'You Could Feel The Tension'

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The nation marked the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks perpetrated by hijackers.

From those attacks, a Newark imam said on 9/11 the Muslim faith was hijacked.

Imam Mustafa El Amin said the days following 9/11 were tough for the Muslim community.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

“It was very difficult. I always walked with my head up high, but you could feel the sensitivity,” El Amin told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith. “You could feel the tension. You could feel the tension.”

The imam said since 9/11, the Muslim faith has come under the microscope. El Amin said he’s spent 11 years trying to turn around the shadow cast by the hijackers.

“The religion promotes peace, that’s one thing and that there’s diversity in the Muslim community. That Muslims as a whole are not terrorists,” the imam told Smith. “We have nothing to hide, all are welcome, we have an open-door policy.”

He said innocent Muslims have paid the price over the years as targets of NYPD surveillance.

The imam said conditions are improving, citing last week’s meeting with New Jersey’s attorney general about that controversial surveillance program.

“You can come see us, you can come talk to us, you don’t have to spy on us,” El Amin told Smith.

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