Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some Muslims, fearing backlash, worry about intent of Census forms

The millions of blue forms being mailed this month in the first census count since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, do not ask about religion. But the idea of answering any questions posed by the government makes some Muslims uneasy, so community leaders are worried that many may avoid the Census altogether.

"A lot of people, they have the concern," said Raja Mahmood, 50, a Manassas taxi driver who moved to the United States from Pakistan 25 years ago. "The majority of Muslims, they don't want to draw attention."

Some Muslims have been put on "no-fly" lists simply because they share a name with a suspected terrorist.

Still, he said, "particularly in the new-immigrant population, there's definitely going to be an undercount
"I don't know what the Census would have to do with Muslims or non-Muslims," said Hany Osman, 35, of Falls Church, an Egyptian clinical system analyst who moved to the United States seven years ago.
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