Reflecting on 9/11 and West Virginia welcoming Afghan refugees

Inside West Virginia Politics

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Inside West Virginia Politics, Ibtesam “Sue” Barazi, the Vice President of the Islamic Association of West Virginia and the leader of the West Virginia Interfaith Ministry, discusses what changed for American Muslims after 9/11.

Barazi says many Muslims became the target for violence, even when they had nothing to do with the attacks. She talks about how she and the other religious leaders in West Virginia have come together to work on many issues, especially after the attacks. “After 9/11 and after I retired, I saw the need to build bridges. Talk to people, let them know who we are. Invite people to the Islamic center, to the mosque. We had many events to let them know we are not your enemies.”

At this time, there is an effort to welcome Afghan refugees to West Virginia. Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin read a proclamation welcoming immigrant families at Charleston City Hall on Friday, Sept. 10.  

“This is the time to step up if you are a goodwill individual,” said Bazari. “Afghanis and many immigrants who come to this country are going to do nothing but good deeds and provide services. They’re entrepreneurs, good for the community.”

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