A 19-year-old Arab American woman hears a man mutter that she should go back to the Middle East, apparently unaware that she was born and raised in the Midwest.

A young chiropractor has renewed his commitment to Islam, in part because he is horrified by what some people are doing in the name of his religion.

A high school principal says his faith in American democracy has been shaken by U.S. actions abroad and what he sees as the erosion of civil liberties at home.

Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, Arab Americans are still sorting through the profound and varied consequences of the attacks and events that followed.

Some have faced threats and insults. Many have been detained and questioned, and believe it’s their names, physical features or religion that piqued the interest of authorities. One economist says prejudice has pushed down the earnings of Arab and Muslim men since 2001.

Others see signs of progress. They point to the outpouring of support from many non-Arabs in the immediate aftermath of the attacks and the efforts of law enforcement to protect them from hate crimes. They see Arab Americans showing more pride in their heritage and getting more politically involved.


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