Another wound for Muslims who lost family on 9/11

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(RNS) When the subject of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero came up in Fahina Chowdhury’s government class recently, the high school freshman at Oklahoma City’s Classen School for Advanced Studies, spoke up. “As a Muslim American, and as the daughter of someone who was killed on September 11, I knew I had to […]

  • Rich

    My heart goes out to Chowdhury family. It is a terrible thing to be suffering from the loss of a loved one because of unspeakable violence and then be looked at with suspicion and scorn because of a similarity; in this case religion and ethnic heritage.

    As a third-generation American (family from Italy)and a practicing Christian-Catholic, my parents and grandparents were subject to similar suspician and scorn both during WWII and afterwards because of the Mafia and our religion, which was also not accepted by the majority of Protestant Americans who didn’t understand our customs and religious practices. My family still carries the scars of this pain.

    The more I am learning about the Islamic center, the more at peace I am with it. I think it could be a source of healing for many people of all different religions, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds if it is done correctly and with the right intent.

    I think the two major problems we are facing are a lack of ecumenism between Muslims and other religions. Fear is always stoked by the unknown. The second problem is a lack of public condemnation by American-Muslims of the 9/11 attack itself. There have been a few Muslim people who have spoken out against this terrorist attack, but not enough to be effectively heard. I’m not sure of the reason, but many Americans view this silence as implicit support for this activity at the worst or perhaps the general Muslim communitity’s fear of retaliation by the terrorists at the least.

    I’m not sure how we get through this impasse as a nation, but we need to in order to surive.