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American Muslims nine years after 9/11

By       Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Burning of the Quran stunt

Desecration of the Quran, Islam's holy book, is another method of bigotry. Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim Pastor Terry Jones of a tiny FloridaChurch, known as the DoveWorldOutreachCenter, planned to commemorate 9/11 by burning copies of the Holy Quran. He abandoned the Quran burning stunt when US Secretary of Defense phoned him saying that his provocative act would inflame the Muslim world and jeopardize the lives of American troops now deployed in many Muslim countries. However, Jones message was not lost to many. Torn pages of the Quran were found on Saturday (9/10) at the front of the Islamic Center of East Lansing, Michigan. Some of the pages appeared to be smeared with feces.

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Amid heightened hate speech and fear-mongering mosques in California, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Texas, and Florida have faced vocal opposition or have been targeted by hate incidents in recent months. In the most recent incidents, on 9/11 eve, vandals spray-painted "9-11" on windows and countertops at the Muslim owned Jaffa Market in Columbus, Ohio. Some cash and a laptop computer were stolen, while several display cases were vandalized. Just after midnight on Wednesday (9/8), back wall of the Hudson Islamic Center in New York was pained with slur "sand n**gers" and an obscenity. Last week also, a Phoenix mosque under construction was vandalized. Paint was spilled on the floor and several tall, arched glass windows were broken by what appeared to be gunshots. There was also anti-Muslim graffiti. The same mosque was vandalized in February last.

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The presence of mosques and the building of new mosques have become a divisive issue in several communities across the country in recent years. A church may be a church, and a temple a temple, but through the prism of emotion that grips many Americans, a decade after 9/11, a mosque can apparently represent a lot of things.

Eid Al Fitr celebrations scaled back

This year the seven million strong American Muslim community scaled back the Eid Al Fitr celebrations at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which fell just one day before the 9/11 anniversary. Islamic civic advocacy groups worried that the proximity of Eid Al Fitr with 9/11 anniversary will increase suspicion and hostility towards Muslims at a time when feelings towards their religion are already running high.

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The Council of Muslim Organizations in WashingtonDC called on all US Islamic centers, schools and organizations to refrain from holding Eid Al Fitr celebrations. The Council said the move was out of respect for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Muslim leaders feared that the celebrations might have been mistakenly -- or deliberately misconstrued. "Definitely there are people who would like to make us look like we are celebrating on 9/11 and we are not going to let them," said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, Washington DC.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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