In Pewaukee, Wisconsin, a Muslim family found themselves the recipients of racially motivated hatred. A hateful message was delivered to them in the most unexpected of ways – through a $1 bill.
Atiya Hasan’s son was taking money out of his mother’s purse when he found a $1 bill stamped with the words, “No Muslim Immigrants in USA!” He quickly rushed to show his mother the note.
Referring to her son’s discovery, Atiya stated, "He brought it to me and said, 'Mom, look at this. It actually says, 'No Muslim Immigrants in USA!'"
The message was stamped in close proximity to George Washington’s face, and it was surprising that Atiya didn’t notice it earlier.
Atiya still couldn’t believe that she was the target of a hateful Anti-Muslim message, especially since she was a U.S. citizen. Atiya and her husband had moved from Pakistan over 20 years ago. They had four children, all born in Wisconsin. One child was even born on Sept. 11, 2001.
She stated, “My kids were in tears. They don't know any other place. This is home to them. This is home to us.”
"My heart burned at that time, it just burned. I was sad and overwhelmed, but also so angry," she added.
Despite the message being on a random $1 bill, the family maintained that they were the intended targets of the message. The family believes that the bill was from a customer of the Milwaukee gas station which Atiya’s husband owns.
Atiya said, "I would think that they were targeting us.”
When Atiya’s daughter shared the story on social media, the responses quickly came in. Her story led to an outpouring of support from the community.
Neighbors and friends, with many of them in tears, visited the Hasan’s at their home to show their support. Family members from around the world also reached out to the family.
Atiya’s daughter stated, "I don't know how I feel, I just know that it hurts,” adding that she wished people would rise above the hate.
The family is not sure whether the timing of the $1 bill was in any way connected to the Sept. 11 anniversary. However, they did not report the incident to authorities because they did not perceive any specific threat to their family.
They maintained that it was a very hurtful Anti-Muslim message.