September 27, 2011
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Being Muslim in a Post 9-11 World
by Brittany Patterson Sep 11, 2011 11:20 am
Shafayat Hussain, a biomedical engineering graduate student at SJSU, will never forget where he was that day when everything changed.
“That morning was just so ordinary, and bang — it all changed,” he said.
Brittany Patterson, Spartan DailyJunior business accounting major Fatima Ibrahim grew up in a post-9/11 American society. On Sept. 11, 2001, Hussain had just woken up and was getting ready for school.
“I turned on the TV to the Today Show and saw a plane hit the building,” he said. “I was young, so I at first really did think they were showing a movie.”
After flipping through the channels, seeing nothing but the same shocking footage, Hussain and his mother watched, their mouths open, he said.
“One feeling really stood out later on: This is America — this is actually happening here,” he said. “Then the towers fell, and we were just silent for a while. My mom and I just looked at one another.”
Hussain and his mother were among the millions of Americans who watched in disbelief as the media broadcast images of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 32 Muslims died on 9/11, three of whom were on the hijacked planes, representing 1.07 percent of all those who lost their lives.
Fatima Ibrahim, a junior business accounting major, said she doesn’t remember where she was on 9/11, and it wasn’t until she was in high school when she understood the significance.
“I took it upon myself to be kind to everyone and actually make people understand why I wear a scarf myself and why I’m Muslim,” she said. “I try to explain it to where it’s like you know what even though people who are Muslim did this, not every Muslim is like that.”
Ibrahim says being Muslim is more than just a religion — it’s something that intersects with every part of her life.
“For example we believe in something called Qadar Allah which is what God has planned for you,” she said. “So I pray and study as hard as I can go to class and take my test and if I get an F, like ‘Hey don’t cry about it, it’s what God’s written.””
The San Francisco Bay Area is home to about 250,000 Muslims according to a news article on the California Council on American-Islamic Relations website.
Mohammed Ashfaqul Islam, a sophomore software engineering major, said the reaction in Kuwait, where he was raised, was similar to the reaction in the U.S.
“In the Quran it’s written that if you kill an innocent person you go to hell — straight up,” he said. “There’s no way, no way any Muslim, any practicing Muslim, can justify what happened on 9/11.”
Islam was twelve when the planes hit the towers and he said although the attack saddened him and his friends, the event’s significance didn’t hit him until a year before he moved to America.
His parents suggested Islam blend in to avoid attracting attention to himself, something he said he did through his freshman year.
“They were kind of scared that if I’m a practicing Muslim in America … the FBI will probably be on my case or something,” he said.
Hussain said he sees improvement in Muslim relations in America, but there is still work to be done.
“I look around, and far more people are friendly to us compared to those that are hostile to us,” he said. ”A lot of groups have come out and supported the American Muslims.”
Still, he has hope for the future.
“It’s not a matter of if normalcy will return, but just a matter of when,” he said.
One thought on “Being Muslim in a Post 9-11 World”
Ted Rudow III, MA on September 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm said: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Bigotryby Ted Rudow III, MAUntold thousands have died in the decade since then, among them the family of Masuda Sultan, an Afghan woman living in New York at the time of the 9/11 attack. She soon got word that 19 members of her family had been killed in a U.S. bomb attack in Afghanistan.After 9/11, the bigotry and the harassment really just became a lot more intense. It went from being something that experience every once in a while to something that is experience every day. Across the country, Sikhs, along with others identified as Muslim, Arab or South Asian, were targetedThese are costly defeats for America and the rest of the world. According to a conservative estimate of Brown University, there have been almost 140,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. The massive retaliation cost more than $3 trillion dollars that would have been better used in America’s schools or in the wallets of US citizens.But instead of cultivating public spirit, President Bush sought to find a pretext—any pretext—to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. This is his most tragic legacy, the fact that America can no longer even mourn its victims properly—because Americans have long been not just victims, but also perpetrators.Ted Rudow III, MA
A new report by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan to be released to Congress concludes that over the past decade there has been $30 billion wasted. Taxpayers have spent a total of $206 billion on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than $40 billion of this was awarded to Kellogg Brown & Root, who, along with 21 other companies, accounted for more than half of the total. An additional $38.5 billion went to "miscellaneous foreign contractors." An aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell has hit out at Dick Cheney, saying the former vice president fears being tried as a war criminal. The deceit of Dick Cheney is indeed of Shakespearean proportions, as evidenced in his new memoir. For the former vice president, lying comes so easily that one must assume he takes the pursuit oftruth to be nothing more than a reckless indulgence. The bigger the lie is, the more people are apt to believe it, because they can't possibly believe you would dare to tell such a big lie unless it was the truth!
Ted Rudow III, MA
Class of 1996