I am an 11-year-old American Ahmadi Muslim. My parents are from Bangladesh and I am attending sixth grade in middle school. With my background, it has been quite an experience growing up in Queens in post-9/11 America.

Last year, every time the topics of Islam, Muslims, 9/11 or the World Trade Center were brought up, everyone, including the teacher, would stare at me as if I had something to do with this act of terrorism. In America, people associate the collapse of the World Trade Center with Islam. They show their aggression toward us without knowing the truth about us or our religion.

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Though it is true that the people who caused the World Trade Center to collapse were Muslims, they were Muslims only in name. Many people are not aware that the meaning of the word Islam is "peace." I am a practicing Muslim, and it makes me sad to see people spread violence in the name of Islam and send the wrong message to others.

Mirza Ghulam Haseeb, Jamaica Hills