First of all I would thank NPR for taking this initiative to have a discussion about the American Muslim prospective.
The role of a Muslim American is often misunderstood by many Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Prior to 9-11 the role of Muslim American was like any other American minority experience. However post 9-11 this role is constantly evolving and taking a wide range of meaning and responsibilities.
Like many others I had to take a long and hard look at my role as a Muslim American. To me being a Muslim American means to strive to improve every aspect of me and my surrounding with the guidance of Allah. This might sound too ambitious but this is what I like to aim for. To fulfill my role, I am involved with community services such as skid row feeding program, restoration of parks and trails with Treepeople, helping others, also focusing on self improvement such as being on time.
My concern is how society reacts to Muslims identity and its effect on Muslim Americans. For instance, certain government agency’s inappropriate conduct with Muslim community can discourage Muslim Americans to get involve in their community. I am also concern about the youth in the Muslim communities, because they are struggling the most to define their role in the society.
Majority of the Muslims realize that Islamic values are American Values. Unlike some so-called “Muslim countries”, here you do not have to lie or bribe someone to get the job done. Yes there are ailments in this society as well. But this is the perfect opportunity to apply one’s Islamic teaching to improve oneself and the society.
P.S. The picture was taken at the last year's Humanitarian Day downtown Los Angeles.
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