Huh. That's weird. I don't know why anyone would be concerned about Amharic...even if all Arabic speakers were terrorists by default, it sounds pretty different than Arabic.
Here in Albuquerque, we had the opposite situation with an Ethiopian girl who used to attend the church. She's since moved away (and I didn't even get Amharic lessons like she said she'd give me!
Heh. Oh well.), but she used to get into big arguments with some of the people from church because she supported Barrack Obama and they don't. One of the men said "He's a Muslim! His middle name is Hussein!" and she said "that's not fair! Your name is Raafat! That sounds 'Muslim', too!" That was really, really not the right thing to say.
The man gave her a very loud, angry Arabic lesson right there, for free. "You don't know anything! Shut up! It is Arabic for Rafael, and you call me a MUSLIM?! You are stupid!"
She then, much less confidently than before, explained that no Ethiopians have Arabic names unless they are Muslims, so for Amhara and other Christian people, almost ANY Arabic name sounds Muslim...I don't know how true that is, but I thought it was funny. Because of my educational background, people at church often ask me to explain words to them (usually in English, but not always), so she asked me "So, Christians will have Arab names too? And it's okay?"
While we were eating together in a COPTIC CHURCH, surrounded by people who have Arabic names, she asked that! Hahaha. God bless her. What a sweet lady...but yes, I had to explain that just like it's okay to have George and John and Marcus, names like Khalil, Raafat, and Tawfiq are okay, too. It seemed weird to be explaining this, as a non-Semitic person, to a native Amharic speaker, but it happened. Go figure.