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.
Imam Mohamed Magid of the ADAMS Center and president of the Islamic Society of North America, offers his 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 right now is this well-funded Islamophobic group affecting the American public. They have created fear in the American public, a public already worried about jobs, worried about their future. The attack on Islam and Muslims is constant. Majority of Americans are victims to this Islamophobic propoganda, not because they believe it themselves – they believe because someone told them too. These people claim to know about Islam, but they don’t know the basics. When [Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain] came to the ADAMS Center, we spoke for two hours. I asked him if he knew what Sharia was, he didn’t.
2. In what ways – inwardly /or outwardly – did 9/11 change you or affect you?
9/11 has changed the natureof the job of an imam in America. No imam who gives a sermon should think that he is speaking just to his congregation. Everyone is listening. And, as an imam, you have to comfort and give Muslims confidence in themselves and in America. You cannot convey all your worries. You have to uplift the community. This tragedy has reshaped Muslim thinking – inward and outward – as to what our actions are. At the end of the day this can only help Muslims make themselves more relevant to the world.
3. What do you think non-Muslim Americans most need to know about Muslims?
Muslims, like any other religious group here – we are a diverse community. And, being a conservative Muslim doesn’t mean you believe in violence. Devoted Muslims are true Muslims. The way to fight violent extremism is for us to practice our Islam correctly.