“Hossain, did you see the news last night?”
“There was a special on Islamic people. Are you required to be violent or is that only the really religious people?”
I was born in the United States. I like baseball, apple pie, and the Dallas Cowboys. I also believe in one God and that Muhammad (PBUH) is his final messenger. I am both American and Muslim, and, to my knowledge, I haven’t yet imploded due to this “paradox”. Somewhere between New York and Iraq I lost my identity. Somewhere between Saddam Hussein and George Bush I lost my freedom. Somewhere between September 11th and July 4th I lost my voice. And somewhere between Al Jazeera and Fox News we lost our common sense.
The media has generously volunteered to explain the religion of 1.6 billion people using a select few as their basis of information. One problem: these select few are not the revered of Islam. Instead they are the worst of the religion. Terrorists rather than scholars. Extremists instead of professors. My religion, a religion based on compassion and community rather than hate and hijackers, is under attack. It has been invaded by hysteria and, honestly, I see no end to this occupation in the near future.
Im tired of the stares I receive during my daily prayers. Im sick of the taunts I get while I fast for Ramadan. Im fed up with the threats against my book and the assumptions about my sisters (p.s. the scarf is more liberating than you can imagine).
So, Im sorry Rush Limbaugh. I apologize Bill O’Reily. But I’ll take it from here. I’ll tell my own story from here on out, because, in all honesty, you guys suck at it.