Being Muslim is everything to me. From the moments I open my eyes, my first act is an act of worship to God. My relationship with God guides my every action and my every decision. Being Muslim is a constant reminder that this journey of life is paving the path and building an everlasting life in the hereafter.
I am human, and in the Arabic language the word human is "Insaan" the root word of which is "Nasa" which means "forget;" because humans in their nature continuously forget. God knows this, He created us. That's why we believe that the 5 prayers a day maintains that connection to the divine. When I realize that God is with me at every moment, that I'm accountable for all my actions and how I treat others; I do my best to avoid hurting others, to treat others with respect, to make decisions that will please Him, to honor my parents, etc. That is the most striking and beautiful thing about my faith.
Being Muslim in America has become increasingly difficult. I grew up in Michigan, and never felt under attack as much as I do today. I turn on Fox News or pop in a film, and I can see a general perception of how non-Muslims view me. I feel that Muslims are continuously experiencing civil right violations, they are scrutinized unfairly and unjustly, their words are twisted, and a minority of extremists is representing the mass majority of peaceful Muslims in the minds of many of my non-Muslim neighbors. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is repeated by politicians and lawmakers, which makes me nervous.
I wonder what it will be like for my children. I'm afraid that fear-mongering will continue - recently 6 Muslims were accused of terrorism with, so far, no sufficient evidence to back those claims. I fear that another Bush will come into power and open up another facility to imprison innocent Muslims under secret evidence. I fear for Muslims in China (Uighers) (10,000 went missing besides the thousands killed), Palestinians (Israeli settlement expansion continuing, Gazans under seige), Iraqis (unrest), and impoverished Muslims across the world. I fear that world silence for such grievances against Muslims will continue.
I've visited forums and sites of right-wing conservatives who don't even believe Muslims have a right to live or practice their faith freely. How hypocritical of a people who built a country based on freedom of religion and expression.
I hope that more of my fellow non-Muslim Americans will educate themselves, disregard fringe anti-Muslim thinking, open their minds and hearts, and continue the tradition of acceptance. I love my country because many of the non-Muslims around me have only treated me with respect. We Americans are a people of resilience, love, and acceptance, and I believe our country will continue being the greatest country in the world if we hold tight to our beliefs of freedoms, and our intolerance of injustice to anyone no matter who they are.
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