Local Muslims relieved to hear of bin Laden's death

By: Cleo Greene Email
By: Cleo Greene Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, May 2, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Ron Steve woke up this morning to something he had been waiting to hear for years, that Osama bin Laden is dead.
"I think this is so fantastic that they got him," he said.

Ron is not alone. Local Muslims are also relieved. Dr. Hassam Fadel of the Islamic Center of Augusta says he doesn't know what took so long to find him.

"I am glad it is over," said Dr. Fadel. "I feel a sense of relief for all Americans and Muslims."

Dr. Fadel was one of the founders of the center back in the 1980's. He said every since 9/11, the Islamic faith has had a bad name.

"There are some people that try to propagate hatred towards Muslims, which we call islamphobia," said Dr. Fadel. "This has been going on for years."

Dr. Fadel said President Barack Obama couldn't have said it better in his speech, that the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam. He feels it is important that everyone knows bin Laden was a terrorist leader and not a Muslim one.

Shahnaz Dowydar, a member of the mosque, said the terrorist acts of Al-Quada should not be a reflection of all Muslim people.

"I do not want people to judge Muslim people for the acts of bin Laden," said Dowydar. "I want people to judge him as an individual."

"Islam is against killing anyone," said Dr. Fadel. "We do not tolerate violence."

The two are both happy that Osama bin Laden is out of the picture, but they say this is a time for Americans and Muslims to keep their guard up.

"All nations are smart," said Dowydar. "We cannot underestimate any group of people."

While many Muslims hope years of discrimination will end, some people like Ron Steve already know who is to blame.

"This is not about Islam," said Steve. "This is all about Al-Quada, and that is the bottom line."

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