Aslam Abdullah ended an Islamic panelist discussion Monday evening with a little humor while addressing the question of Islam's role in America and terrorism. Abdullah said that whenever he speaks and wherever he goes people ask if Muslims are responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "My response to them is that we may be responsible for 7-11," Abdullah said, joking but also speaking to the participation of Muslims in American society. "We must understand that 9/11 was as tragic for us as for other Americans," Abdullah said. He is an author and editor of Muslim newspapers in Los Angeles and Detroit.
More than 230 people attended the forum, many of them college sociology students for class credit. Payne and her friend Christopher Papa, 27, learned of the similarities between Islam, Christianity, and Judiasm. Papa said he was beginning to understand the Muslim view and even the conditions surrounding Sept. 11. "If you study it you can understand 9/11," Papa said. "Though it's not justifiable in any way."