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For many Americans, the words ‘American’ and ‘Muslim’ simply do not marry well; for many the combination is an anathema, a contradiction in values, loyalties, and identities. This is the story of one American Muslim family—the story of how, through their lives, their schools, their friends, and their neighbors, they end up living the challenges, myths, fears, hopes, and dreams of all Americans. They are challenged by both Muslims who speak for them and by Americans who reject them. In this moving memoir, Idliby discusses not only coming to terms with what it means to be Muslim today, but how to raise and teach her children about their heritage and religious legacy. She explores life as a Muslim in a world where hostility towards Muslims runs rampant, where there is an entire industry financed and supported by think tanks, authors, film makers, and individual vigilantes whose sole purpose is to vilify and spread fear about all things Muslim. Her story is quintessentially American, a story of the struggles of assimilation and acceptance in a climate of confusion and prejudice—a story for anyone who has experienced being an “outsider” inside your own home country.
Ranya Tabari Idliby is a writer who lives in New York City. She co-authored The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding , an intimate dialog on faith and identity in America. She has spoken in churches, temples, and mosques, as well as at interfaith organizations, the United Nations, and the State Department. She was interviewed by Diane Sawyer for a special program on moderate Muslim voices, in addition to many other media engagements, including CNN, Oprah radio’s Dr. Oz , The Diane Rehm Show, USA Today , and the Today Show.
Table of Contents
Prologue Chapter 1: Why Would Anyone Choose To Be A Muslim? Chapter 2: Accidental Muslims Chapter 3: The Faith Club, My Abrahamic Family Chapter 4: A Crisis Of Faith: Sticks and Stones Can Hurt My Bones but God Should Not Hurt Me Chapter 5: Food For Thought Chapter 6: In God We Trust: An American-Muslim Knight Chapter 7: How To Beat A Wife Chapter 8: Who Speaks For Islam? Chapter 9: Foolish Fatwas Chapter 10: “Mommy, Sometimes I Don’t Want To Support The U.S. Team” Chapter 11: Thumbs Up! Chapter 12: I Heard It On Hannity Chapter 13: “No Muslim Parking” Chapter 14: “Mom, Are All Terrorists Muslims?” Chapter 15: The Path To The Watering Hole Chapter 16: “Mommy, Can I Marry Jew?” Chapter 17: Burqas and Pornography: Two Sides of the Same Coin Chapter 18: Apes and Swines Chapter 19: Islam, Not “Hislam”: On Muslims Feminists Chapter 20: In Any War Between The Civilized Man And The Savage, Support The Civilized Man Chapter 21: Proud Muslims, Not Lesser Muslims: Let There Be Joy Chapter 22: Proud Americans, Not Lesser Americans: America, a Love Story