Identity isn’t housed in a box

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Karen Than Myaing Silver Spring, MD In this photo: what do you get when you mix an Israeli, a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, a Caucasian, a Burmese and an African American? Our beautiful family. We are Jews, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. We are female. We are male. We are children. We are human. We do not [...]

The Minority: To Represent or Not?

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Rehenuma Meadville, PA As an Asian American Muslim women, I have been asked many times to represent my “people.” As I have gotten older, I no longer feel eager to do so. I am now more sensitive to who benefits from this type of representation and the effect it has on my own psyche. Sometimes, [...]

Yes, that is his daughter, too.

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Dania Abreu-Torres San Antonio, TX My husband and I are Puerto Ricans. I am more “white” than he is -He usually was mistaken as a muslim-. We have a blonde, blue eyed girl. In Florida, he use to take her to the supermarket. He was followed by a lady and asked if the baby was [...]

Sunday Church, Saturday Sabbath, Friday Work.

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Sadaf Qureshi Washington, DC Weekends in the United States make worship on the holy days of Christianity and Judaism convenient. The holy day for Muslims is Friday, a regular working day. In some ways, this reflects the way in which the architecture of a society is built around considerations for those in the mainstream or [...]

Asian me: hated by Blacks. WHY?

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Neil A. Sookdeo Baltimore, MD With six degrees, four from grad schools in the USA, I cannot compete fairly to teach African or Caribbean history in which I have a Johns Hopkins doctorate. I have NOT even experienced such race hate even in apartheid South Africa because I look Asian. I know fear feeds racism. [...]

White americans assume their cultural exceptionalism.

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Rob Walbridge Ivory Coast I am a white American who has lived overseas (in Africa) for 40 years. Married to an African woman for 35 years. This assumption of cultural exceptionalism has caused conflict not only between white and black America, but increasingly between America and the rest of the world, most of which is [...]

Daughters of Muslim father are American.

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Suzie Husami San Diego, CA My mother and father met in college in upstate New York – he, a Lebanese -Muslim-Republican named Muhammad and she, an American non-practicing Methodist-Democrat named Maureen. They fell in love and had three daughters – Najla, our olive-skinned sister, and my twin sister and me – pale and freckled. My [...]

African American Marine New Muslim Traitor

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Vincent Simon Fort Worth, TX I’m a new revert to Islam, served in the US Marine Corps. Because of my new religion, I have been called a traitor to my country. The person who called me this doesn’t know me very well and didn’t serve in the military. I have been criticized by “good” Christians, [...]

Wear hijab does not mean terrorist

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Penny Jessica Anwar USA I am a Muslim who sometimes wear hijab because it is the culture of my religion. every time when i wear hijab, people are looking at me like I’m from another world. they look curiosity and suspicious direct toward me. most people who don’t know Muslims think that all Muslim are [...]

So you must be Muslim? Arab?

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Ahmed B. Middlebury, VT When your name is supposed to be an indicator of your ethnicity, religion, the language you speak, and everything else. And when you can’t change it, because you don’t have citizenship yet.

I am not like the rest

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Rabia Syed Ann Arbor, MI These six words represent how I feel about myself when people make assumptions as to the kind of person that I am. Being brown and Muslim makes me easy to lump with a large number of people, whom I do not necessarily see myself being similar to. When people see [...]

I don’t see you as Muslim.

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Mohamed Abdallah Italy I have received this backhanded compliment in my adopted home, the US, and around the world many times, and I have commiserated with many African-Americans, Hispanics — substitute any race, creed or nation for “Muslim” — about how grating and disheartening it is. Despite what you have achieved, if you don’t fit [...]

Jewish: No longer a race. Right?

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Jessamyn CT My parent’s generation lost relatives in Europe for being part of the “Jewish race.” In America, they dealt with antisemitism and quotas until one day, they were suddenly “white.” Now American Muslims feel the lash of religious discrimination. And yet … even as we think antisemitism is over, someone bombs a synagogue in [...]

Muslim. Assumption I don’t speak English.

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Elizabeth Liechti Chicago, IL Because I also speak German and Arabic I am sometimes VERY tempted to have a bit of fun with the person or persons making the assumption. Usually I say nothing and simply walk out of earshot, but once in a while I find it necessary to say, in English, “I can [...]