In the wake of the flap over the proposed cultural centre (and prayer area) for Muslims in NYC, the debate over how “good” Muslims “ought” to assimilate has raised its head (again). I thought this comment written as a response to Ross Douthat’s recent NYT column “Islam in two Americas” was worth reproducing in full.
You tell us we need to become more like you, but what more would you have us do? It seems you will only be happy once Muslim women stop veiling and we cease to be ourselves completely.
And yet you give in to those who would use their own prejudice to attack us, as if we are the ones who are responsible for 9/11. American Muslims died that day in those towers. We were not the perpetrators, and we have not become the perpetrators. Americans have lost sight of who their real enemy is.
I mentioned in a previous post that my family has been in this country for over 300 years. My ancestors fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI, my grandfather fought in Normandy, my father was in Vietnam. Yet you are telling me to be moderate and assimilate. Into this country which my family has helped to build!
It is insulting, and I cannot fully express in words the frustration I feel.