One Week After 9/11, American Muslims Shared Their Experiences

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Shortly after the devastating terror attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, The Oprah Winfrey Show addressed some of the questions facing a nation that was left confused, angry and fearful in the aftermath of such immense tragedy—and that was now grappling with what to do about it. Oprah invited then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden and New York Times journalist Judith Miller to try to get to the heart of how Americans could move forward in order to rebuild and thrive in a new paradigm.

After the show, the studio audience touched on some of the more complicated feelings about and of the American Muslim community. One woman, in reference to Muslims who chose to publicly dress in traditional religious garments, asked the loaded question, "Why do you not want to assimilate?" The audience expressed various views on the issue, including individual testimonies of the stigma felt by many American Muslims both before and after 9/11.

The discussion inspired Oprah to ask what it truly means to be American. Watch to see how one earnest audience member answered that question.