The United States is home to a very diverse Muslim population. The American Muslim community makes up people from African American decent, Arab decent, south Asian descent, a growing number of Latino Muslims, and others from different areas of the world.
American muslims partake in everyday civil life. From boy scouts to volunteering and involvement in community boards. Adherents to Islam, a religious tradition, are called Muslim. Aside from there religious culture, where American muslims may participate in devotional religious practice in mosques located throughout the U.S., they are involved in and engage in civic actions and duties like the majority of the American population. Example…..vote Republican, Democrat or the such, be doctors, teachers, involved in groups and board.
I write this today because a dear friend, “Bob” of mine has been through some rough times as an American Muslim. He operates a business with my other dear friend Kevin, an Irish American. My friend Bob has experienced a different life, since the tragedy of 911. Bob participates in civil life. He runs a business, pays taxes, coaches a soccer team, volunteers his time, and is good, honest man.
I will recap how he has told me his life has changed. This is because of his ethnicity, but even if he didn’t follow the Islam religion and he was a Catholic, his skin color, or his race, plays a significant role in the negative stereotyping he has had to endure. Please read before you pass judgment or make assumptions.
How my life changed after 911…From “Bob”. It has since decreased in intensity, but has been a interesting journey.
- I began to stay inside as much as I could.
- I stopped speaking of my culture. And I never spoke an Arabian word in public
- I became careful of those I friended. New friends haven’t been a huge part of my life
- I removed anything that looked like I was a different background from my house
- I changed my response to the question “where are you from” or what are you. My response was I’m a mutt, but my moms from Virginia and my Dad is from Rhode Island.
- I did not accept packages after 911 for quite a while
- I did not travel alone at night many places for a long time
These are just a handful of the ways that his life changed and what he did changed. The things listed fail to divulge the psychological impact that they had on him and his family. Although I would like to write more, Bob has asked me to keep it simple. He said that he feels he would rather talk about the positive things that he is aware of and the positive forces that have come about because of him being an American Muslim. He prefers to not be stuck in the past, but be fortunate he is able to have a business, a family that is happy, alive and well, and dear friends of all backgrounds, that have proven that color, race or background doesn’t matter, it is the person inside.
There are negative aspects to all things in life, if we choose to see them in this way. Bob believe the more awareness is huge, but the more that we over focus on what we want can’t change, the more energy we lose to changing the things we can.
Bon is an incredible man. I know he has experienced things that are not available in words. Yet, he uses them as his strength to create the energies he wants in his life and for his family.
I would like to recognize Kevin, Bob’s partner. He is a “white” Irish American, also a great friend and an awesome man. Born and raised in Arizona. Bob has been his friend since elementary school. After 911 went down and Bob’s life changed, Kevin said, join me in business. I need a partner and can not think of a better person to want to adventure in business with.
They today have a strong business that has continued to grow and expand. Both of their strengths come through in their business operations. So to Bob and to Kevin, making the world a more positive place!