Monday, August 1, 2011

9/11 created a suspicion of Muslims based on the actions of a fanatical few, is this what it's like to walk a mile in the shoes of stereotype?

After Sept. 11, many of us Muslims felt isolated and afraid, I think esp. for those of us born in the US. I was mortified by what I had witnessed on TV, I was initially afraid to venture outside, and I found that I was afraid of every car and door that had the American Flag. I am part of the American Fabric, I have always been grateful for being born here in America, I used to even get stares and comments when at a ball game and the National Anthem played because I always cried, and I have always prayed for the whole world to have the kind of life that I enjoy.

It took about 2 years to get life a litlle bit back to the way it was before that dreadful day. During those 2 years, I couldn't get away from the TV without feeling a little panicky, at times I had to take sleeping pills in order to go to sleep, and one of the strange things that I regret the most that changed was I stopped reading to my kids at bedtime. I just couldn't seem to be able to sit down or focus or maybe it was staying away from the TV, I really don't know. I began to drink coffee throughout the day (I was never a coffee drinker before) and I was on defense mode outside (well, I still do this). Anyway, my main point is that people don't think that we (Muslims) were affected by what happened. Well, many of us were in ways that are understood and many ways that just don't make sense; but we were affected none-the-less.

MY country was attacked, I was mourning the loss of life, and I was as angry as the next woman. But MY religion was also attacked and in many ways is still being attacked.

I believe that this article can help others see a little of what we felt. Below is a snippet. READ the full article: 'Christian terrorist'? Norway case strikes debate | Latest National Headlines

When the "enemy" is different, an outsider, it's easier to draw quick conclusions, to develop stereotypes. It's simply human nature: There is "us," and there is "them." But what happens when the enemy looks like us - from the same tradition and belief system? That is the conundrum in the case of Norway and Anders Behring Brevik, who is being called a "Christian extremist" or "Christian terrorist."McVeigh and Breivik were both "good-looking young Caucasians, self-enlisted soldiers in an imagined cosmic war to save Christendom ... and both were Christian terrorists," Juergensmeyer wrote. In a column for, Alex Pareene said Breivik is not an American-style evangelical, but he listed other connections to Christianity. "All of this says 'Christian terrorist,'" Pareene wrote. Such claims drew strong resistance. "Breivik is not a Christian. That's impossible. No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder," Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News show. That makes sense to Joyce Dubensky, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. She said it also makes sense that "millions of Muslims say Osama bin Laden is not a Muslim, that no one who believes in the prophet Muhammad commits mass murder." "We need to hear Bill O'Reilly, but we also need to hear and understand the voices of the overwhelming Muslim majority around the world who condemn those who are terrorists in the name of their faith," she said.

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