September 10, 2009

AND 8 YEARS LATER THERE STILL HASN'T BEEN ONE:

8 years later, 9/11 still no ordinary day for US Muslims who fear anniversary backlash (RACHEL ZOLL , 9/10/09, Associated Press)

[M]any American Muslims say Sept. 11 will never be routine, no matter how many anniversaries have passed.

"I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every year," said Nancy Rokayak of Charlotte, N.C., who covers her hair in public. "I feel on 9/11 others look at me and blame me for the events that took place."

Rokayak, a U.S.-born convert, has four children with her husband, who is from Egypt, and works as an ultrasound technologist. She makes sure she is wearing a red, white and blue flag pin every Sept. 11 and feels safer staying close to home.

Sarah Sayeed, who lives in the Bronx, said that for a long time, she hesitated before going out on the anniversary. The morning the World Trade Center crumbled, she rushed to her son's Islamic day school so they could both return home. The other women there warned that she should take off her headscarf, or hijab, for her own safety. She now attends an interfaith prayer event each Sept. 11, keeping her hair covered as always.

"There's still a sense of `Should I go anywhere? Should I say anything?' There's kind of that anxiety," said Sayeed, who was born in India and came to the U.S. at age 8. "I force myself to go out."

The anniversary brings a mix of emotions: sorrow over the huge loss of life, anguish over the wars that followed, but also resentment over how the hijackings so completely transformed the place of Muslims in the U.S. and beyond.


No pride that their country liberated tens of millions of Muslims?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2009 7:15 PM
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