While the events of Sept. 11, 2001, have changed the lives of many Americans, whether they lost a loved one or now have to deal with increased security measures, at least one group has dealt with the tragedy more than others.

Muslims in the United States have been the victims of crimes as the result of anger or suspicion, said Abdul Awadalla, former president of the Muslim Students Association at San Jose State University.

“We’re just being watched,” Awadalla said. “Everything we do, how we respond, what we do in the world.”

Awadalla added that the women have it harder than the males since they are “usually much easier to spot.”

Sameena Usman, the public relations coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Bay Area, said her organization deals with cases of discrimination on a daily basis.

According to Usman, members of the Muslim community call the council to report acts of “harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment.”

Usman said after each call is received, members of the council investigate the claims further to find out what happened.

According to the council’s Web site, “CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

“Because of 9/11, that is why I work for CAIR,” Usman said.


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