A Washington-based Islamic lobby group is spreading word of an incident it says raises concerns of a backlash against Muslims prompted by the first-run film “United 93,” which recounts the hijacked flight that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9-11.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said a middle-aged couple in Scottsdale, Ariz., who had just seen the movie approached three young Muslim women wearing head scarves Apr. 29, reported the California Aggie, the campus newspaper at the University of California, Davis.
The young women, at the Desert Ridge Marketplace, said the couple asked them if they were Muslim. The couple, indicating they had just seen the film, hurled abuse, the women said.
“Take off your f—–g burqas and get the f— out of this country. We don’t want you in this country. Go home,” the couple allegedly said.
One of the women happened to be Bushra Khan, office manager for CAIR’s Arizona chapter, who sent a message out to all 31 of the group’s offices nationwide.
Khan told the campus paper she’s concerned “United 93” — which some critics say comes too soon after 9-11 — is prompting the kind of anti-Muslim anger seen immediately after the attacks on New York City and Washington.
“People’s emotions are getting flared again,” Khan said. “The couple’s verbal abuse had obviously been prompted by their associating all Muslims with those who took part in the 9-11 terror attacks.”
The spokeswoman for CAIR’s Sacramento Valley office, Dina El-Nakhal, says the incident in Arizona has affected Muslim communities nationwide.
“It certainly got us concerned,” El-Nakhal told the UC Davis paper. “People feel a sense of fear. You feel like you are being painted by a general brush.”
The images in the film of terrorists as devout Muslims misrepresents the majority of Islam’s followers, she said.
However, CAIR itself, and some of its leaders, have known ties to terrorism. The group is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.
CAIR’s leaders also have provided evidence the group has aims beyond civil-rights advocacy.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR’s chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America’s highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.
CAIR’s chief spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper told the paper. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
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