NPR logo
U.S. Muslims React: Relief, But Not For All
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
U.S. Muslims React: Relief, But Not For All
U.S. Muslims React: Relief, But Not For All
  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Muslims in the U.S. reacted quickly and with relief to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. But as NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, some wondered if this will really ease tension between Muslims and their neighbors.

BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY: On the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, Muslims were reveling in the death of Osama bin Laden.

Mr. HAHSANE YAHME(ph): This guy should have been dead a long time ago. Hopefully the rest them will be dead soon.

Ms. HANNAH ALI(ph): He did not give Muslims a good name. So I think it's definitely a victory for us.

HAGERTY: Hahsane Yahme and Hannah Ali say bin Laden distorted the Muslim faith. And Muhammad Shiab(ph) said he hopes that now, Americans will see Muslims in a new light.

Mr. MUHAMMAD SHIAB: We're good American citizens. We pay our taxes and live like everyone else does, and we're proud to live here.

HAGERTY: Shiab hopes that bin Laden's death will take the heat off of Muslims here. And Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who planned to locate a mosque near ground zero, believes it will do just that.

Mr. FAISAL ABDUL RAUF (Imam): I think that this is a turning point. There's still a lot of enormous amount of work to be done. But there's no doubt in my mind that, in the American perception, this has helped a lot to bring closure.

HAGERTY: It's hard to find a Muslim leader here who has criticized the American military action. Some clerics abroad say that burying bin Laden at sea violated Muslim laws and was aimed at humiliating Muslims but not Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Mr. NEHAD AWAD (Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations): The most important issue is that this terrorist has been eliminated. And Muslims do not care about the details of how he was buried.

HAGERTY: He said it was a smart move because now there will be no shrines for bin Laden followers to visit. And yet some, like Imam Johari Abdul Maleek, worry that that revenge will only reap more revenge, and he's bracing for an angry Muslim reaction, if not in the U.S. then abroad.

Mr. JOHARI ABDUL MALEEK (Imam): That mantle of violence will only be picked up by someone else who will be seeking revenge rather than seeking justice.

HAGERTY: Imam Johari, who serves at a mosque in northern Virginia, says killing bin Laden is not a silver bullet that will cure the problems of Muslims in the United States.

Mr. MALEEK: I don't believe that it's going to make Muslims in America any more accepted if they dance on the grave of Osama bin Laden.

HAGERTY: And yet he agrees with President Obama that bin Laden was a mass murderer who killed more Muslims than anyone else, and he harmed Islam in the process.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.