Truly Muslim, Fully American

By Abdrabboh, Fatina | The Christian Science Monitor, July 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

Truly Muslim, Fully American


Abdrabboh, Fatina, The Christian Science Monitor


"I condemn terrorism." Lately, because I'm a Muslim, these are the only three words people seem to want to hear come out of my mouth. Beyond the words themselves, the way I proclaim them is measured for sincerity. Perhaps even more than the days immediately after 9/11, I as a Muslim feel now that many of my fellow Americans believe that Islam and its adherents are evil, pure and simple.

I can't help wondering if the fact that I'm identifiably Muslim through my hijab, or scarf, is so potent that the only response I evoke is anger.

Thinking through recent incidents, I try to assess the validity of my feelings - am I overreacting, or paranoid?

Last month, while driving home from the airport, I managed to get lost in construction detours. I rolled down my window and asked a woman in the car next to me for directions: "Will this road take me into Cambridge?" I couldn't believe my eyes when she ignored my question and rolled up her window.

It was broad daylight. I had not - before then - considered my appearance frightening or abnormal. Apparently shedid.

Another incident: I recently participated in a phone-a-thon for a religious studies program at Harvard. A friend tapped my shoulder and said her caller wanted to speak with a Muslim. I took the phone. It turned out the man was a preacher from Texas and wanted to know when Muslims "were going to join the rest of the enlightened world and rid themselves of fanaticism." I tried to explain that the matter was far more complicated than simply blaming the beliefs of a billion people and that it was misguided to blame Islam for the actions of its fringe extremists. The preacher interrupted me and said I sounded like "every other wishy-washy" Muslim ambiguous about condemning terrorism. Needless to say, he didn't donate to the program.

Why is my stance on terrorism my only defining feature? Casual conversations at the grocery store, the gym, the dry cleaner all seem laser-guided, by the way I look, to Islam and terrorism - and never to those everyday conversations that might revolve around other aspects of my life like how I like my Harvard classes, my training for the Boston Marathon, or my recent obsession with my stock portfolio.

I desperately try to shrug these incidents off as I focus on school and training for the marathon. But these incidents don't seem to be isolated - and, indeed, have intensified just since the July 7 suicide bombings in London and last week's attempted bombings there. Columnists in many of our nation's most influential newspapers focused on the Arab and Muslim response to the attacks. They castigated Arab and Muslim Americans for not publicly condemning terrorism - as if, in addition to the condemnations Muslim groups have indeed issued in days since 7/7, we're expected to march in the streets of New York, Washington, and Boston and chant, "We hate Bin Laden, too. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Truly Muslim, Fully American
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.