Why American Muslims Celebrate The Fourth of July

American Muslims celebrate the fourth of July for the most obvious reason: they, too, are grateful to be here. There are many reasons to celebrate this glorious holiday. As an American woman, I grew up here. I spent my childhood in Texas and then moved to Washington, DC for graduate school and government work. This is the number one reason former immigrants like myself honor the national holiday: education and employment. But beyond the obvious, there is a plethora of other reasons to be grateful. Here are a few reasons:

  1. freedom of choice – As a woman, I can choose most things: a school, a career, political views, a spouse (or partner), where to travel, etc.
  2. freedom to vote – Americans believe in their electoral process. Each vote counts. The same is not true in parts of the Muslim world, where voting is often rigged. At least my vote counts here.
  3. freedom of expression – There is no shame is being the minority voice or opposing the mainstream political party. Speaking up in a peaceful way is encouraged and it’s a beautiful gift not always allowed in many parts of the Muslim world.
  4. freedom to “be” a Muslim – Belonging is critical to forming a strong self-identity. American Muslim children who understand that Islam is compatible with America have a healthy outlook on life. Their national pride and religiosity are compatible.

 

 

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