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But Jordanians do not think Americans will stereotype them because the Fort Hood shooter's parents came from Jordan.
AMMAN, Jordan — As Americans come to terms with the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas that left 13 soldiers dead and wounded dozens more, Arabs in the Middle East are bracing for the inevitable backlash that comes when a Muslim commits a violent crime in the U.S.
U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly carried out the attack, is a U.S.-born Muslim whose Palestinian parents came to the U.S. from Jordan. This attack marks the second time in a month that a Jordanian Muslim has been implicated with a violent crime in the U.S. — Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian, was charged in October with trying to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas.
While many Jordanians worry that this latest incident at Fort Hood could tarnish the country’s reputation and drive away much needed tourist dollars, most Jordanians are confident that the event won’t affect their daily business or lives.
“I don’t think it will affect tourism at all because it was an individual act. It’s not like he went and blew himself up at a tourist site,” said Mohamed Mahmoud, who works at The Palace Hotel, a popular destination among Western backpackers. “Americans already have the worst image possible of Arabs, so it cannot get any worse.”
At least in the U.S., there is already a very real concern about a potential backlash against Arab and Muslim communities. Across the country, many mosques have increased their security and on Sunday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey spoke on several major television news programs where he urged the military to protect it’s 3,000 Muslim servicemen.
“And frankly I am worried, I'm not worried but I'm concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers,” said Casey on CNN’s “State of the Union."
In Jordan, the event has been reported by many local media outlets, but most did not mention the shooter’s Jordan ties. The Jordanian government has also remained quiet about the incident, although one anonymous government official told the Jordan Times, a local English language daily, that Hasan had no verifiable ties to Jordan.