Could Muslims Face Discrimination Following Marathon Bombings?


By Ashley Thompson

Investigators are still trying to figure out the exact motive behind last week's bombings at the Boston Marathon. The two alleged bombers belonged to the Islamic faith and were practicing Muslims.

So, could there be a rise in discrimination against people practicing the religion?

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says he believes discrimination against people of the Islamic faith could increase following the attacks in Boston.

"I think it's a very real danger that we're going to see because of the identity of the bombers, another real kick-up in anti-muslim hate," says Potok. "Many Americans believe that Islam is a theology of violence, that it's not really a theology at all, that it's a political idealogy, the aim of which is to take over the world."

Although some may view the Islamic faith in that way, others say a person's actions are not always the result of their religion or faith.

"You've got two branches that I see of Islam," says Montgomery resident Eddie Jones. "The Jihadist and the people who have been there all along who are trying to coexist with other cultures and faiths. I think people understand the distinction between the two."

"Anytime something goes bad, we want to always look out and blame someone else when sometimes you have to look right up in your own backyard," says Montgomery resident Daniel Montgomery. "I don't think anyone is going to start stereotyping again."

However, Potok says there are those who will start stereotyping again.

"The worst case scario is what we saw after 9/11, when anti-Muslim hate crimes went up by sixteen hundred percent," he says. "I don't imagine that's whats going to happen this time but I wouldnt be at all surprised if we see this kind of violence on the rise in the next few months."

Alabama News Network spoke with Imom William Abdullah of Masjid Qasim Bilal El Amin. He says he does not fear a backlash and says it would be without merit.


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