects' Islamic faith, they say the arrests cast aspersions on Islam that hearken back to the atmosphere that existed immediately after 9/11.

Though most area Muslims are quick to say the mood of the country has not returned to that bitter level, most add that their lives here would be practically unbearable if any Muslim terrorist were to carry out another attack on American soil.