Courts & Crime

Raleigh Muslims torn between shock, compassion

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Saturday, the Islamic Association of Raleigh threw open its doors for a "Meet Your Muslim Neighbor" event that drew 600 people, including two congressmen, one cabinet secretary and several mayors.

On Monday, the association faced its biggest nightmare: Seven men, all of whom at one point worshiped at the association's mosque, were arrested and charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks abroad.

For years, the Raleigh Muslim community had worked to improve relations with the wider Triangle population and ease tensions caused by the terrorist bombings of Sept. 11, 2001. Now it faces its biggest public relations challenge and a potential setback to all its efforts. A family respected in the community was arrested and charged with fomenting violence and holy war.

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