Hip Muslim Moms group undone by D.C. Metro bomb plot
By Tara Bahrampour
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 29, 2010; 2:13 PM
When Esraa Bani's phone started ringing Wednesday with news reporters on the line, she had no idea that an Ashburn man named Farooque Ahmed had been arrested for plotting to blow up Northern Virginia Metrorail stations, or that such a story could have anything to do with her.
But Ahmed's wife, Sahar Mirza-Ahmed, was a member of Hip Muslim Moms, a freewheeling group of 50 or so young mothers Bani had started. Suddenly, the coupon-clipping, playdate-arranging suburban mothers were thrust into the national spotlight, associated with a horrifying plot that, as they noted, could have harmed their own families.
"We all have family members who ride the Metro; we ourselves ride the Metro," said one Northern Virginia member who joined this year and did not want her name associated with terrorism. "So we're as scared as anybody else would be."
Bani, 26, who works for a nonprofit organization and was dressed Thursday evening in a stylish geometric-patterned tunic, started the group two years ago using a Meetup Web page as an alternative to the stodgier, older mom groups across Loudoun County.
"This area has tons of young Muslim professionals and their families," she said, sitting in her family room as her 2-year-old daughter played nearby. "They're really a new generation of Muslim Americans. We don't fit into the traditional groups."
Now Hip Muslim Moms is being disbanded - a victim of the relentless attention generated by Ahmed's arrest.