How do Americans see Islam

15th anniversary : US Muslims fear September 11th

For Muslims all over the world, one of the highest festivals of the year is approaching: Eid al Adha, the festival of sacrifice, which commemorates the prophet Abraham. For the roughly three million Muslims in the US, however, worry is mixed with joy. Because the evening before and thus the start of the multi-day festival, the date of which is calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore changes every year, this time falls on the 15th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 on Sunday. A potentially dangerous coincidence.

Given the already heated anti-Muslim mood in the country, many are wondering whether they are taking a risk if they celebrate on September 11th anyway. Non-Muslim Americans “will see us and think we're celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers” ​​in New York, writes a Muslim Twitter user. Since the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, many Americans have viewed Islam as a source of danger. According to a survey, 57 percent of Americans are convinced that the values ​​of Islam do not match those of the USA.

Even without a festival of sacrifice, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tells his supporters that Muslims danced on the street on the day of the attacks 15 years ago. Now Trump will actually see Muslims partying on September 11, commented a concerned Muslim on Twitter. With Trump, the minority of Muslims - who make up only around one percent of the total population of the USA - appears as a collection of bloodthirsty extremists. After the Orlando attack in June, in which a Muslim killed 49 people in a gay bar, Trump accused Muslims of protecting violent criminals instead of reporting them to the authorities. In July, he quarreled with the parents of a Muslim US soldier who was killed in action in Iraq. "Trump has more or less declared the Muslims the enemy," summarizes the magazine "The Atlantic".

Hooper advises Muslims to be careful on September 11th

"It has never been so bad," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Islamic umbrella organization CAIR, in an interview with Tagesspiegel. Hooper advises Muslims to be careful and vigilant on September 11th. Clergymen worry too. Some might be tempted to “make” something out of the random calendar, says the President of the Islam Center on Long Island near New York, Habeeb Ahmed. As a result, many US Muslims are unsure whether to attend church services and visit families on September 11.

In everyday life in the country, Muslims say they repeatedly feel the hatred, distrust and aversion of the majority society. After the murder of an imam and his companion in New York in August, the families of the victims speak of an anti-Muslim hate crime. The Islamic Association CAIR suspects that the death of a Muslim woman who was recently stabbed in New York had something to do with the victim's religion. It is not always about deadly violence. In Massachusetts, the judiciary opened a human rights case against authorities in a small town who, without good cause, refused to give permission to set up a Muslim cemetery.

While the American Muslims are preparing for the difficult holiday, the American authorities are also preparing for the weekend. The New Jersey Department of Homeland Security warned that no one should draw the wrong conclusions from the coincidence of the date. Whether that will help is open: America will mourn, but millions of Muslims would celebrate, writes a Trump supporter on Twitter.

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