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.
Yasir Qadhi, an American Muslim writer and theologian and Dean of the Al-Maghrib Institute, 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 need to propagate an identity that is at once faithful to the Islamic tradition and compatible with American values. Our second-generation in particular is hearing confusing and contradictory messages from all sides, with one extreme telling them that they can’t be fully American and Muslim, while another extreme is telling them that their faith has nothing unique or important to offer them. We are Muslims, and proud of it, and we’re Americans, and proud of it.
2. In what ways – inwardly /or outwardly – did 9/11 change you or affect you?
The realization that Islam isn’t just about personal beliefs and rituals, but also a social movement meant to bring about a positive change in society. If I’m not engaged with the problems of my community – from poverty, to lack of education, to social and moral issues – then I’m not truly being faithful to my religion.
3. What do you think non-Muslim Americans most need to know about Muslims?
That our faith, if practiced properly, teaches us to have loving families, to be caring neighbors, to be honest in our work, to be friendly to strangers, and to be ideal citizens.