Houses Divided

Two Afghan Mosques in Flushing Worry in Attack Aftermath

The Taliban started in his hometown of Kandahar in 1994, imposing Shariah (the body of rules guiding Muslim life) law where previously feuding warlords held sway. "They brought justice to Afghanistan," he said. "Before, people just grabbed a gun and said, 'OK, I'm the law now.' People liked them for that here and in Afghanistan. They thought they were helping the country." But, he added, "If there are supporters of the Taliban here, I don't have any idea who they are."

In the days after the U.S. attacks, as word filtered into Afghanistan that the United States had started assault preparations, Afghans hoping to flee were trapped: Neighboring countries Pakistan and Iran sealed their borders. Those Afghans who made it to Flushing in the past 20 years rarely hear from their relatives in Afghanistan, which has few phone lines and no mail service. Noorzad's brother-in-law managed to call from Kabul recently.

"It was a week before the tragedy," he said. "He told me the family has nothing to eat. I guess he's in hiding somewhere now, before the bombs start to fall."

"We're all Americans, you know—Afghan Americans—all of us together. We are suffering through this tragedy. We don't want to have another one. If the Americans bomb, they have to hit at the right time, the right spot, and the right person. But I'm afraid that they'll kill innocent people. You shouldn't kill civilians."

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