Memon said he moved from Chicago to New York City last July, around the time the controversy over the Park51 Islamic Center -- nicknamed the "Ground Zero Mosque" by its opponents -- was heating up. Memon said that he felt there was "no dialogue" about it: "I really didn't feel threatened -- I felt that there was an aura of confusion about the whole thing."
But this is something that he says he's experienced since September 11. "We have to be more aware of what was going on because when something like this is thrust into the limelight" then "fear tends to take hold" among those who don't know much about Islam.
"For me there's more of, I have to be aware of people's experiences. I have to be like 'no this is how Muslims are," Memon said.
He said when he heard that the President was going to announce that bin Laden was killed, he was "in shock," and headed over to Ground Zero because he assumed there would be something going on in celebration.
Though the atmosphere at Ground Zero that night was positive, since the announcement there has still been some anti-Islam backlash. Right-wing blogger Erick Erickson tweeted Monday: "In honor of the death of Osama Bin Laden I'm eating bacon I cooked on the grill. Yummy." There was also an article on the Michigan View called "Payne: Bin Laden-loathing, Sharia-hating, flag-waving, horn-honking. . . Muslims?" -- the implication being that it's a surprise that Muslims would be celebrating bin Laden's death. The link was tweeted by people like Saul Anuzis, who ran for RNC Chair this year.
But Memon called these views "isolated incidents" and said that "overall I don't think that that reflects the tone of America at all." He added that the best way to counter this kind of talk is by "not vilifying them, but reaching out to them."
"People say that moderate Muslims don't speak up [against terrorism]," Memon said. "Hopefully incidents like this will change that."