The Atlantic

‘This Could Have Been Their 9/11 Moment’

A generation of young American Muslims is coming of age in a time when a mass shooting at a mosque is horrifying, but not surprising.
Source: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET on March 18, 2019.

NEW YORK CITY—The prayer space at the Islamic Center at New York University is like any other college conference room: big windows, tall ceilings, retro carpeting. But when it’s transformed for Friday prayers, called jummah, there’s a certain familiarity to it too: rows of tape showing worshippers where to sit, a line of chairs dividing women from men, people sitting cross-legged and chatting. This prayer space is similar to the two mosques, thousands of miles away in New Zealand, where 50 worshippers were killed and untold others were injured by a gunman on Friday.

For Mohammed Hojaij, a junior at NYU who serves on the board of

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