FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas Muslims are once again living in anxious times. As soon as word spread that radicalized Muslims orchestrated the mass shooting in San Bernardino, the Dallas Chapter of CAIR—Council on American-Islamic Relations—began receiving hateful, profanity filled phone calls.READ MORE: Sunburned: Red-Hot Mavs Fall To Phoenix After Rough 4th Quarter 109-101
“You’re all idiots,” screamed one caller, “you’re not welcome here… I hope you get sprayed with pig’s blood.”
“The way that Muslims are being portrayed right now,” says Omair Siddiqi, “it’s worse than 9-11.” Siddiqi was just a child then and he says his parents protected him from much of the backlash directed toward Muslims. But, at 21, he’s a man now. And even a trip to the grocery store can provide the backdrop for an unwelcome confrontation.
“He’s like ‘are you Muslim’,” recounts Siddiq, “and he started getting angry… cursing. He’s like ‘you should just go back to where you came from!’ And I was like ‘I’m from Chicago. I was born and raised in Chicago’…and he got stuck and didn’t know what to say … and then he just said ”f’ all Muslims’ and walked off.”
CAIR says the organization is seeing a spike in threats and harassment of Muslims not seen since post 9-11. The situation has gotten so bad around the country that some Imams are encouraging Muslim women to cover their heads with something other than the traditional hijab—fearing they will be targeted. But, Ayah Sayyed of Fort Worth, already has.READ MORE: Texas Amber Alert Issued For 14-Year-Old Hillary Salcedo Out Of Buda
“I was in the car with my 9 month old daughter,” says Sayyed, “and a woman basically was trying to flag me down from her vehicle. She rolls down her window and starts spewing derogatory language… she spit from her vehicle, to my vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Siddiqi says he is tired of apologizing for the terrorists who distort his faith… and equally weary of having his faith defined by them.
“When it was the Colorado shooter—Planned Parenthood shooting– they don’t talk about ‘ok, he was a Christian’. But, if it’s a Muslim, it’s on the air 24/7.” Still, he says he appreciates the kindness of strangers who understand the difference.
“There’s that few people that will attack us and say hateful things, and then we’ve got the people that are supporting us with love and kind words… and we just need to see a lot more of that.”MORE NEWS: Cashing Out? City Of Dallas Revokes 'Poker Room' Permits Months After Approving Them
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