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Local Muslims Offer Nuanced Reactions To Bin Laden's Death

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A group of students from Northern Virginia Community College -- many of them Muslims -- gather for lunch at Al Jazeera restaurant in Falls Church.
Jonathan Wilson
A group of students from Northern Virginia Community College -- many of them Muslims -- gather for lunch at Al Jazeera restaurant in Falls Church.

Ayman Omar, a Muslim of Sudanese descent, says bin Laden's death means little for him.

"I guess some Muslims might say we feel a little safer now, living here in the United States. But other than that fact, I don't think anything else has really changed," he says.

Sherouk Atta is one of Omar's classmates at Northern Virginia Community College. She's also a Muslim, who moved to the U.S. from Egypt ten years ago. She worries that bin Laden's death will remind Americans of 9/11, and she says that could bring back some of the tensions inflamed by those events.

"They'll just look at us the same way they looked at us 10 years ago," she says.

Of course, having mixed reactions to bin Laden's death is not unique to the Muslim community. Classmate Nijean Kennedy is a Christian, and she says the celebrations last night rubbed here the wrong way.

"I don't think a man's death should be celebrated," she says.

Kennedy says she thinks celebrations in front of the White House Sunday night went too far.

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