Website 'Unheard Voices Of 9/11' Calls Victims To Share Discrimination Experiences

Unheard Voices of 9/11

Featuring alleged attacks, physical threats and identity clashes, a diverse group of American communities has brought attention to discrimination against Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs and others almost ten years after the attacks on September 11th, 2011.

The website, titled "Unheard Voices of 9/11", officially launched online in September with a call for people to share their experiences about being targeted because of their spiritual and cultural beliefs and appearance.

Viewers are invited to upload a video of their personal stories or post an image of victims with words of support.

"We were all affected by 9/11, but the mainstream media has not always covered our stories... This website is our chance to tell our stories, so that our voices are no longer unheard," said Sapreet Kaur, executive director of The Sikh Coalition.

How did 9/11 affect you?

Shawn Sing, a NY student, recalled on a video posted on the "Unheard Voiced" how his childhood was affected by the attacks, and Banjot Sing shares how a police officer questioned him and a friend aboard a train out of Manhattan because a fellow passenger "thought we were dangerous."

"We didn't face the problem, but we were running away from it by trying to change our identity and who we are," Sajid said at an August hearing in New York City, portions of which are now on the "Unheard Voices" website. "We don't know how to face the problem ... I don't know what we can do."

Several high-profile cases of alleged hate crimes have been reported and cases in which Muslims and Sikhs faced opposition to projects due to their religion and heritage.

One that received significant international attention was Park 51, an Islamic community center proposed for two blocks from ground zero in Lower Manhattan. Many city residents opposed the effort, characterising the location of the center - which would mostly house cultural, social and recreational programs, as well as a prayer space - as inappropriate and insensitive.

"These 10 years have been pure fear, being scared of the next step, being scared of the next place we're going to go ... what my brother might face, what my dad might face, what I might face," said Manpreet Kaur, 21, from Oak Brook, Illinois. "It's that fear that, everywhere we go, something might happen because we are Sikh - because our men wear turbans, because we look different, because our names are different."

Anoop Prasad, a northern California resident who works for the Asian Law Caucus, said he's known many people who have been visited in recent years by FBI agents, claiming that such treatment sows widespread distrust against authorities among Muslims and others.

"In my community, people are very afraid - that's the reality," he said.

Link to video {}

Image {flickr}

Muslims Mourn On 9/11 Alongside Fellow Americans
Video: President Barack Obama On Death Of Osama Bin Laden
Inside The Mosque At Ground Zero, On Channel 4


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