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Muslim Community Center Reacts To Fort Hood Shooting

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Nidal Hasan often prayed at the Silver Spring Muslim Community Center.
WAMU 88.5 FM
Nidal Hasan often prayed at the Silver Spring Muslim Community Center.

Nidal Hasan, the alleged gunman in the Fort Hood shootings, had many connections to the D.C. area, and that has left many locals trying to reconcile what they knew of him with what happened--that includes those who gather at a Muslim community center Hasan frequented.

Dr. Asif Qadri, founder and director of the medical clinic at the Silver Spring Muslim Community Center, first got to know Hasan about a year ago. When he found out Hasan was a doctor as well he asked him to volunteer at the clinic. Hasan's work at the military kept him from doing so, but the two became friendly.

"He never talked bad about the war, or Walter Reed, or the military or anything like that," Qadri says. "He was an American guy." Qadri says Hasan seemed grateful for the education he received in the military, and proud to serve.

Imam Mohamed Abdullahi says the same thing. "He used to pray and come and I never see him arguing with anybody," the Imam says. "Sometimes he used to come in his military uniform."

Dr. Qadri says Hasan's motives in the shooting are as much a mystery to the people here as they are to law enforcement, or anyone watching news coverage. But personally, Qadri says he cannot believe Hasan's religious faith was behind the attack. "The only motive personally I can think of, is something medically must've gone wrong. Whatever triggered it,I don't know," he says.

More than 700 people pray at the Silver Spring Muslim Community Center each day.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

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