HOUSTON, TX - The shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, reminds us that terror attacks can happen anytime, anywhere, and we cannot let our guard down. Customers near a military recruiting center in a Southwest Houston strip mall, expressed their concerns:
"I feel very unsafe, very bad. I have three daughters and I just pray for them," said Leticia Alcocer. "Every time somebody attacks a U.S. Army facility, we really worry about the soldiers but we do not worry outside," added Almois Abdelrahman.
Terrorism creates fear… a fear that can sometimes spread in multiple directions. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned the attack.
"The American Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow citizens in offering condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured and in rejecting anyone who would harm our nation's safety and security," assured Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of CAIR Houston.
But they also shared with us their fears that the Muslim community as a whole could become a target of retaliation for the actions of one individual.
"We are concerned that our community, as well as other religious minorities, is vulnerable to backlash, hate crimes and discrimination following such attacks," Carroll concluded.
CAIR says they receive threats on a daily basis, and they're collaborating with law enforcement agencies both to protect the Muslim community and to prevent extremism coming from within. One thing is for sure, though: it's in times like these that we do better when we stand together.