Islamophobia may have grown, but progress is being made as activists question 'media stereotypes'.
"USA! USA!" chanted the mob of hundreds as it tried to march - towards Bridgeview's Mosque Foundation just southwest of Chicago. It was September 12, 2001, one day after the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers 800 miles to the east in New York City. Had it not been for the police, Muslims in Bridgeview feared the attempted protest against their place of worship would have led to violence, and their mosque that was founded in 1954 and serves more than 50,000 Muslims would've been either damaged or destroyed.
Hate crimes against Muslims, Arabs and others happened across the US in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In Arizona, a Sikh man was gunned down and killed at the gas station that he owned. Businesses belonging to American Muslims were attacked, and religious institutions were vandalised. In cities like Chicago, home to one of the nation's largest Arab and Muslim populations, the attacks and harassment were widespread.
Hatem Abudayyeh, then youth program director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) drove as fast as he could to the organisation's offices on the southwest side. "I wanted to be prepared for attacks on the community," he told Al Jazeera.
Abudayyeh said that Arab mothers were too scared to send their children to school for days after the attacks. Muslim women asked their imams if they could remove their headscarves out of fear for attack, many were too afraid to leave their homes with their families.
More on muslim victims at "Al Jazeera"