Fear in the Face of Religion: What It's Like to Grow Up Muslim

I’m not good at being religious, never have been.I rarely went to Sunday school growing up. I would much rather have been playing outside. But, on the afternoons I did go, Sunday school meant the same for me as it did most other children: learning about God, singing songs and learning scripture. One thing that was different for me and other Muslim children: It also meant a cop car sitting outside. Always. The officer was there for our safety. Mosques regularly receive threats. I was never faced with any concrete danger, but it’s difficult breathing the air of an intolerant climate — one making it known that part of you isn’t welcome in the place you call home. It’s stifling. On Saturday, American Muslims in Texas felt that suffocating sensation. Hundreds of protesters assembled at the Islamic Association of North Texas in Richardson to protest “Sharia law.” The demonstration was peaceful, for the most part. Many protesters donned camo fatigues and held rifles, their lawful right, as children filed into the mosque for weekend classes. “Lawful,” though, does not necessarily mean “correct.” For these children, the fear they have felt for simply being Muslim suddenly became tangible.   Continue reading...

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