Muslim Americans and the Quest for a More Perfect Union

Narrator:

Muslim Americans are woven into the fabric of this nation. Our stories are some of its brightest threads.

Wajahat Ali, playwright and lawyer:

The fact that a gentlemen like myself, born and raised in America, can have a multi-hyphenated existence - that's the beauty of America.

Narrator:

Yet there is a gap between who we are and how others see us. Muslims have been part of America since before we were a nation. Almost 30 percent of the 10 million slaves brought to our shores were Muslim. Muslims fought in the Revolutionary War and in every war our nation has endured since. Some of us were born here, some of us came from other countries. Together, we have helped to make America one of the most vibrant nations in the world.

Shukri Sheikh-Salah:

I migrated to this country as a teenager from Somalia. We are pursuing freedom of religion and freedom to practice what we believe in.

Nassrin El-Gosi:

Being a Muslim American means being a part of a very diverse society in America. I attended a school that was one of the most diverse schools in Tennessee.

Narrator:

We have raised our families here, worshiped, worked hard, and achieved success. Suddenly, our lives changed.

Wajahat Ali:

Little did we know, the narrative would change. And Muslim Americans would be placed under a microscope.

Narrator:

Our mosques and businesses were vandalized, our patriotism was questioned. But Americans also showed goodness of heart.

Sohaib Sultan, chaplain, Princeton University:

There were people who actually came and left flowers at the door of mosque and called the mosque asking if they could give rides to people who might be afraid to go to the grocery store. That sort of pluarlism and outreach, even in the midst of tragedy, really captures what being an American is about.

Narrator:

Muslim Americans are reaching out to communities beyond our own. We are working together on the environment, immigration, civil liberties, health care, education, and religious pluarlism. We are working with law enforcement to prevent acts of violence within our borders.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN):

Standing in opposition to terrorism is something that Muslim Americans must do and in effect are doing.

Alejandro Buetel, Muslim Public Affairs Council:

When we talk about parternship between law enforcement on one hand and Muslim-American communities on the other, is that there needs to be a very clear division of labor. Law enforcement will handle the criminal activities, and Muslim-American communities will continue to deal with the toxic ideas and narratives that help drive extremism.

Narrator:

As a new decade unfolds, Muslim Americans are working to strengthen the fabric of our nation. Like all Americans we are doing our part to make this a more perfect union.