Being Muslim in America

It’s been shocking to see the recent revelations of illegal NYPD surveillance of Muslim college students and MSAs. On a number of grounds ranging from reasonable doubt to jurisdiction to religious tolerance, I’m disappointed in the government of the City of New York (my home) and in the federal government for allowing this activity – and thinking it productive. It’s great to see Muslim-American students and allies rally around this injustice with compassion to call for tolerance and demand greater respect of basic civil rights.

My friend and colleague Jihad al-Jabban recently wrote an article in our school’s paper, the Daily Princetonian, in response to the recent furor. “It is human nature to prefer the familiar and reject what we perceive as ‘foreign,'” he wrote. “Our understanding of who is an American is ever evolving. Much like how a child must balance assimilation and accommodation during development, America must evolve an understanding of what it is to be a citizen.” He reminded us of the importance of recognizing diversity within communities and respecting those around us as Americans and as individuals.



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