Friday, September 14, 2001

Muslims say they can feel the hate

Symmes man charged with making threats

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Threats to Muslims in Ohio and across the nation are on the rise following Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

        The Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which receives about two calls about threats or harassment against Muslims per week, received more than 70 calls Wednesday, said Jad Humeidan, executive director of the Ohio office.

        Nearly a dozen were in Greater Cincinnati.

[photo] A man with a high-powered rifle fired into bulletproof glass at a Gary, Ind., gas station owned by Hassan Awdah, a native of Yemen who is a U.S. citizen.
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
        Officials at the group's Washington headquarters said they had received more than 200 complaints of threats against Muslims since Tuesday. Typically, they receive three calls a day.

        Joshua Salaam, a CAIR civil-rights coordinator, said the offenders “need to stop and think about what they are doing. They're playing right into the hands of the terrorists.”

        Mr. Humeidan said his office received numerous phone calls from Muslim-American parents about mistreatment of their children in schools after Tuesday's attacks. Incidents included verbal and physical abuse.

        Majed Dabdoub, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Cincinnati, said Muslim students at Northern Kentucky University told him “people are walking around making nasty comments to somebody who looks like he is an Arab or a Muslim.”

        He also said posters at NKU advertising a prayer service today were ripped apart.

        “My brother, for example, yesterday was walking (in Hamilton) and somebody started cursing and saying bad things to him,” Mr. Dabdoub said. “We don't need that. We need to focus our energy now on how we can help the victims and the families and how can we stick together as a community.”

        In West Chester Township, police arrested Adam Feld, 39, of Symmes Township, on Tuesday in connection with two threatening calls made to the center. Those calls resulted in the closing of the school and cancellation of worship services at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. Police traced the calls to Mr. Feld's house.

        He was charged with telephone harassment and inducing panic.


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