This is a satirical article.
U.S. Muslims say they fear a racist backlash against their community next week, when one of their number will kill dozens with a car bomb.
On Nov. 8, thousands of Donald Trump opponents will assemble in New York City to scream helplessly at the sky in commemoration of Trump’s election victory one year prior. But the festive vibe of existential agony will be cruelly broken after Zaid al-Iskandar detonates a suicide car bomb in the middle of the festivities, killing 27 and wounding more than 100.
But that will only be the beginning of the horror, say al-Iskandar’s family and the members of his New Jersey mosque. They fear the attack will spark a wave of hostility toward the local Islamic community that will last far longer than the pile of mangled limbs and bodies in Washington Square Park.
Despite residing for years with Al-Iskandar at his three-bedroom Jersey City walk-up, the bomber’s parents, wife, and brother failed to call law enforcement as he assembled bomb-making materials, stockpiled 17 different firearms, and began reading radical Islamic literature. Now, they say they fear being caught up in the backlash that will take place.
“We’ve worked hard to fit into the community here,” said Al-Iskandar’s father, Omar. “This could ruin everything.” Omar, who operates a halal restaurant along with his wife, says he fears he will lose business after the bombing. That could strain the family’s finances, forcing him to scale back the money he currently sends to al-Qaida in Yemen.
Sabah Karimi, the imam of Hoboken Islamic Center, said his free speech rights would be threatened if the police begin scrutinizing his sermons, which routinely praise the warriors of the Islamic State.
“The U.S. Constitution applies just as much to Muslims as to other groups,” said Karimi, who, after the bombing, expects to deliver a lecture on the need to impose sharia law within the United States.
Al-Iskandar’s family members and imam aren’t the only ones feeling uneasy.
“I came to this country four years ago and have worked hard to build a life here,” said Ghulam Saab, an Uber driver from Syria who helped al-Iskandar prepare the bomb this evening. “After Zaid blows up those kaffirs, I may be deported, imprisoned, or worse.”
Sara al-Mufti, a self-described anti-racism activist, said she feared the upcoming attack will distract from the much greater threat of white nationalism in America.
“Just three months ago, alt-right fascists promoted genocide in Charlottesville, and people still think it’s OK to wave the Confederate flag around,” al-Mufti said. “We have much greater problems than Islamic terror in America.”
Al-Mufti doesn’t identify as a strong Muslim, but wears a hijab as a reflection of her culture. She said she fears the garment could be stigmatized once al-Iskandar’s interpretation of Salafist Islam leaves a smoldering, bloody crater in the heart of Greenwich Village.
“To me, the hijab is about heritage, not hate or oppression,” she said. “I don’t want to lose that.”
Muhammad Muhammad, 39, a nurse practitioner originally hailing from Egypt, told the Caller he fears law enforcement scrutiny will follow the upcoming attack.
“I operate a side business circumcising girls from across the greater New York area,” Muhammad said. “The last thing I need is NYPD officers poking around my clinic looking for leads.”
The impact of next week’s crime won’t just be felt in New Jersey. Muhammad’s brother, also named Muhammad, left for an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia last year. Muhammad fears that next week’s attack could make it easier for President Trump to sustain his travel ban, keeping his brother from returning to the U.S.
“Zaid will be enjoying paradise next week, inshallah,” Muhammad said. “But it’s very unfortunate that bigots will seize upon his heroic act to discriminate against us.”