CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Kadijah Goodby was in the fourth grade on 9/11 she remembers Muslim Americans having to close up shop immediately following the attack.
“It got pretty bad for Muslim people," Goodby said.
Goodby, who now lives in Charlotte, recalled Muslim Americans from that point on being a target of hate because of what they looked like.
“It was a huge influx of terror from everyone," Goodby said.
Maryland CAIR Director Zainab Chaudry agrees.
“Because obviously as news started coming out that the identity of the hijackers were Muslim and they were Arab there was an immediate kind sense that this would lead to backlash within our communities," Chaudry said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a nonprofit that works to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America through education and advocacy.
“In the year following 9/11 there were over 1,700 anti-Muslim incidents that were reported to the organization," Chaudry said.
Two decades have gone by since the attack and the organization is still working tirelessly to make sure the Muslim voice is represented without living in suspicion or fear.
“I remember I was in my first year of pharmacy school at the time and my father had called me on my cellphone and said just take off your hijab. I remember the confusion and the uncertainty of that certain moment," Chaudry said.
It’s a moment she and other CAIR members are fighting for those in the Muslim American community to overcome especially children.
“The pain that our communities have had to endure as a consequence of the backlash towards our communities is just unacceptable," Chaudry said.
“These moments are an opportunity for our communities to engage in dialogue, to build bridges of understanding with the diversity of communities.”
“We follow a beautiful religion and nobody should be allowed to take that away from us," he said.
To learn more about CAIR visit www.cair.com.
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