5 years on, US Muslims decry prejudice

Five years after the terrorist 9/11 attacks, many American Muslims complain they continue to face discrimination and stereotyping because of their Islamic attires or identities, while others blame the problem on the misconception of Islam and urge fellow Muslims to work hard to reflect the right picture of their faith.

“The prejudice against Muslims is widespread since 9/11,” Dr. Siraj Islam Mufti, a retired faculty from the University of Arizona and a retired chaplain from the US Department of Justice told IslamOnline.net. “Some advocate profiling based on ethnicity, religion and even identification cards. As a result, there is an increase in a variety of hate crimes committed against Muslims,” added Mufti, now a Contractor to the Federal Correctional Institutions as Imam and a contract Imam with the Corrections Corporation of America in Arizona.

“I experienced some difficult moments of racial profiles,” insists hijab-clad Iman Hadi, remembering she faced her worst experience at the JFK airport in her way back from Egypt. “We were singled out and were detained for about 6 hours for no reason,” she complained. “They took us to a room where I found tens of Arabs and Muslims, even Egypt Air’s pilots were waiting there. They asked us several questions and treated us in a very aggressive way. And the officer was very rude and was trying to humiliate us.”

For Hadi, this was the moment when she felt stranger and unsafe in her own country where she lived for more than 20 years.

Islam Online, 12 September 2006