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After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, people of other faiths in the surrounding community were generally able to see the difference between the radical perpetrators and American Muslims, said Omar Awad, president of the center.Like Muslims around the country, New Jersey's have been slogging through a particularly painful year.Now New Jersey Muslims are facing the broad scrutiny that follows when someone in their community is suspected of being a militant.Abedellah could not say for sure whether Rahami had ever worshipped at Darul Islam, but said the suspect could have passed through, since many Muslims in the community at one time or another have attended Friday prayers there.New Jersey Muslims are predominantly African-American, Arab or South Asian, plus Muslim asylum-seekers from the Balkans and elsewhere.In Elizabeth, Muslims have had a presence since at least the mid-20th century, developing mainly from a community of African-American Muslims and eventually growing to encompass immigrants from around the world, Abedellah said. Christie's political pivot has been especially disheartening for New Jersey Muslims.Next weekend in Elizabeth, where Rahami lived, more than 300 people are expected to attend the sixth annual meeting of the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, on marketing to Muslims and commemorating their achievements in the business world.
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