re: #3 reine.de.tout
You hit the nail on the head, sister.
There were (and still are) feelings of collective guilt. What I mean by that is that we American Muslims knew we weren’t responsible for what happened and there’s nothing we could have done to stop it, but we also knew that we’d face guilt by association in many people’s minds.
The emotions were horrible during that time…. shock that such a thing happened to us (collectively, as Americans), fury & horror over the brutal slaughter of so many innocents, and additional shame & anger that Muslims would commit such an atrocity… that was topped off with feelings of trepidation, sadness, and even a little bit of resentment at the certain knowledge that our grief & anger would be considered suspect (at best), or dismissed as diabolically insincere (at worst) by a significant portion of our fellow Americans. IOW, we knew would not be allowed to mourn as Americans.
It was paralyzing. I, for one, didn’t leave my apartment for about 6 weeks. Not because I was afraid of any physical threat, but because I simply couldn’t cope with all the emotions AND risk the possibility of some fellow American on a bus or subway looking at me with disgust or fear or hate.
I’m pretty sure most American Muslims felt the same, or close to it. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a single person or organization that who could act as a representative for American Muslims. There still isn’t really, but I think the various individuals & groups who are out there are more organized now and understand that they not only need to speak out immediately, but they also need to better educate & police their communities.