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August 11th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Opinion: Is U.S. still beacon of liberty for Muslims?

Sharjeel Kashmir
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/08/11/kashmir.beacon.muslim/tzleft.kashmir_sharjeel_2.jpg caption="Kashmir: Muslim Americans are not the enemy, and can be part of the solution" width=300 height=169]

It's a beautiful August morning in Jersey City, New Jersey. I have just finished my regular jog around Liberty State Park. No matter how often I stand here at my favorite spot to stretch, I can only marvel that this is actually my neighborhood and my view.

In front of me, the Hudson River lies at the feet of the New York skyline. To my right, the Statue of Liberty basks in the glory of a thousand gazes from the first tour boat of the day.

I look over at the World Financial Center where I work and, as always, what strikes me isn't what I see, but what I don't see anymore.

The ghosts of the Twin Towers never seem to fade from the skyline in my mind. I am a Muslim, born in England, raised in Pakistan, but every bit as American as any of my fellow joggers or co-workers across the river. Somehow, though, people expect me to react differently. I don't. The same ghosts haunt me.

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Filed under: Islam • Opinion
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