Bay Area Muslim See Death as Turning Point

Monday, May 2, 2011  |  Updated 6:25 PM PDT
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A Bay Area Muslim rights advocate said Monday she hopes al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden's death marks a turning point in the war on terror.
   
Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Bay Area chapter in Santa Clara, said she is cautiously optimistic about the implications of bin Laden's killing.

"We're grateful. But it's a somber grateful," Billoo said.

"This is someone who perpetuated so much violence, both against Americans and people of other faiths, so it's definitely a grateful moment,"  she said.

Billoo said she appreciates Obama's remarks during his speech Sunday night in which he clarified that Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. She said that will help prevent certain people from using the opportunity to perpetuate hate.

There haven't been any reports of hate crimes in the Bay Area, but there was an incident in Portland, Maine, in which a mosque was vandalized after bin Laden's death was announced.

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