Missoula Muslim couple feel targeted after being reported to pol - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Missoula Muslim couple feel targeted after being reported to police

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A Muslim couple who lives in Missoula say they feel "targeted" after being reported to police based on a conversation they had at a fast food restaurant.

The man and woman, who both attend the University of Montana, first told their story to UM's student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin. Missoula police confirmed that the investigation is closed, but that doesn't change the way the students feel. 

The students sat down to talk with ABC FOX Montana, and asked to remain anonymous due to privacy concerns.

They say that on Jan. 28, they talked about middle eastern politics and a cell phone bill while eating at the Wendy's on Brooks Street. Someone in the restaurant called police and reported that the couple was discussing making a bomb, which they deny.

On Tuesday, a patrol officer spotted the woman and recognized her from Wendy's surveillance video. He approached her while she was waiting at a bus stop. The officer took her to the police department for a 30-minute interview, and then asked to search her home.

The woman and her fiance say the search was short and investigators were polite. But that doesn't change the couple's concern about the situation.

"It made me realize that I have to be careful, even when I think I'm safe in a liberal town where nobody's going to look twice at me," she said. "But there may be some people out there who will immediately think the absolute worst of me."

She believes people discriminate against her for dressing in a traditional Muslim garment.

"I didn't always wear my hijab, I used to go around with my hair showing and I was inconspicuous as a Muslim," she says, "And I never had that problem. And I would talk about the exact same things as I do now and I never had my house searched then."

The couple hopes that people can be more understanding of their culture and faith.

"I hope that people realize that some of their biases can really hurt random, innocent people."

The students say they're hearing messages of support in the wake of the Montana Kaimin story and have even received a call from the Huffington Post. They hope the attention will create more open mindedness.

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