After 9/11, Muslims Put On the Spot to Explain Islam, Counter Misperceptions

September 11, 2005

Source: / Union-Tribune

On September 11, 2005 the Union-Tribune reported, "Community members estimate that 80,000 to 100,000 Muslims live in San Diego County, although an exact census figure isn't available. That means there are more Muslims here than Presbyterians or Episcopalians or United Methodists, and the number of Muslims is roughly equal to the number of Jews. The faces are diverse: immigrants and converts, newcomers and old-timers, Arabs, Asians, Africans and Anglos, who all look at the world through Muslim eyes. Four years ago today, their world changed... [Ghada Osman is an assistant professor at San Diego State University and director of its Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies.] Since the attacks, Osman, a 31-year-old native of New Jersey who was educated at Harvard, has spoken to countless groups about Islam. [Bader El-Ghussein of Del Cerro, 21] has fielded questions from classmates. Likewise, engineers, merchants, homemakers and others have found themselves trying to convince people that Islam is a religion of peace... Last month, [after the July bombings in London] the Islamic Center of San Diego in Clairemont – the county's busiest mosque, attracting about 900 people for Friday prayers – reopened its doors for tours, just as it did after Sept. 11, in a continuing effort to be part of the mainstream community."