In Syracuse, as in countless other communities, 9/11 set off a phenomenon that may seem counterintuitive in an era of increasingly vocal Islamophobia. A terrorist attack that provoked widespread distrust and hostility toward Muslims also brought Muslims in from the margins of American religious life — into living rooms, churches, synagogues and offices where they had never set foot before.
American Christians and Jews reached out to better understand Islam and — they will admit — to find out firsthand whether the Muslims in their midst were friends or foes. Muslims also reached out, newly conscious of their insularity, aware of the suspicions of their neighbors, determined that the ambassadors of Islam should not be the terrorists.
“Before 9/11 we were somewhat timid,” said Saad Sahraoui, president of the Islamic Society of Central New York, the largest mosque in Syracuse, when the attacks occurred in 2001. “We just kept to ourselves, just concerned with our families and our children....
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Women * Economics, Politics Terrorism * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations Judaism
Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:01 am
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