PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Islamic community is reacting to an early-morning attack on a group of worshipers outside a London mosque.
The attack comes weeks after a new report shows a sharp uptick in anti-Muslim incidents.
The Council for American-Islamic relations reported in May a 56 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year.
“We have to be very, very careful of the words we use,” said Marwaun Kredie, who runs the Philadelphia Arab American Community Development Corporation.
Kredie condemned the London attack, which killed a man and injured eight others, but blames anti-Muslim rhetoric around terrorism and bias in characterization of terrorists.
“If it’s done by a Muslim or an Arab, it’s terrorism,” said Kredie. “If it’s done by a white guy, it’s a deranged individual.”
Imam Mikail Shabazz says Muslims must be proactive and work to educate the public about Islam.
“This incident, as tragic as it is, it does provide us with that opportunity,” Shabazz said.
CAIR has also documented a 44 percent uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the past year.