“I assure my fellow Americans that the American Muslims are like every American,” said Nihad Awad.
Standing side by side with jersey city leaders, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for an end to rhetoric, he says, stirs anti-Muslim sentiments.
“Donald Trump has made vicious and unfounded claims against the American Muslim community,” Awad said.
He’s referring to the GOP presidential front runners remarks at a campaign rally. Trump called for surveillance of certain U.S.
“You have to separate the individual from the belief. You cannot paint all Muslims with the same brush,” said Nadia Kahf. Read More
With the gathering, at an evening meal known as Iftar, Mr. Christie opened what Muslim leaders recall as a period of exceptional warmth between the state’s sizable Muslim community and a prominent Republican. The governor became a fierce defender of local Muslims, rebuking his party in forceful terms for its hostility to a proposed Islamic center in Manhattan, and denouncing what he called “the crazies” on the right for attacking a Muslim lawyer Mr. Christie had selected for a judgeship.
But as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination half a decade later, Mr. Christie’s ties to Muslim leaders in New Jersey have grown deeply strained. The governor has recast himself as a relentless warrior against terrorism, with little patience for what he calls “politically correct” national security policy.
The Council on American Islamic Relations, a national advocacy organization that identified Mr. Christie in a 2013 report as an exemplary Republican, has condemned the governor for his comments on refugees. Jim Sues, director of the group’s New Jersey affiliate, said in an interview that Mr. Christie had helped cast “a shadow of suspicion and fear over all Muslims.” Read More
There is no evidence that any Muslims in New Jersey cheered in support of the terrorist attacks, and police have debunked the idea, although it has persisted as an Internet rumor in the years since 2001. Instead, Muslims in New Jersey remembered losing friends, fearing for their community and learning to fight discrimination in the aftermath of the terrorist attack that changed the nation.
Other Muslims from New Jersey described the terror they felt on 9/11 after two planes flew into the twin towers in lower Manhattan. Abdul Mubarak-Rowe's first memory of the tragic day as a journalist at CNN during the attacks was a producer screaming, “Get the shot! Hold the shot steady,” along with a number of other exclamations. Mubarak-Rowe rushed into the room and saw footage of smoke billowing from the north tower of the World Trade Center.
“We had a terrace in the back that faced south, and we could look at the towers. We went back there and looked at the tower that was in flames, and then I saw the second plane hit the second tower,” Mubarak-Rowe recalled. “When I personally saw that second tower get hit, I knew it was no accident.”
Mubarak-Rowe, who is now the communications director for the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group, said that soon after the plane hijackings he spoke to his daughter and wife on the phone. Once he was certain they were safe, he and other prominent Muslims began reaching out to civic and political leaders on the day of the terrorist attacks. They knew they needed to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim sentiment, and Mubarak-Rowe said New Jersey leaders were eager to help. Read More