Are you afraid of Muslims? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are you afraid of Muslims?

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –There are more than 2.8 million Muslims living in America. Throughout history, people of the Muslim faith have made contributions to the American way of life.

But has terrorism made us fear Muslims?  Some blamed the fear on 9-11 attacks. Others blamed the Media, for the bad portrayal of Muslims, and Islam.

What does the average person know about people of the Muslim faith? "Not very much about them. I seen a lot of stuff on TV," said Mom Teresa Gresham. 

"Islam religion, it can go either way, depending on who you talk to," said Doctor Eric Gordon. 

"I don't feel like Muslim people are more violent or more filled with hate," said Gamer Orin Perry. Whatever you feel, where is all the fear coming from?

"I guess people fear what they don't understand," said Perry.

"I think people fear other cultures altogether. If there not the same as you are, people fear that," said Gresham.  

Speaking of regular, Imam Abdal Akial teaches GED classes, has a T-shirt business, and a chicken coop in his backyard. Oh I almost forgot, he's Muslim." The fear I don't understand. I know what the root cause is, and that's a lack of education," said Imam Abdul Akial.  

Some of the latest attacks on U.S. soil have been by people who claim to be of the Muslim faith.

"They're just some crazy nuts," said Perry.

"He's not a product of the religion, He's just insane," said Imam. 

"Prior to 911, there were suicide bombings in Israel, but it didn't effect us. Those were just crazy nuts in the middle east on both sides," said Dr. Gordon. 

In fact Akail says he wants the American Dream, just like everybody else. "The individuals I know, the families I pray with. All we want to do is feed our family, and to grow and prosper," said Imam.

 I guess all of us are not that different after all. Now the question is how do we get over the fear? Some said, make a Muslim friend, or learn more about the teachings of Islam.

But most of all The Imam said " You can't make an intelligent decision about someone. Unless you know who they are." 

There are 59 mosques in south Georgia. And more than 200,000 practicing Muslims in the State.

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