NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Since 9/11, Muslims have become one of the fastest growing religious communities in the New York-metropolitan area.
Speaking with worshippers at the Islamic Center Of Long Island in Westbury, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera came across a variety of sentiments, ranging from uncertainty to optimism.
Ten years after the attacks, some Muslims feel the situation has gotten better, while others believe Islamophobia remains a problem.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Reports From Westbury
Arooj Iqbal, who lives in the Merrick-Bellmore area, said while hate crimes against them have increased since 9/11, Muslims are also more accepted more than ever.
“Honestly, I can walk around in Merrick wearing Shalwar Qameez, wearing Pakistani traditional clothes, and no one will say anything,” Iqbal told Rivera.
Her experience is that many people are realizing not all Muslims are terrorists. Iqbal said the anti-Muslim bigots are mostly strangers, not people that get to know her.
“My dad’s a manager at Dunkin’ Donuts and everyone knows him and Alhamdulillah (Praise to God), I’m very happy to know that no one in my community hates us,” she said.
Sana, who is in 4th grade in Merrick told Rivera she is looking forward to wearing traditional Muslim dress to school.
When asked if she felt uncomfortable or singled out when she wears the traditional clothing, she responded “not really.”
“Because they know like my religion — I’m a Muslim,” she said.
Dr. Faroque Khan, who is on the Islamic Center’s board, said that since 9/11, Muslims everywhere get blamed for what the extremists do.
“Muslims feel that…they are being attacked, persecuted, killed at random and they’re angry,” he said.
Khan thinks “Muslims are guilty until proven innocent.” However, he believes that with time, things will get better.
Ten years after 9/11, how would you describe the state of tolerance and acceptance of Muslims in America?