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Local Muslim leaders call for religious unity in wake of NYC attack

After the deadly attack in New York this week, Northwest law enforcement are on alert.

That's also true for the local Muslim community. Muslim leaders are condemning the attack, and asking faith groups to come together.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Washington state says its members are horrified by the New York attack. Spokesperson Sarah Stuteville said the council is praying for the people impacted. She also said CAIR is concerned about backlash against Muslims.

Stuteville: "A lot of that has to do with coverage and commentary of these types of attacks. So the more that it's seen as an indictment of a religion and a people the more concerned we are."

She said Islamophobia can be fueled when media or politicians put an emphasis on the religion of attackers.

Stuteville: "The thing to remember is really horrible heinous crimes — they're meant to divide us, and it's really important for all of us, no matter our background, to recognize that and to get in the way of it by standing together."

She said there's a strong inter-faith community in Western Washington and that solidarity is one of the best responses to horrific attacks.

CAIR itself will be involved in an inter-faith project next week. They are visiting traditionally conservative congregations around the state to have a discussion about Islamophobia. Their first stops are congregations in Port Orchard and Mount Vernon.

Meanwhile, law enforcement in the region are watching developments in New York. FBI Seattle spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said they are not aware of any specific, credible threat to Washington state.