September 9, 2011
Maryam Salem, a fifth grader at a private Islamic school in Bridgeview in September 2001, knew something was very, very wrong.
A plane crashed in New York. Police surrounded the Universal School campus next to Maryam’s family’s mosque. Word got out that the hijackers who turned four airplanes into missiles were waging holy war in the name of Islam.
People in big cars started driving around the Universal School honking and waving American flags.
“Ignorant people,” Salem said. “There were Muslims who died that day. I had nothing to do with it. I was 10.”
Salem was too young to know about hate crimes, but she knew her father didn’t want her mother, who wore a head scarf, to go to Wal-Mart by herself anymore. He packed up his wife and eight children to go stay a few days with family friends well outside of Bridgeview, home to a large mosque and the Midwest’s second-largest Arab-Muslim community.
“Islam” means “peace,” she says, an idea reflected in the prayer she uttered before speaking at all:
“In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful.”
More of the "peace" of islam at "Southtown Star"
A word from allah on the peace of islam:
Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. (Sura 9:29 of allah' handbook of peace and interfaith harmony)