The Muslim Portal at Patheos is hosting the “Three Questions” project for the month of September in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the terrorist acts of 9/11. We are asking American Muslims from across the nation three simple but important questions. Click here to learn more about the project.
Asma T. Uddin, founder and editor-in-chief of Atlmuslimah, legal fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and an international law attorney with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, offers her answers to the three questions:
1. What is the most pressing issue or concern for you as a Muslim in America today, 10 years after the tragedy of 9/11?
The most pressing concern for me is changing the acceptability of anti-Muslim rhetoric in public discourse (and resultant effects, such as school bullying of Muslim kids, employment discrimination, etc.), so that my daughter doesn’t grow up disadvantaged because of her faith.
9/11 changed me by making me realize the need to think critically about my faith and the ways in which it can be articulated — or re-articulated — both within and outside the Muslim community. It was a call to take an active role in narrative-changing, an issue that has become even more pressing with the development of a well-organized, well-funded Islamophobia industry.
3. What do you think non-Muslim Americans most need to know about Muslims?
They need to know about all of our inherent diversity — not just in non-religious matters, but also in religious matters — the way that we negotiate between our faith and our lived realities and struggle with external and internal challenges to our faith. It’s in many ways a spiritual challenge unique to Muslims in the post-9/11 world.