Dearborn's Muslims Fear a Fort Hood Backlash

Islamic communities nationwide are struggling to deal with the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre. In America's most Muslim city, fears of a backlash

Fabrizio Costantini for TIME

Worshippers linger after Friday prayers at the American Muslim Center.

A week and a day after the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, there's a palpable sense of unease among the 400 men and women gathered for Friday prayers at the American Muslim Center in Dearborn, Mich., 1,350 miles away. In his sermon, lay preacher Hani Ayyad is careful not to mention Major Nidal Malik Hasan by name but repeatedly inveighs against "those who try to hijack our deen [faith], who distort, tarnish and darken it." Worshippers know exactly who he means.

Ayyad, a charismatic 37-year-old with a sonorous voice, seems to be speaking for, not to, the congregation as he laments,...

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