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Opinion: American Muslims live in fear 11 years after 9/11
Muslims worshipping at the end of Ramadan.
September 11th, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Opinion: American Muslims live in fear 11 years after 9/11

Editor's note: Sumbul Ali-Karamali is the author of "The Muslim Next Door: the Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing, and Growing up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam." She is on the steering committee of Women in Islamic Spirituality and Equality and is a member of the Muslim Women’s Global Shura Council, both of which aim to promote women’s rights and human rights from an Islamic perspective.

By Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Special to CNN

(CNN) - My father always told me never to talk about religion, politics, or other people’s children. He was part of a generation of American Muslims who wanted to stay quiet and assimilate into American life and not rock the boat. Growing up in Southern California, I tried to follow his advice.

But after 9/11, I found that I, along with other American Muslims, have had little choice but to talk about religion.

Although countless Muslims have condemned the acts of 9/11 in the United States and worldwide, American Muslims became objects of suspicion.

Read the full Opinion piece on CNN In America
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Muslim • Opinion

soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. bob

    Canada Free Press reporting Muslims are celebrating Boston Bombings. Interesting how the American press is in the back pocket of the USA president and the entire Democratic party. That's why this type of story won't show up in the American press down here. Thank you for having the guts to tell the disturbing but yet important story. We Americans have to be woken up to who we are dealing with and start keeping a watchful eye on our neighbors of certain decent. Sad but true. Please share this message fellow Americans. God bless all those harmed and the brave police officers who brought this incident to an end.

    April 21, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  2. Heather B.

    The war on terrorism has brought many Muslim refugees to the very countries fighting in their homelands. One of the biggest hindrances to coexisting for most moderate Muslims is misinformation. Prior to 9/11 Islam was a largely unknown religion in the west but after that day Islam became heavily scrutinized and the information that was spread around was mostly wrong. The fear and misinformation about Muslims has led to profiling, hate crimes and discrimination.

    December 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  3. 总统竞选

    竞选还可以文明点,就像是两个人在对骂。赶快选好,我找新总统有事。

    September 27, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  4. Vizier

    These types of one plus one debates that the American media loves to throw before its slaves is entertaining. If anyone still believes "radical Muslims" committed 9/11, I can promise you Santa Clause drank your ginger ale. Americans are so divided and unfortunately will always be divided for it is the Eurocentric environment that breeds this mentality. This is a mentality of fear of what they can't understand, casting down of ancient traditions and the push for democracy instead of development.

    Wake up.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • norman christensen

      Americans are the best if u want a debate call me 708-447-3180

      January 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  5. george

    i know for fact lot muslims americans they hate this country,im lebanese and i hear them talking about it chatting about it posting comments in arabic chat rooms ,but let me ask you and be honest with me muslims,lets make believe this plane full of muslims and the hijackers are christians and they made this attack in muslim country like saudi arabia or egypt ,and in those muslim countries has christian comunity how many of them would have ben killed? i think they would have made massacres in christians, after the drawing of prphit mohammad pictures in holland they attacked christian town in lebanon destroyed churchs ,big attack like this if happen in any arab or muslim countries the revenge of the local christians would be in the 10000s

    September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  6. Eric Onzere

    The disturbances caused by Muslims worldwide due to the Film recently made in the USA leaves a lot to be desired around the world.
    Apart from anger directed at the US I think the attack on Churches is just too extreme.
    Christians have always respected other Religions and been tolerant to muslims in even countries where Islam is a minority. What we see in places in countries where Christians are minority is just ridiculous. I dont think this guy called Muhammed told his followers to be hooligans with an excuse of defending religion. Destroying property and killing innocent people should be condemned. This rage should be taken to the US soil and killing our own brothers in the name of directing anger to America is not only barbaric but shows how Islam has no respect to human life and property. Can you imagine what would happen if Christians could start burning Mosques and directing their anger at Muslims-the world could be inhabitable and Muslims would be extinct to say.
    Countries around the world have suffered because of the US. The bombing in Nairobi,Dar es Salaam etc just shows how innocent peolpe die for a war that is to be taken to America.
    America should start planning on compesating countries who have suffered on their behalf.
    Lastly I would like to know why Muslims hate Christians that much,is it fear or just a complex that we dont understand? We are supposed to be Brothers,we came from one father,Abraham and even in the Quran Jesus is recognised and identified as much as the prophet Muhammad infact Jesus is mentioned more than him in the same book-25 versus 4 times.
    Muslims-Christians are not your enemy. You should emulate us as peaceful people,we respect your religion and love you as our brothers but I wish the same could be demonstrated towards us.

