LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We have all seen life changes since the September 11 attacks nearly ten years ago. From tighter security, to an awareness of terrorism all over the world. Since 9/11, Muslims in America have also dealt with intense scrutiny of their religious faith.
The Westport Road Mosque is just one of eight Islamic places of worship here in Kentuckiana. The Muslim community is growing, with more than 8,000 Muslims here in the Louisville area. For American Muslims, the decade since 9/11 has been one long struggle for identity.
The children at the Islamic School of Louisville are having fun while they are learning. The students are also surrounded by messages most Muslims take seriously.
"Islam teaches us to be fair to people around us not to cheat and to be kind," said 6th grade student Patool Kutmah.
Kutmah and her classmates are learning there are two sides to every story.
"We should always look at both sides before we decide," said the Islamic School Teacher.
But not everyone does.
'I've had a lot of things said, some I won't mention," said Lila Lutfi, an American Muslim. "The main one is go back to your home you terrorist. I'm kind of like okay...my home, I was born in Cincinnati."
Lutfi is a freshman at the University of Lousville. She has dreams of becoming at civil right's attorney.
"Those people when they hijacked those planes, they hijacked my religion too," said Lutfi. "The problem with my generation now is that they try to hide it ,they try to hide that they are Muslim."
"Before 9/11 did I have any concerns about who I was or what background was and what my religion was? No., " said Dr. Asim Piracha, another American Muslim. "I was comfortable and confident telling people. Now, I'm a little shy about talking to people because I know there is a prejudice and fear."
Dr. Piracha says fortunately in the Louisville area there have been no recent attacks on the Muslim community since 9/11. He adds that local Muslims are integrating themselves more to combat negative stereotypes.
"I know people have a negative feeling toward Islam and that what we need to combat we need to educate people we need to change their minds opinions by our actions," said Dr. Piracha.