New York Times : “For Muslims, an Uneasy Anniversary; Urge to Speak Out Conflicts With Low-Profile Instincts”

August 19, 2002


One day next month, when all of New York is draped in commemoration, many of the city’s Muslims will be grieving and seeking solace; but some Muslims say that on that day, Sept. 11, they will feel resentment.

Still others will fear an echo of anti-Muslim backlash. Some will look to prove they are good Americans. Others will bristle that such a thing should even be expected of them.

However they react, many Muslims feel that the day has an extra layer of meaning for them.

”My fear is playing into those stereotypes, that Muslims and Arabs are not seeing this as something very important or compelling,” said Debbie Almontaser, a public school teacher. She is helping to organize a candlelight vigil in WashingtonSquare Park and a candlelight march from Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to the East River promenade on Sept. 11.


”The events were probably more traumatizing to us as a faith community than any other single faith community,” said Talib Abdur-Rashid, imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. ”On the one hand, we were victimized just like other people,” because, he said, ”there were a lot of Muslims killed, and on the other hand we are being blamed and vilified in the media and attacked in the streets.”  Read more…


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