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Living in America
“We are naturalized Americans and we feel comfortable in the United States because of the Constitution, permitting the freedom to practice religion the way we want to.”
Despite attacks and misconceptions, Muslims at the Muslim Community Center of Minnesota are confident that America is the right home for them and express gratitude towards America and the Constitution. As Shahid Aziz explained, “We are naturalized Americans and we feel comfortable in the United States because of the Constitution, permitting the freedom to practice religion the way we want to.”1 While opponents argue that Muslims find a conflict of interest between state law and Islamic law, questioning their allegiance, Muslims are actually compelled by their faith to obey the law of the land, as long as the laws do not conflict with their religious practices.
Muslims are law-abiding citizens, contributing to the state, and in return their religious rights are protected, and this, according to the members of the MCC, has been “accurate by far.” The Muslim community is in fact benefiting from the Constitution, which protects religious rights, and the surrounding neighborhood has been accepting of the MCC. Annual events are held at the MCC and residents in the neighborhood of all faiths and all backgrounds are encouraged to attend. As the members expressed, “there is nothing we don’t want you to know about our faith,” as reflected in the MCC’s goal to educate the public about Islam and to be open about everything fundamental to Islam.
All quotes from Interview with Shahid Aziz, Shahid Abbas, and Mashood Yunus, 30 April 2016. ↩