Written by Madiha Tahseen, Ph.D. Acknowledgments: Mariam Rasheed, MSW; Fatyma Karamoko, B.A.
On September 11th, 2001, the world mourned the loss of life and destruction. It was also a pivotal moment in the history of Muslims in the U.S. and across the world. As a young adult today, you may not be aware of how much life changed for Muslims then and now. Anyone identifiably Muslim joined the list of communities singled out amidst a rise in hate crimes, expansive national security and surveillance policies, and an overwhelming sense of otherness and being “Un-American”. The Muslim community experienced their religious identities come under attack similar to the Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims of Mecca.
As the world remembers that day, there may be a rise in hate crimes and anxiety, as well as the desire to counter-narratives you may hear in the media.
In this guide, we provide strategies to help you cope as well as resources that can be used to educate yourself and share with others. 

Process your emotions

You may be feeling anxious about potential hate incidents, worrying about your safety or getting re-triggered by the media.
Muslim Wellness Foundation is doing a three-part workshop series on “Coping with 9/11 & the trauma of Islamophobia”–check it out!

Use the opportunity to educate yourself and others

Muslims experienced the aftermath of 9/11 in many different ways–even to this day. Some experienced negative emotions (anxiety, hate) and incidents (Islamophobic acts). Others felt the need to defend Islam and counter the anti-Muslim narrative. Share the resources below with those in your life who may benefit, such as your teachers/professors, counselor, employers and friends
As a young adult, the events and aftermath of 9/11 may not be part of your childhood. But, it has certainly impacted your life as a Muslim American. Use the resources below to educate yourself as well. Reading or watching too much content about 9-11 can be stressful and triggering–make sure you center your well-being. 

Recognize the impact on Muslim identity

In the aftermath of 9/11, the identity of Muslim Americans became under seige. Questions like “Am I american” “Can I be Muslim in this country” “Can I be both” became part of the daily struggles of many Muslims. Such questioning still exists today–perhaps you have had to answer questions like these in your schools and workplaces. 

Channel your energy!

When we feel helpless about a situation, we can end up feeling cynical and angry. However, taking action that matters can help us to feel empowered. Use the energy that Allah (SWT) has blessed you within your youth and channel it for change! 
Policies enacted after 9/11 are just the latest rendition of policies inspired by xenophobic and white-supremacist ideologies that many Black Muslims have been experiencing since the foundation of this country. Post 9/11 policies just expanded the experience to a broader population of non-Black Muslims. 

Supporting others around you

You may find yourself having to provide support to others around you, either friends who lost loved ones or were impacted by anti-Muslim hate. Incorporate the following strategies in your conversations with them:
The Holy Qu'ran says: "Verily, with every hardship, comes ease" [94:5].
Although 9-11 changed the world, and laid the foundation for many of the policies that impact your life today, it is also a teachable and character-building moment. After we’ve processed our emotions and engaged in self-care, it is a chance for us to represent Islam in our manners and character–to show the resilience and thriving nature of the Muslim community. Allah (SWT) is in full control and is the best of planners. We are being tested to see how we will react. Let’s answer the test with islam (practice/submission), iman (faith), and ihsaan (excellence).
Coping With 9/11 As A Young Adult