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Muslim community remembers Islamophobic impact of 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Mustafa Hassoun grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. His experience was always colored by the racism triggered by 9/11. “I came to realize because those terrorists look like me in the sense that they’re brown and have beards. A lot of people began to conflate me and my family with those individuals and lumped us together in a basket.”

His parents came to the United States from Iraq to find a safe haven and a fresh start. They were living in New York City during 9/11 and felt a loss of safety when the planes hit the Twin Towers. That was just the beginning of 9/11′s impact on their lives.

A lot of Muslim people in North Alabama say they won’t forget the trauma of 9/11 and how the Islamophobic aftermath unfolded.

According to the New York Times, following the deadly 9/11 attacks, many politicians used divisive language on campaign trails blaming the entire religion of Islam for the actions of a few people. Local community members say Islam is far from a violent religion.

“When we study our religion and the message that our prophet gave us, we really could not find any for the justification of what happened.” Dr. Qureshi said, “Islam is just like other religions like Christianity or Judaism. It teaches us spirituality, how to love one another, how to be generous to one another.”

Officials with the FBI say the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents jumped in 2001, from 28 to 481. Even 20 years later, we still haven’t gotten back to those pre-9/11 numbers. People from our community say the hate and stigma made them confused. It made them question who they are and where they belong.

As we reflect and remember the 9-11 tragedy, members of the Islamic faith say they hope all of us can come together to try and understand one another.

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