Knoxville Muslims react to Boston suspects ties to their faith

Knoxville Muslims react to Boston suspects ties to their faith

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AbdelRahman Murphy, the youth minister of the Muslim community of Knoxville, and his wife, Mehreen Khan, say they were worried after the news broke that the suspects in the bombings had Muslim ties. AbdelRahman Murphy, the youth minister of the Muslim community of Knoxville, and his wife, Mehreen Khan, say they were worried after the news broke that the suspects in the bombings had Muslim ties.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The news that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had ties to the Muslim faith have many people of that faith worried.

They fear there may be backlash against their faith because of the actions of these two suspects.

AbdelRahman Murphy, the youth minister of the Muslim community of Knoxville, and his wife, Mehreen Khan, say they were worried after the news broke that the suspects in the bombings had Muslim ties.

"The Muslim community definitely was concerned," said AbdelRahman Murphy, "Not about guilt, but by unfortunate events happening sometimes due to perceived association."

On the WATE Facebook page some comments were very negative against Muslims.

One viewer commented, "We need to do Muslims like we did the Japanese in WWII".  Another said "You Muslims follow a religion that says it's ok to kill people then are offended when your followers kill people. I don't get you".

"The most important thing for everyone to know, and that's what we have been saying as a community and as individuals," said Khan, "We completely condemn all of these attacks. Whoever carries out any sort of violent acts they are not representing Islam. They are not representing the Muslim community."

So far they have not heard of any sort of backlash happening locally.

"Nothing major," said Murphy. "I don't think it would register on the scale of hate crimes. There were a couple of the youth group members who work at jobs and their management made some comment oh I would be surprised if it wasn't a Muslim."

They just hope people will educate themselves on their faith, and learn that their faith played no role in what happened in Boston.

"Hopefully just like with other tragedies that have happened to this nation," said Murphy. "We hope everyone pulls together instead of trying to pull each other apart."

There are an estimated 5,000 Muslims in the Knoxville community.

At a recent service, they sent out a prayer request for all the victims and their families in Boston. 

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