According to an Aug. 6 article in the Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y., three Upstate New York communities–Lackawanna, Syracuse, and Albany–have had three different, high-profile federal cases that involved the arrests of Muslims. But why Upstate New York?
Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies, said there is a link between the high concentration of Muslims in some Upstate communities and the arrests.
“I don't think there's anything particular about Upstate New York that accounts for the fact that there have been these high profile cases, other than the fact that there is a higher concentration of Muslims in certain communities in Upstate New York than certain places in the country,” Dobkowski said.
He said it makes sense that when there is a large number of Muslims, there will be a few who are extremists.
“Islam is a great religion, but it has extremists,” Dobkowski said. But he said most religions do. “I think that's just the nature of religion. It always harbors within its communities people of extreme sentiments and ideas.”