American-Muslim community concerned about backlash after mass shooting

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In the wake of Wednesday's San Bernardino mass shooting tragedy, many in the American-Muslim community are concerned about being the target of backlash. (KGO-TV)

In the wake of Wednesday's San Bernardino mass shooting tragedy, many in the American-Muslim community are concerned about being the target of backlash.

Some American Muslims are on edge and simply scared to leave their homes, but adamant that their entire community shouldn't be blamed for what happened.

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Like many Americans across the country Athar Siddiqee of San Jose has questions. "Who made them believe that this was the right approach and what goals do they hope to accomplish? It just makes no sense to me," he said.

Some people are trying to make sense of the tragedy. "I'm disgusted by the people who would commit these acts and they're hijacking my faith and they're giving a bad name to all Muslims, which is really very sad," Athar Siddique said.

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And now, there's another concern for members of the American Muslim community. "We have seen backlash on many previous occasions, it's likely to happen here as well and certainly that's a fear among our community," Siddique said.

Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the backlash has already begun. "It's unfortunate that an entire community, a religious community is being held to account for the actions of two criminal suspects," she said.

Hate incidents were reported Thursday morning. Billoo even shared with ABC7 News part of an email sent to her office. "I'm trying to raise my family and you idiots keep messing things up," Billoo said.

She emphasized that American Muslims are also in disbelief.

Community members are making it clear that those responsible for Wednesday's mass shooting have no place in their faith. "Every faith has some bad apples and you don't want to judge the faith by those people. You want to understand that those are crackpots, that they are deranged individuals who had a personal agenda that isn't supported in any way by their faith," Siddique said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Click here for full coverage on the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino.
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