For a full answer to this and other questions, see Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam
In Brooklyn, New York, there is a neighborhood that calls itself “Little Pakistan”. Located on Coney Island Avenue, the neighborhood was described to us, by people we met, as an energetic and bustling part of town. But, everything had changed. The neighborhood was nearly empty. We were told that something like40 percent of the Pakistani population had either voluntarily left, were deported, or simply disappeared.
In the days and months after 9/11, security had tightened, the community was repeatedly raided for illegal immigrants, and hundreds were deported. Many more left because of fear. In another part of Brooklyn, Imam Siraj Wahhaj spoke about the fear of those in the neighborhood. “Just imagine FBI knocking on your door at 3:00 in the morning and questioning you,” he said, “people get scared.” Some estimate that about 15-20,000 left the neighborhood. Many stores went out of business. “In the old days,” someone said, “when you went to Coney Island Avenue you saw a lot of people, even at 12 o’clock midnight. And now at nine o’clock at night this place is deserted.”
The neighborhood is now seeing a resurgence thanks to many Pakistanis who have returned. We have much more on Little Pakistan, National Security and Immigration in the book. Please order below.
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