What Paterson Muslims want you to know about their town

Sunday, 05 November 2017, 09:58:24 PM. In a city where as many as 11 of the 19 hijackers involved in 9/11 briefly lived while planning their plotting out their attack, many in Paterson are apprehensive that yet another story has once again painted their home with a reputation it does not deserve.
PATERSON--It's about three miles from the South Paterson apartment of the Uzbek immigrant charged last week in the New York terror attack, to the run-down tenement over a bodega on Union Avenue that provided a haven for those plotting the 9/11 attacks more than 16 years ago. The two neighborhoods, in the same city, are worlds apart. South Paterson is the heart of a thriving Muslim center, where signs in Arabic welcome shoppers into stores and restaurants. On the other side of the city's Great Falls, Union Avenue is a gritty place where the signs are mostly in Spanish. What both share is an unwelcome connection to yet another horrific news event that once again thrust New Jersey's third-largest city back on the map. And for some, there is a growing fear that the attention from authorities, and the return of the news media, will further cement an image into the minds of some who see Paterson as a hotbed for extremism or radicalization. To Ahmed Youssef, 42, Paterson is just a home--a town to raise his four children, a place to work and somewhere to eat what he claims to be the best falafel sandwiches in the county. "This is crazy. We've never had this happen since I've lived here," he said, sipping his Dunkin Donuts coffee while talking about the swarms of police and federal agents who have taken over local streets since Sayfullo Saipov--who lived blocks away--was charged in the terror attack that killed eight people in New York on Tuesday. "You know, it is just one guy,"...Read more
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