It seems to me that there is a lot of confusion, misinformation, fear, and general bad will in America right now between a small but vocal segment of the population and Muslims. I was touched to receive an email from a friend concerned about our safety in the Middle East, and I know it’s likely that others of you have wondered as well. Personally I feel very safe and have not heard of any problems here in Hillside or in the region at large. (I do not consider Afghanistan or Pakistan part of the Middle East, although some news media has taken to lumping those two countries with the Arab world, especially when there are protests against America.) To be honest, I feel more concerned for the Muslims living in America, because, as I told my friend, there are a lot more crazy people with guns in America than there are here in the Middle East.
So I offer this link and encourage you to read the story of these young Muslim American men who took a road trip during Ramadan exploring the diversity of Islam in America and the ways Muslims are received in different communities. There are some beautiful pictures, stories to make you laugh and stories to make you cry. And I hope that the next time you start to ask, “And who is my neighbor?” the faces of the people in this blog will come to mind.