Muslim Americans were not invented on 11 September 2001. Our history with New York, and the rest of the country for that matter, far precedes those attacks. Some of the earliest arrivals were on slave ships that crossed the Atlantic.
Yet the anti-Muslim hate metastasising across the United States these days is ferocious in its determination to drive a wedge between the “American” and the “Muslim” of our identities.
Volunteers from the Minnesota chapter of Islamic Circle of North America took to the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” to repair the image of Muslims in America. A poll released last week showed many Americans have the same mixed feelings about the Muslim faith. The nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that most Americans doubt that Islam is likelier than other faiths to encourage violence and believe Muslims should have equal rights to build houses of worship. But more people have an unfavorable than favorable view of Islam by 38 to 30 percent – nearly a reversal of findings on the same poll question in 2005, when 41 percent had favorable views compared with 36 percent unfavorable.
Even though the debate over a planned Islamic center near ground zero has made some Muslims in New York fearful of calling attention to themselves, Mr. Boota never considered suspending his street drumming.
NY Times continues to cover, Mr Boota, a limousine driver, has built a sideline as a ceremonial drummer for his fellow Pakistani immigrants. He is also New York City’s foremost — and perhaps only — Ramadan drummer. A few hours before dawn during the holy month of Ramadan, drummers throughout the Muslim world take to the streets to wake the faithful in time for a meal before the daytime fast.
Nine years after 9/11, Muslim Americans, feel scared not as much for their safety as to learn that the suspicion, ignorance and even hatred of Muslim is so widespread. The fierce opposition to the Muslim cultural center near ground zero, the knifing of Muslim cab driver in NYC, and other anti-Muslim sentiments has many American Muslims alarmed and questioning: “Will we ever be really completely accepted in American society?”
“They liken their situation to that of other scapegoats in American history: Irish Roman Catholics before the nativist riots in the 1800s, the Japanese before they were put in internment camps during World War II.” Amongst this growing tide of fear, various interfaith groups are calling for greater outreach. The Islamic Society of North America has planned a summit to convene a summit of Christians, Muslims, and Jewish leaders in Washington on Tuesday.
This year September 11 coincides with the celebration of Eid, the finale to Rmadan-and one of the major holidays of Muslims, has been dampened by the political climate. Some Muslim leaders have gone as far as to ask mosques to use the day to participate in commemorations events and community service so as not to appear as celebrating on the anniversary of 9/11.