Maya Angelou Justice

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Muslim-American Challenges In A Western World

In a clashing world filled with disharmony between the Western and Muslim cultures seems to filled with fear, and it is not a new phenonenom. Living with this fear, distrust, and hatred becomes challenging with hardships for everyday life in America. Today America makes up the majority of Muslim Americans and it is very diverse. Along with diversity Islam is the fastest growing religion, yet it is misunderstood. There is a long history for Muslims that dates back to the founding of the republic. Some were slaves, while others came from the Ottoman Empire and worked on the farmlands or as peddlers. There are nearly five million Muslims presently living in America. To be a Muslim means more than being an individual. Islam is a complete way of life. Muslim Americans are faced with everyday struggles about life in America, which includes code of ethics, Muslim teens being raised , and living with fear post- 9/11(media, stereotypes, and discrimination).

There is a basic Islamic code of everyday conduct which includes three main concepts: hijab, halal, and hilal. The word hijab means modesty and this concept applies to both females and males. Halal means rejecting anything containing or contaminated with the prohibition of drinking, swearing, eating of pork, and other actions as well. Haram means not acceptable or permissible in other words what is not haram is in fact halal. Hilal is the new crescent that appears on many Muslim nations‟ flags; it is also known as the sighting of the new moon (Ba-Yunus and Kone, 141-146). Looking at Western Islamic culture seems to be divided into two components those who practice their religion strictly and those who adapt and create ways to fit into a different culture, but not forgetting who they are. Although, this adaptation or way of life may seem easy for some Muslim Americans it creates difficulty for others. Of course, Muslims are faced with internalized pressure and feel isolated, the environment they have created seems effective. In Living Islam Out Loud, Yousra Y. Fazili writes that “[…] I de-hijabed [referring to the traditional hood] and decided to live my life with the Quran itself as my guide, not a jurists understanding of the Quran advanced by a particular madhab (a madhab is a school of Islamic thought)” (79). However, Fazili infers with this quotation that it was a difficult decision to “de-hijab.” As one can understand the clash of cultures between the tight clothing of American people and the long, modest dressing of Muslims.The hijab has its own rules and standards, and the importance of understanding and following it is even of more importance. However, you see the usual and unusual situation in America the unusual is seeing a modest girl wearing a scarf with tight jeans and a short low-cut top. According to one source, “Traditional Islam requires women to cover their heads and wear clothing that fully covers the body, so this is a normal practice as well "(Ba-Yunus and Kone, 141-142). This clearly states the fact how code of ethics plays an important role. Clearly, the most threatened organizations in America are the beliefs in halal and hijab. I believe that for the younger generation this threat is haunting the younger generation who were raised and born in America have no traditional practices and per say no connection to their parents. The younger generation these days try to fit with their non-Muslim friends, and parents are faced with stress,fear, and complications later. One sources states, “People are encouraged to act on their urges, ignore their inhibitions, and to be as „wild‟ as possible […] The teenage years are seen as the years you spend entertaining yourself […] An enormous emphasis is placed on physical and sexual indulgence” (Beshir and Beshir, 14-15). I think that this is a tough time for many young Muslim teens because they face pressure from all aspects dealing with...
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