CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mo Idlibi has graduated college, passed the bar, and has opened an East Charlotte law firm.
"There's been a lot of reaction and backlash towards those who are perceived to be Muslim," he said.
His parents were born in Syria and Idlibi isn't alone.
Heba Abdelbaky of Egyptian dissent has felt some of the same pressures.
"Right after 9-11, It was difficult, "she said. "People would stare. People would look differently. Mostly if you were traveling people were afraid."
Charlotte, in many respects, is a world away from New York, but when it comes to issues affecting Muslims and Islam in our community, there are the clear issues of perception and reality.
"The events of 9-11 does not represent Islam in any shape or form," Idlibi said.
That doesn't negate how people feel.
Remember several years ago, Kamran Akhtar was arrested for taking pictures of uptown buildings, and back in May two Imams were not allowed to board a Delta flight to Charlotte.
Idlibi was the lawyer who took their call, and says some individuals are targeted.
"Those women who wear the head scarf, if you have a beard, being called a towel head,"he said."We have some children named Osama.
After 9-11, they were being ridiculed and bullied."
If there is one lesson Heba Abdelbaky and Mo Idlibi agree upon, it is to teach tolerance.
She said,"You expose yourself to different situations, and you learn and you understand."