    September 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • george

      ill tell you why ,coz in their religion we are infedel koffar and they have to spread islam all over the world ,and in their belives they have to convert u when they have the power over you ,in the middle east we christians did not convert thats why we r always enemies we can live in peace when they can't kill us and get away with it ,but any time there is lawlesnnes in any muslim country they kill and force the christians to leave,lebanon 1902 was 92% christians now we r 39% ,go to any muslim sites you will hear now we r 15% in europe in year 2050 we r going to rule europe by alsharee3a ,they come to the west to find their freedom when they get their freedom they wana deny it on others when they can,simple act u know what christians for them we are not allow to build church or put cross in gulf states this would be insult to their religion people and land its so discusting they can't even tolerate to look at the cross

      September 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  7. bob

    If they love america so much why do they turn american neiborhoods into a middle east looking towns ?

    September 14, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Robert H.

      The biggest problem with religion is that it exists. Clearly a control issue and a hope issue for the hopeless, religion has brought more pain into the world than all wars combined. Please grow up everyone and believe in yourself, not an egotistical man made higher power. The fact that there is no god, as represented in religion of all kinds, is the only thing I am certain of in this life.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • george

      they will never love america they love american dollars,if americans understand aravic and they hear what muslims say about america or american then they will know how racists are those people,in arab world was 1 milion christians in iraq ,now they are 200000 ,in egypt 15 milions now maybe 7 milions in syria muslims were 150000 arab muslims ommayad came from arabia and syrians were 7 milions now maybe 2 milions christians 22 milion muslims, LEBANON poor lebanese christians they are deffending themselves for the past 1500 years GGOGLE history of the christians in lebanon, muslims get mad at the west they attack the christians in lebanon and their churchs,i hope one day those people will coexist with others ,IN MY OPINION THEY WILL NEVER DO THAT

      September 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  8. what do muslims fear?

    soap

    September 14, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Reality

      And farting.

      To wit:

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/1503931/Prayer-Recitation-of-Quran-and-Ablution-or-Bath?query2=islam%20fart

      "Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim's prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

      The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a "farter" Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution."

      September 14, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • bob

      This guy is a nut job he posts this on every article everyday

      the only thing this guys posts accomplish is remind me how dumb some people in this world really are

      September 14, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Robert H.

      Prayer is good for perception, and this is true only if you really believe! Don't double up when you miss you meds.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  10. Agnostic

    Some facts to consider:

    A Hindu politician from India put it very well a few years back. He said something like this: "There are currently 26 armed conflicts going on in the world right now. 24 of them involve Muslims against someone else. Doesn't that tell you anything?" The most vicious actions in the world today are perpetrated by Muslims. I'm sure there were a lot of nice people in Nazi Germany, too, but that really didn't make much difference to Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Slavs and other victims, did it?

    During the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators (400,000 in San Francisco alone) protested what their government was doing in Southeast Asia. How many Muslims have protested what their co-religionists are doing in various parts of the world?

    How many Muslims have been killed by non-Muslims because of their religion in the US? In Europe? The "Muslims living in fear" concept is utterly ridiculous. Muslims are far more likely to be attacked and killed by other Muslims (Shia/Sunni).

    September 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.