SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, proved to be a catalyst for increased political involvement by the Muslim community in the United States, according to the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in San Diego.
"In general, we have all come out of this stronger," Hanif Mohebi told City News Service. "I do pray the scapegoating after 9/11 is over."
He said it was painful to have to continually apologize for something he did not do.
"I personally feel, `Why should I do this if I was in no way, shape, or form involved?"' Mohebi said. "I think most of the people in our community feel the same way."
Young Muslims in America have changed over the past 10 years, mostly in their political awareness, leading to the election of two Islamic members of Congress, he said in reference to Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind.
Mohebi said he was driving his pickup truck from San Jose to a meeting in San Francisco when he learned of the attacks over the radio.
"I was obviously terrified and I turned around and missed the exit to my office -- I was so taken with this," Mohebi said. "It was a huge shock."
Americans in general understand that it was "bad apples" in the Islamic world who carried out the attack, but some people have made it their business to disparage Muslims, he said.
Babak Rahimi, an assistant professor of Iranian and Islamic Studies at UC San Diego, said he has suffered far more harassment in Europe, especially at airports, than in the United States.
"As an Iranian-American with a Muslim background, I have always felt safer and more respected in the U.S. than, say, in Europe, where I have been harassed by the police for simply waiting to catch a plane or riding a train," Rahimi wrote in an email to City News Service from Iran, where was traveling.
But he said he knows many Muslims who have suffered from prejudice in this country.
"In comparison to pre-9/11 period, I think we are safer since our government has become more alert to this problem (of terrorism)," Rahimi said.
"Various government agencies have undergone major training to deal with the threat of militant Islamist groups, and that is why we have seen a number of potential attacks successfully detected and stopped."
Rahimi said al-Qaida failed in its goals because of its violent tactics, seen by Muslims as grotesque and not in keeping with their religion. The organization might have undid itself in Iraq, where it fomented sectarian violence that was rejected in a country where there are many intermarriages, he said.
A pedestrian was struck and killed Wednesday on northbound Interstate 805 near Imperial Avenue, according to California Highway Patrol.
Monsoonal moisture continues the chance for afternoon thunderstorms. Moisture will decrease Friday through the weekend, reducing but not eliminating the chances for thunderstorm activity.
A woman who led California Highway Patrol officers on a chase from the San Diego area to Santa Clarita was pulled from the vehicle and taken into custody Tuesday night on the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway.
Protesters on Tuesday made their way into a National City Council meeting to demand answers over the death of Earl McNeil.
Hundreds of friends and family on Tuesday gathered to celebrate the short but powerful life of a Chula Vista teen killed in a hit-and-run crash.
The weather often plays a role in health trends, and our current hot, humid conditions are no exception. The nurse practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic said some of the most common issues are nothing more than skin deep.
A downtown bar in San Diego is facing backlash after it promoted a party to celebrate Comic-Con attendees leaving San Diego after the convention ends.
In February 2018, the City of San Diego admitted more than 300 water customers had been overcharged due to human error.
Residents across the San Diego region are reporting an increase of coyote sightings around their homes.
At some point in life, many people stop worrying about what other people think - and only do what makes them happy.