The death of one Muslim immigrant from Chechnya suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt for another in a Boston suburb made for a bad day Friday for the Council on American Islamic Relations.
“Any time there’s any acts of violence in the world, we hope and pray no Muslims were involved,” Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, said in a phone interview from Washington. “It puts us in a very difficult situation.”
CAIR is well known for publicizing grievances regarding the treatment of Muslims, especially in the wake of terrorist attacks. On Thursday, for instance, the group put out a national news release headlined, “Hate Crimes in MA, NY follow Bombing.”
The report cited an incident involving a Muslim woman in Malden, Mass., and one involving the beating of a Bangladeshi man in the Bronx, N.Y. Both attacks, CAIR said, were inspired by Monday’s bombing. Hooper said he received death threats after the Boston bombings, saying those calls are common after anti-American incidents involving Muslims.
“’Get out of my country,’ that kind of thing,” he said.
While acknowledging CAIR stresses Muslim communities contact lawyers “who are willing to be consulted by the Muslim community in response to backlash incidents,” Hooper said lawyering up is just a necessary way of doing business.
“Part of protecting any minority community is teaching them their rights,” he said.
And the two bombing suspects?
“We still don’t know their motivation,” he said.
Asked whether it’s fairly obvious that the motivation was an attack on America of some sort, Hooper said, “I would not speculate about their motivation. Let’s just wait for the investigators to do their job.”
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