Local Muslims fear backlash following terror attacks

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A casual morning walk at Lake Johnson Park in Raleigh quickly turns uncomfortable for Zainab Baloch and Hoda Abrahim. The Muslim-Americans are asked by a man, who doesn't want to be identified, why they dress the way they do and why they don't dress more "American."

These types of uncomfortable encounters have become more common for the women after the Paris terror attacks, carried out by Muslim extremists. The women say some people stereotype all Muslims as terrorists, although Islam is a religion of peace that terrorists committing atrocities have "hijacked."

The stereotypes raise concerns about the personal safety of Muslim-Americans.

"I'm definitely more cautious," Baloch said.

She added that she's not going places alone and is more aware of her surroundings. She also said more Muslim-Americans are discussing not wearing their head scarves or "hijabs" due to security concerns.

However, the women say they will continue to wear their hijabs and not let fear take over their lives.

"Do I think that there are reasons to be scared and that our safety is threatened?" Abrahim asked. "Absolutely. But as we've learned in history, hate breeds hate, fear breeds fear."

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