Profiles is an ongoing series, seeking to create spaces of affinity, where similarly identified folks have a space to talk about the perceptions, nuances and actualities of their identity.
The fear of Islam and Muslim believers has become overwhelmingly socially acceptable. Critics of Islam, who blame the faith for the actions of radical, fundamentalist terrorists have misjudged the religion that well over a billion people worldwide have found salvation in. The hypocrisy that persists is one that does not apply this same standard to Christianity, a faith that saw the enslavement, mass genocide and centuries of war throughout time, internationally. Despite this all, Muslims within the U.S. are staying truth to their identity. Amidst the rhetoric, young Muslim-American men and women are challenging their fellow citizens and communities to solve the myriad of social injustices that permeate our society, with the teachings and principles of Islam.
Ibrahim , 17
on Living as a Muslim in America
"I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas… We lived in a neighborhood, our car would get egged and someone put needles under our cars and we would get hate messages… Ever since then, we moved out of that neighborhood and I have gotten any physical abuse for my religion. I would walk with my sister and people would look, because my sister wears the hijab… Part of the Muslim experience is not abuse, it kind of undermines what American means to you… It kind of amuses me the lack of ignorance of what people think Islam is and what isn’t."
on the Meaning of Islam
"‘A Muslim is not a Muslim if he knows his neighbor is hungry and goes to sleep full.’ And so Islam is helping people and keeping your connection with God."
on Perceptions of Muslims
"The media kind of portrays this idea of Islam totally differently. Islam is one of the largest religions in the US… It is really surprising how many different people have that basic idea of Islam and twist it to their own imagination. That takes a larger effect on Muslim individuals."
on Islamic Values
“Islam is a religion that means you have to help yourself and help others, keeping up with good deed, that’s what Islam is all about… Islam provides a sense of interdependence that all people should value."