“There is more fear right now in the local Muslim community than after 9/11 because of the proximity of the recent violent attack in San Bernardino and the xenophobia present in U.S. political culture,” Shakeel Syed told an interfaith gathering attended by about 100 people last Sunday. Syed is executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. He added that law-abiding, peaceful Muslims living in the Los Angeles-area are feeling paranoid.
To provide comfort and information for the local Muslim community, the Shura Council and the King Fahad Mosque of Culver City organized the event. Most of the crowd were first generation Muslim immigrants from South Asia, the Far East, West and North Africa, and the Middle East, and overwhelmingly male. The others present represented local Christian congregations, human rights activists and neighbors, all wanting to express solidarity with the Muslim community.