FULLERTON, Calif. – Thousands of children navigate every day the subtle and complex challenges that come with growing up Muslim in a deeply traumatized post-Sept. 11 America.
Some were still in diapers and others in grade school when hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a decade ago.
But their childhoods have been deeply touched by the pain and anger of a nation struggling to come to terms with a day that, for them, represents the worst perversion of their faith.
For some, the bullying, the hard stares and endless defense of their identity has nurtured a deeper faith and a maturity and resilience that surprises even their parents.
"Sometimes I feel like I take it upon myself to be a better example," Yousuf Salama says.