In the wake of an arrest of a Pakistani American, Faisal Shahzad, as the suspect behind the failed Times Square bombing plot, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has assured the Muslim community that any backlash against them will not be tolerated. "We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers," he said.
Fearing a backlash, major American Muslim organizations hastily held a news conference in WashingtonDC, on Tuesday, saying that the alleged actions of the Pakistani-American suspect are not representative of the nation's Muslim community. They also urged the fellow citizens not to allow the incident to be exploited to advance growing anti-Islam sentiment. "We urge that our fellow citizens and our nation's leaders reject the inevitable exploitation of this incident by those individuals and groups devoted to demonizing Islam, marginalizing American Muslims and feeding the unfortunately growing Islamophobic sentiment in our society."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Council of Muslim Organizations (CMO) in the Greater Washington, D.C., Area, Muslim American Society (MAS) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), in a joint statement said:
"On behalf of the American Muslim community, we condemn the attack in Times Square and thank all those who reported their suspicions, disarmed the bomb or are participating in the current investigation. We welcome the arrest of a suspect and hope that anyone involved in the attack will be apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
"American Muslims repudiate all acts of terrorism and will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to keep our nation safe and secure. We ask anyone who has information about this attack to contact local police and the FBI.