At Tampa mosque 9/11 remembrance ceremony, safe haven is created from hate and war listen09/12/11 Atecia Robinson
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After September 11th some Christians and Muslims viewed each other as the enemy. But on Saturday people of these two world religions gathered at the Islamic Community of Tampaâ€™s mosque in Temple Terrace to pay tribute to the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks.
In a small worship space at the end of a tiny road lies a family of Muslims that welcomes other faiths. But after the September 11th attacks, Muslims were not as welcomed by some Americans. Hassan Shibly, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said it was wrong for Muslims to be so quickly be equated to being terrorists after September 11th.
Many Muslims came to America in order to enjoy rights they werenâ€™t afforded in their own countries. Shibly said 9/11 has changed his life immensely.
After 9/11 some people used racial slurs maligning Muslims. Shilby said it happened to him in school.
President George W. Bush addressed the nation on September 20th, 2001 in reference to Muslim terrorists saying â€œThey hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech.â€ Shibly said the soon-to-be-initiated wars created more cultural friction than unity.
Awatef Ahmad who teaches at the American Youth Academy said she suffered once the so-called â€œWar on Terrorâ€ started, but after attending a group called Women of Faith Building Communities she felt strong again.
Pamela Brown says she started Women of Faith Building Communities because of the wars that sprung from 9/11 and as a way to work toward effective counter-terrorism. The group includes women from at least five different religions.
This 9/11 remembrance ceremony was the first in a pair of weekend events organized by Voices for Peace in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the attacks.