NEW YORK (AFP) New Yorks Muslims on Friday celebrated Eidul Fitr under the shadow of the 9/11 anniversary and a wave of what many are calling Islamophobia. But tensions are soaring as the United States prepares to observe the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on Saturday. At one of the citys biggest and oldest mosques, Imam Shamsi Ali called for forgiveness in a time of hatred and animosity between people. And he urged his congregation to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11, whose anniversary just happens to coincide with the moveable feast of Eidul Fitr this year. Today is supposedly a day of celebration for Muslims, a day of happiness, the Imam said in his sermon at the Harlem mosque. But we are all reminded of an event that took place nine years ago, he said. This is more than just a celebration - this is a day of reflection. About 2,000 men and women crammed into two separate rooms prostrated themselves in their prayers on the carpeted floor of the mosque. Sunlight poured in through high windows under the central dome onto pale green walls. The mosque was filled to overflowing with more than a hundred people praying on the grass outside while non-Muslim New Yorkers streamed past in noisy rush-hour traffic. Namazis said they felt under siege after months of controversy over plans to build an Islamic cultural centre and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero and now the ugly row over Pastor Terry Jones Koran-burning threat. Ive been here four years and this year we feel a bit excluded. There are challenges, said Fairuz Saadun, 32, a banker. Saadun, like other namazis, said he was frustrated at the message promoted by opponents of the Ground Zero mosque that the 9/11 attack was representative of all Muslims. We know its not rational. Its only a small group of people who dont understand Islam, that we dont promote violence, that were like Jews or Christians and want peace, Saadun said. You have to have the right perspective: 9/11 and Islam are two different things.