Muslims Fear Backlash from Sniper Attacks

October 26, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On October 26, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "for many of metro Atlanta's 32,000 Muslims who gathered at area mosques for noon prayers Friday, the sniper suspect's faith was cause for consternation. Some said Muhammad had once again tarred the image of a peaceful religion, just as it was recovering from the shameful blow dealt by the Sept. 11 hijackers. Others disapprovingly noted that a true Muslim would never boast he is God, as the sniper did in a note at one of the shootings, much less kill without justification. Still others emphatically pointed to reports that Muhammad was a member of the Nation of Islam, a fringe group that combines Islam and black nationalism, and is led by controversial firebrand Louis Farrakhan. Although officials haven't said whether religious beliefs played a role in the attacks, some Muslims fear that message has seeped into the American consciousness. The recent terrorist attacks in Indonesia, Kuwait and other countries where Americans were killed have strengthened the belief that Islam fosters terrorism, some said."