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Belgians, Muslims in Bay Area feel collective loss after attacks

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As Belgians in the Bay Area mourn Tuesday and they're joined by local Muslims in expressing horror over the terror attacks. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

As Belgians in the Bay Area mourn Tuesday and they're joined by local Muslims in expressing horror over the terror attacks.

Both of the communities are close-knit and each of them now dealing with a lot of pain and sadness, but for different reasons.

Most powerful images and video from the Brussels attacks

Andries Verschelden took a moment took a moment to reflect Tuesday from his Silicon Valley office.

"You see the images of the destroyed terminal, and it's just really unbelievable to see what's happened there," Verschelden said.

Earlier Tuesday morning there was a moment of worry for the Brussels native. "My dad was traveling to London for business today, and luckily, he decided to take the train this morning, sort of by accident," he said.

PHOTOS: Dozens killed in terror attacks in Brussels

Bay Area Muslim leaders were quick to condemn the attacks saying the terrorists aren't representative of their faith.

"They have their own desires, political or whatever, but Islam has nothing to do with this, and we need people to step up to the plate and counter this ideology," said Zaki Agha of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The backlash has begun. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is calling for heightened patrols of Muslim neighborhoods in America saying the U.S. needs to protect its borders.

"It is time for us to implement serious vetting and we shouldn't be letting anyone come to this country that we cannot vet to makes sure that they are not radical Islamc terrorism," Cruz said.
LIVE BLOG: ABC News coverage of the Brussels attacks

Others say it's important to not rush to judgment.

"First and foremost, is that Islam wholly rejects all forms of terrorism," Agha said.

"I think we want to continue to make sure that people who are actually trying to get away from violence, get away from terror, that they continue to feel welcome," Vershchelden

RELATED: Tightened security at SFO BART after Brussels attacks

Verschelden is planning to visit his family in Brussels this weekend.

"Going back to a country that's really going to be in mourning, that's going to be hurt," he said.

A trip that'll hold even more meaning now than ever before.
Related Topics:
newsterrorismterror threatu.s. & worldexplosion
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