Chapter “with guest Omar Ricci”

What is the Muslim American Identity?

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Once a student of Dr. Hathout’s in the pioneering days of the Islamic Center of Southern California’s Youth Group — one of the first co-ed Muslim youth groups in the nation — Omar Ricci was instilled with pride in his Muslim American Identity early on. Now a businessman and reserve officer with the LAPD, Omar joins Dr. Hathout in this episode which tackles where the idea of an American Muslim identity came from, how it’s evolved, and what it means in our daily lives.


2 Responses to “What is the Muslim American Identity?”

  1. Azmeralda Alfi February 10, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Great talk ,the vision is clear .Thank you

  2. Yayah February 19, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Immigration is a sensitive issue. The cultural identity of Islam was America is African-American. It seems that The message of religious freedom has been mixed with politics. Christian terrorist white supremacist did turn some black people to Islam because they were rejected as Christians. Some immigrant Muslims could not believe that there were Muslims in America. A favorite of mine is giving salams to someone who doesn’t in turn return the salams, but asks, “Are you Muslim.” Are you is the retort then there is separation. Someone may want to do an arranged marriage to get someone to stay in America, but won’t actually allow their daughter to marry a Muslim man. Sometimes the collective puts more emphasis on someone getting married who is incarcerated, rather than concentrating on marrying the people in the congregation who are free. Aside from linguistics there is a lot that immigrant Muslims can learn from those of use who paved the way, going through stages, evolving and trying to live an Islamic lifestyle. When Muslims from California, some of whom voted for Reagan, were lined up and strip searched on the airport tarmac after 911, there seemed to be a coming together to understand what it means to be Muslim in America. When Sheiks came to the United States to go to Las Vegas to party while people were fighting for their civil rights those are things that people remember, and those are the reasons that people shouldn’t be proud. I wouldn’t advise anybody to come to the United States to not learn the history or America, or immediately follow the dominant culture, without understanding the consequences of the internment camps, prisons, social segregation, and political realities, that non-Caucasian people experience here. Laillaha Illlallah Muhamada rasullullah is a statement of fact, You are in a place where you can say that and live it, and allow those who don’t see it, or won’t see it, to live their life too.

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