Ahmed Mustafa still remembers his initial fear as a Muslim American on that day.
"My first reaction was I locked every door and I went upstairs and got every gun out of my gun cabinet. And I said we have to protect the house," Mustafa said.
Three days later the paramedic found himself assisting at Ground Zero.
"We knew after our walk around, we weren't looking for survivors. We were there to protect the rescuers," he said.
He worked with fellow Americans to pick up the pieces to help calm those fears of retaliation, even when he was interrogated weeks later by the FBI. He believes one of the terrorists stole his identity. After a few hours, the FBI cleared him. His case is extreme, but many Muslim Americans noticed a change after 9/11.
20% say life is more difficult. They say now they're met with suspicion and called offensive names.
"People say go back to your country. But I am an American citizen. My parents are American citizens. So this is my country," said Mubarak Bashir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community."It hurts our feelings When other people look at us that way because not everybody is like that. Yes, to cover my head is part of my faith. Yes, to cover myself is part of my faith but that doesn't mean every Muslim is a terrorist out there," said Noor Haleem.
Many local Muslims say their friends stood by them. One area mosque and several others decided to dispell the the stereotypes by interacting with non-Muslims, by hosting events like a blood drive to honor 9/11 victims.
"The pain has no color, nor faith nor religion. Neither does the blood it's always red. So the pain is the same and our prayers go out to those who have lost their loved ones," Haleem said.
In time, Mustafa hopes fewer people will associate terrorists with Islam.
"I really believe that slowly and steadlily people are understanding right that it was a very small subset of very very completely crazy people that undertook this mission and hopefully over time we will stop the mass stereotyping," he said.