Many U.S. Muslims still struggle with 9/11

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There is the dread of leaving the house that morning. People might stare, or worse, yell insults.

Prayers are more intense, visits with family longer. Mosques become a refuge.

Eight years after 9/11, many U.S. Muslims still struggle through the anniversary of the attacks. Yes, the sting has lessened. For the younger generation of Muslims, the tragedy can even seem like a distant memory. "Time marches on," said Souha Azmeh Al-Samkari, a 22-year-old student at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Yet, many American Muslims say Sept. 11 will never be routine, no matter how many anniversaries have passed...

... The anniversary brings a mix of emotions: sorrow over the huge loss of life, anguish over the wars that followed, but also resentment over how the hijackings so completely transformed the place of Muslims in the U.S. and beyond.

A poll released this week by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 38 percent of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence. That is down from 45 percent two years earlier.

It is now common in U.S. mosques for Muslims to preface public remarks by saying they know the government is eavesdropping but Muslims have nothing to hide...

... Kamran Memon, an Illinois lawyer, has taken a different approach, founding Muslims for A Safe America, which challenges fellow Muslims to learn more about national security. The debates and talks he leads at mosques throughout the Chicago area start from the position that Muslims were behind the attacks.

On the anniversary, Memon keeps his work schedule light and prefers to stay home. He reflects on what happened, but his thoughts are more focused on what could be ahead. Some Muslims are convinced that if the U.S. is hit with another terrorist attack, the government will put them in internment camps, he said.

"There's this fear about what down the road this will mean for my daughter's future. What kind of life will she have here?" he said. "People may be less angry or less hostile toward Muslims in general, but if there's another attack, what then?"

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