by Dan Bock

and Alissa Miller

Campus Times Staff

After speculation emerged from Tuesday?s terrorist attacks that Islamic militant Osama bin Laden was the likely organizer in the attacks, threats to Muslim groups across the country began coming in.

At the interest meeting of the Muslim Students? Association, no students reported receiving threats.

Members of MSA responded to the backlash in other parts of the country. ?They don?t understand that Islam is a peaceful religion,? said sophomore Amina Masood. ?We don?t support violent acts or terrorist acts.?

Junior Aizaz Shaikh was concerned that false ideas about Muslims come from television. ?I think there?s a misconception about Islam,? he said. ?What you see on television isn?t Islam, for the most part. I think the media portrays Islam negatively. It doesn?t reflect the real teachings of Islam.?

Masood said she went with a multicultural group of friends to the interfaith services at the Interfaith Chapel Tuesday. ?We all prayed for the victims and their families. It didn?t matter what religion we were.?

Freshman Hisham Risaey was hurt by reports of Arabs around the country being threatened at businesses, homes and mosques. ?I?m disappointed in the persons in Brooklyn who pulled Arab store owners out of their stores and beat them almost to death.?

He also said Muslims all over the world were suffering from the bad rap produced by a small amount of terrorists, in particular because of the American media?s misuse of the technical term jihad. ?I think people confuse the word jihad a lot,? Risaey said.

Despite his disappointments in the media, his ?disappointment was not in any way near my amount of grief for the people who lost their lives.?

The emotional effects of the event are leaving an impression that won?t soon be forgotten by the world or by UR. ?Things definitely won?t be the same for a good time,? Shaikh said.

Dean of The College William Green expressed his confidence that any possible backlash will not break up the UR community. ?I am hoping that we will know better than for there to be problems. We don?t have to translate these issues into our own community. It?s not right.?

Students? Association President John LaBoda also expressed his confidence and hope for the UR community in a written statement issued Wednesday. The statement has been reprinted to the right of this article.

Bock and Miller can be reached at dbock@campustimes.org and at amiller@campustimres.org.



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