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Ten years of difficulty  for Muslim Americans

· Muslims surveyed on hostility and intolerance after September 11th ·

Ten years later it is even more difficult to be Muslim in the United States. Since that fatal day of September 11th, which has been decisively carved into the recent history of the entire planet, every day tasks such as shopping, wandering through the streets and taking public transportation have become more complicated for followers of Islam on American soil. Often singled out for surveillance, Muslims risk constantly being checked on, looked at with suspicion and called offensive names. These are, at least, the opinions expressed by the majority of Muslim Americans interviewed by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

However at the same time, the survey shows that half of those interviewed also recognize kindness and friendship on the part of other Americans. A clear majority, or three-quarters of the interviewees, believe in “the American dream”, expressing that through hard work there is always the possibility to better's ones life. According to the Pew Center there are 2.75 million Muslims present in the United States, 400,000 more than four years ago. Muslims in the U.S. do not represent a subclass but “middle-class, mainstream people who want to be loyal to America” because of the opportunities present, Andrew Kohut, President of the Pew Center explained.

It is a community difficult to study, 63% of which is made up of first-generation immigrants from dozens of different countries and cultures; a diversity that is also complicated to determine, since neither the recent census nor the office of immigration requests the specification of religious affiliation, in order to respect privacy.

In three months more than 1000 people were interviewed. Now, only a few days before the anniversary of September 11th, the results of the study show that 60% of Muslims born in the United States blame leaders of Islamic communities of not adamantly condemning extremism. This opinion is also shared by 43% of Muslims who have immigrated to the U.S. In addition, Safaa Zarzour, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America recognizes that their ability to make others sensitive towards Muslims is not being acknowledged as they would desire.

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