My Islamic experiences in New York City (Part II)

Part I of this experience can be found here.

So, what did I mean when I said things aren’t always as pleasant and peaceful here in New York City for us Muslims? I talked about several advantages of living in this city in Part I of this series and all of those are well deserved in their places. However, what might not be readily visible to outsiders are things that us Muslims go through here and there which reveals the fact that even a decade after 9/11, there are still many misconceptions about Islam amongst people. The hysteria is still present, unfortunately.

Like almost anywhere in the world, you’ll find ignorant people here, as well. What’s worse is that the law enforcement plays a fair amount of role in causing problems for Muslims. Of course, they don’t want to admit that. From time to time, they will target the Muslim communities, whether that’s through sending spies in MSAs and masjids, looking for “hot” words like jihad, profiling ordinary people, or simply because you’re a Muslim, so they’re applying “precautions.”

Another thing, and as unrealistic and crazy as this might sound, there are actually open organizations out there that are clearly aiming to negatively target Islamic teachings and defame our religion. There have been many attempts in the past by certain group who advertise Qur’anic verses or Islamic concepts in public places like subway, train and bus stations. Obviously, these people lack proper understanding of Islam, as these Qur’anic verses are taken out of context to malign this beautiful and peaceful religion and increase misconceptions about Islam.

Some other issues for Muslims living here are, in my view, lack of quality Islamic educational institutions for the future generations, lack of Islamic organizations to support the Muslim communities, and even things like the way people dress, especially in the summer, can be a source of problem for us.

I suppose, big cities come with their problems. It’s impossible to expect a worry-free place in the West for Muslim. Though, a question we all must ask ourselves is, what are our intentions in living here and what are we doing for the betterment of others?

Experiences submitted by Brother Anonymous