Muslim-American local reflects on 9/11 aftermath in Michiana
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. –For many Muslim -Americans the 9/11 attacks brought a lot of scrutiny and discrimination towards their community, changing the relationship many have with this country. But, for one local Michiana man that isn't the case for him and his family.
“In my case, I probably heard a couple of negative comments, but I got a lot of support," said Ray Kadi, a pharmacist at University Commons Pharmacy.
20 -years later, and the memory of 9/11 is etched in Ray Kadi’s mind. At the time, he was working at a pharmacy in Dowagiac, when he got a call from a friend.
“He says, did you see the news, and I say what news? He says turn on your TV and sees what is going on. So, as I turned on the TV the first tower was going down,” Kadi said.
Kadi moved to America in 1986 from Syria with his wife. After the 9/11 attacks, Kadi said he noticed a slight shift in the way he was treated by strangers, but he still felt the support from community members.
“Being a pharmacist, people trust you, I was there for a very long time when it happened, maybe 10- 15 years. People are not going to forget who I am because something happened,” Kadi said.
Although Kadi didn’t feel the direct impact of Islamophobia here in Michiana, since 9/ 11 Islamophobia has increased. According to data from the FBI, the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents spiked in 2001 from 28 to 481 incidents nationwide.
Since then, that number has dwindled, but the terror attacks 20 years ago still fresh in many minds, has changed how Muslim- Americans are perceived by the rest of the country.
“When it happened, there was a lot of negativities, I mean there was Islamophobia, every Muslim was a terrorist. You can feel it on the news, you can feel it in the media, you can feel it in people’s eyes, even if they don’t come out and say it straight out to you, but in general, I feel it's tampering down,” Kadi said.