Being a Muslim in the Post 9/11 World


Eliza Yass and Abbey Fernandez

Amina in her traditional hijab, which she wears when praying.

Amina Abdul-kareem, Staff Writer

Just a little more than a decade ago an American Muslim woman could walk through the streets of New York with a hijab (headscarf) feeling comfortable and accepted. Today she walks with everyone’s eyes glued on her with hateful stares, suspicious glares, fear, paranoia and treated like she’s a terrorist.

Welcome to our post 9/11 world, where Muslims have been living under stereotypes for twelve years.

At first, I had no doubt that the Boston explosions were done by Muslims, but just like every other American Muslim I prayed the two suspects would not prove the common stereotype and be Muslim.

“Authorities say the two suspects are Russian.”

They can’t be Muslim, thank God.

“The two suspects are of Chechen origin.”

Maybe they could be Muslim…

 “Chechenia is pro dominantly a Muslim region”

I am not angry at Americans who called Muslims terrorist. I believe Americans are not educated on the true meaning of Islam. So as a Muslim American, I feel like I am obligated to inform Americans that Islam does not promote violence. It is the exact opposite, Islam promotes peace.

A verse in the Qur’an (the holy book for Muslims) says that anyone who saves one life is equivalent to saving all mankind. But anyone who has killed another person is equivalent to killing all mankind.

Islam should not be perceived as to what groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and people like Osama Bin Laden believe in. They are Islamic extremists. And believe in everything that is forbidden in Islam.

We live under the same fear everyday as America. We are afraid to go on an airplane without going through “random passenger checking,” we are afraid to wear a headscarf  to the grocery store, we afraid to go to Friday prayers.

When the suspect of a crime is Muslim, the entire Muslim-American community is labeled

Stereotypes will never define Islam.