Muslim community fears backlash after San Bernardino shooting

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Islamic Society of Greater Houston is publicly denouncing the mass shooting in California.

On Friday, they're also asking their own to be more vigilant, to report anyone who might act as if they might be interested in committing an act of evil.

"All it takes is a few bad seeds out of the billions of Muslims to tarnish our entire tradition," said Dr. Mahmoud Gamal, who is a professor at Rice University and spoke during afternoon prayer at the ISGH today.

ISGH President M.J. Khan calls the mass shooting barbaric and dubbed the killers as cowards. He says they are not representative of the vast majority of Muslims across the state and nation. "

It is our job to make sure that we present the true picture of Islam, of Muslims," Khan said.

That's a sentiment echoed by many Muslims, worried about the possibility of growing Islamophobia. Mustafaa Carrol, the Executive Director of CAIR Texas says they have had death threats.

"It does spike and it has spiked," said Carrol.

Such threats increase, he says, any time a radical Muslim is involved in something heinous: San Bernardino. Paris. Boston.

"This is a cancer. It's like a plague, and it just gives the whole community... a bad picture," said Houston Muslim Bilal Hakim.

Khan says the Muslim community needs to commit itself to focusing on insulating its young from radical extremists, to be more proactive in doing something to protect them and by doing so, protecting us all.

The group is working on putting together a blood drive in memory of the victims of the mass shooting in California. That will be held at the Champions Mosque near Louetta and 249 on December 20. We will post more details on that as it becomes available.

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