Being Muslim in America Essay Example



March 10, 2001: (conception); September 11, 2001: Osama bin Laden (in utero);  December 14, 2001:  Jacob LaCarrubba;  April 15, 2013: Tamerlin and Dzhokhar Tsarnev; October 23, 2014: Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik; June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen; September 17, 2016: Ahmad Khan Rahimi. November 28, 2016: Ali Artan; and October 31, 2017: Sayfullo Saipov. What do all these names have in common?  Each, good or bad, defines the person whom I have come to be in the eyes of society.

What if I said, “My name is Jacob SYED LaCarrubba”?  Would that alter the way you think of me?  Yes, I am a Muslim, and the men before and after my birth have colored the person I have become.  When you see me, I appear as an average American student, but so did Tamerlin.From the moment I was born and my poppa whispered the Athan in my ear, I began to develop the inner self of the man I wish to be. I was born in the same country where millions gathered to walk with Martin Luther King Junior, because they too had a dream, where Indigenous lands have been confiscated, walls resurrected, and a worldwide Muslim ban has been enacted. I was born into an America whose media plagued our screens with images of Muslimness falsely equating me as “one of them.” 

As I venture into this new chapter of my life, I chose to recognize the travesties that have occurred since the time I was conceived and not shy away from them, but to truly focus on all the influential Muslims of today’s world.  I will aspire to be like them and become better than the perception imposed upon me by many since the beginning of my time.  It is in the failures of construing Islam and Muslims as fearful others that I find my American heroes: our hijab-wearing sister, Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won an Olympic medal for fencing in 2016; the runway model Iman whose grace led racial representation out of the dark ages in the beauty industry; the satiric comedians Hasan Minhaj and Dave Chappelle who changed what critical discourse looks like in this century; the music legends DJ Khalid and Ice Cube to whom I often jam; where Mohammed Ali championed the boxing ring for my entire lifetime.

My America is the America where, in 2018, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. These are the images of Muslim Americans that float in my heart and mind. They embody red, white, and blue. And while my heroes do not enjoy the privileges associated with being of a dominant American faith, they, as am I, are in every ounce of our beings a fabric of the diversity, successes, and pursuits of happiness upon which the very dream called America is built. Muslims today are all looked at as different, labeled as “terrorists”.

Not every American labels Muslims as bad people, but the majority have a different view on Muslims. Whenever people hear the word “Muslim”, they automatically think of all the harm that extremists have caused, which is highly unfortunate and wrong. Everyday I think about how people will view me if I am upfront about the religion into which I was born; but just becuse I am Muslim does not mean that I am part of these extremist groups. People need to realize that all religions have had these problems, but the only reason why Muslims are labeled the way they are is because the events happen in the present rather than in history. Islam is a religion that is based on peace and prosperity. For people who believe that all Muslims are bad people, they should look more deeply into the religion. All of this affects me directly. Anywhere I go I even believe that something bad could happen.