Muslims Worry About Backlash From Post Shooting

  • Mourners attend the memorial service Tuesday in honor of 13 victims of the shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas.
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    Mourners attend the memorial service Tuesday in honor of 13 victims of the shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas.
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • During the memorial service, President Obama named each of the 13 who died and shared personal stories about them and their families with the crowd of about 15,000.
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    During the memorial service, President Obama named each of the 13 who died and shared personal stories about them and their families with the crowd of about 15,000.
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  • Kolleen Alldridge (from left), Gavyn Alldridge, Kim Rosenthal and Alice Thompson light candles Saturday at a small memorial in the courtyard of the apartment complex where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan lived prior to the Fort Hood shooting.
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    Kolleen Alldridge (from left), Gavyn Alldridge, Kim Rosenthal and Alice Thompson light candles Saturday at a small memorial in the courtyard of the apartment complex where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan lived prior to the Fort Hood shooting.
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Soldiers bow their heads in prayer during a vigil at Fort Hood on Friday.
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    Soldiers bow their heads in prayer during a vigil at Fort Hood on Friday.
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Some of the first responders to the mass shooting at Fort Hood gather to give interviews Friday morning. Thirteen people were killed and 30 were injured in Thursday's shooting.
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    Some of the first responders to the mass shooting at Fort Hood gather to give interviews Friday morning. Thirteen people were killed and 30 were injured in Thursday's shooting.
    Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • A frame grab from a security video shows suspected shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in a convenience store in Killeen, Texas, early Thursday morning, before the attack. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was unconscious and on a ventilator Friday, contrary to early reports that he had been killed.
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    A frame grab from a security video shows suspected shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in a convenience store in Killeen, Texas, early Thursday morning, before the attack. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was unconscious and on a ventilator Friday, contrary to early reports that he had been killed.
    CNN via AP
  • Patricia Villa, next-door neighbor to Hasan, stands in her apartment doorway in Killeen. A day before Hasan allegedly went on a shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army Base, he gave Villa furniture, clothing and a copy of the Quran.
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    Patricia Villa, next-door neighbor to Hasan, stands in her apartment doorway in Killeen. A day before Hasan allegedly went on a shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army Base, he gave Villa furniture, clothing and a copy of the Quran.
    Jack Plunkett/AP
  • Federal agents search Hasan's apartment in Killeen early Friday. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was unconscious and on a ventilator Friday, contrary to early reports that he had been killed.
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    Federal agents search Hasan's apartment in Killeen early Friday. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was unconscious and on a ventilator Friday, contrary to early reports that he had been killed.
    LM Otero/AP
  • This 2007 picture shows Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected shooter, when he entered the program for his Disaster and Military Psychiatry Fellowship.
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    This 2007 picture shows Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected shooter, when he entered the program for his Disaster and Military Psychiatry Fellowship.
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/AP
  • Jamie Casteel and her husband, Scotty, of Duncan, Okla., wait to hear news about their son-in-law Thursday outside the Scott and White Hospital emergency room in Temple, Texas.
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    Jamie Casteel and her husband, Scotty, of Duncan, Okla., wait to hear news about their son-in-law Thursday outside the Scott and White Hospital emergency room in Temple, Texas.
    Tony Gutierrez/AP
  • Daniel Clark kisses his wife, Rachel Clark, while they wait for Fort Hood to reopen after Thursday's shooting so they can pick up their 5-year-old child at a day care center.
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    Daniel Clark kisses his wife, Rachel Clark, while they wait for Fort Hood to reopen after Thursday's shooting so they can pick up their 5-year-old child at a day care center.
    Michael Thomas/AP
  • Monica Cain, 44, tries to get in touch with her husband, Sgt. Darren Cain, who is stationed at Fort Hood.
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    Monica Cain, 44, tries to get in touch with her husband, Sgt. Darren Cain, who is stationed at Fort Hood.
    Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald via AP
  • Sgt. Fanuaee Vea (center) embraces Pvt. Savannah Green outside the base.
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    Sgt. Fanuaee Vea (center) embraces Pvt. Savannah Green outside the base.
    Ben Sklar/Getty Images
  • An ambulance passes the main gate at Fort Hood following the shooting.
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    An ambulance passes the main gate at Fort Hood following the shooting.
    Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald via AP
  • A SWAT team enters the main gate at Fort Hood. The shooting occurred at the Soldier Readiness Center, where troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan receive last-minute medical checkups.
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    A SWAT team enters the main gate at Fort Hood. The shooting occurred at the Soldier Readiness Center, where troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan receive last-minute medical checkups.
    Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald via AP

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Muslims across the country are condemning Thursday's shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and offering prayers for the victims.

Muslim civil rights groups say what the alleged shooter did was a brutal, personal act and could not have been committed in the name of Islam. "This is a sad day in our nation's history, and we reiterate the American Muslim community's condemnation of this cowardly attack," said Nihad Awad, who heads the Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington.

Awad said while little is known about the suspected shooter's motives, there is no defense for such actions. "No political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence," he said.

At the Southern California Islamic Center, a small crowd remained late into the evening. Worshipper Mohammed Shamim Hussein said many stayed to pray for the victims in Texas.

"It's really hard — I can think about their parents, their brothers and sisters. It really is shocking news for everyone," he said.

Shamim said when he found out the shooter was Muslim, he couldn't help but worry about backlash.

Groups from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to the Muslim Public Affairs Council issued statements urging calm and cautioning members in their communities to take precautions.

Several organizations said they had already received hate e-mails, and a death threat had been sent to a mosque in Irving, Texas, outside Dallas.

In Los Angeles, law enforcement was sent to area mosques, according to Sheriff Lee Baca.

"The sheriff's department currently is deploying deputies, sheriffs and radio cars to Islamic centers and mosques within our jurisdiction, and that, I think, is just a precautious measure," he said.

Los Angeles' interim police chief said local officers are on the lookout for any attacks against Muslims.

The executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam Al-Marayati, said he's thankful for the support but that police alone can't protect Muslims.

"We need to remain vigilant, but at the same time, we don't want people to change their lives completely," he said. "We want them to go on with their regular lives — but at the same time, we live in very extraordinary times."

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