Local Muslims React to Rep. King's Hearings

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Here in mid-Michigan, the Islamic community is watching the hearings on Islamic radicalization, feeling hurt and targeted.

"Why Muslims are radicalized, you're automatically isolating them, you're already giving them the message something is wrong with you and we need to figure out what," said Dr. Farha Abbasi, an MSU psychiatrist.

Dr. Abbasi knows all about diagnoses. She researches how events like 9-11 affect young Muslim Americans -- a population vulnerable, she says, to backlash from King's hearings.

"It's like you are imbibing these young minds so they are prone to depression, they express depression, they are prone to anxiety, they question their identity and in severe cases where they have physically been assaulted or felt threatened, they have post traumatic stress disorder," she said.

Already, young children -- local Muslim Americans -- are questioning themselves.

"We're getting those questions from kids who are concerned, like, 'have we been kicked out or are we having to move or anything like that?' and that's very painful," said Dr. Abdalmajid Katranji, spokesperson for the East Lansing Islamic Center.

Perhaps the most painful when it's coming from your own nine year old son.

"When he asks me, 'dad, why are people angry at us? Have I done something wrong?' That brings a tear to my eye," he said.

Dr. Katranji says Muslim Americans are actually a huge ally against terrorism and singling them out is counterproductive.

"They're quite successful, theyre very integrated with the society they live in which is the United States," he said. "They find no conflict between being Muslim and being a proud American citizen."


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