Re: Glad to be an American

I received a comment on my blog in regards to my Glad to Be an American post, so I wanted to elaborate/clarify a few things in case someone else felt the same as the person who commented/was offended.

A comment was made about surprise being shown that I was glad to be born in a kuffar country:

My reason for writing the “Glad to be an American” post was to simply state that this is the will of Allah that I was born in the United States and that I am not going to deny the benefits that He allowed me to have by virtue of being born there. As I said in the post, I was not encouraging Muslims not to live in a Muslim country, but rather think about the blessings that they had in America and enjoy them while they are in America and one day, insha Allah, Allah would allow them to make hijrah.
A comment was made that I think that I am “better than the Muslims I live with.”
Allah knows best, but I do not think that I am better than anyone else based upon my nationality (or upon anything else for that matter). I was simply trying to show some of the ways that I had benefitted because I was American. I made mentioned of the fact that people at first assumed we were Somalians but once they found out we were American, we received better treatment. I did not mention this because I think that I am better than Somalians, but to show that racism exists outside of the United States. People sometimes think that all Muslims will be treated better (or equal) in a Muslim country and I was also trying to show that that was not necessarily the case.

I also mentioned some of the things that I have seen here in Yemen and was not trying to put down the people or say that I was above this, I was just trying to illustrate some of the conditions that I have seen and was glad that I had not grown up in such impoverished conditions. I am keenfully aware that one or more bad turn of events (authu billah) could turn my life around so that I might find myself possibly in the same conditions or worse regardless of my nationality or financial status.
I apologize if I offended anyone with that post, as that was not my intention, but I do still thank Allah for allowing me to be born in America and not to have had to experience a lot of the hardships that other Muslims around the world may have had to endure.
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2 Responses

  1. Aslamulakum,
    Mashallah, thats the way i feel about living and being born here in the US. I have never seen abject poverty in person, alhumdullilah. Yes there are challenges here being a muslimah but I have many benifits as well.
    My husband has started to talk about moving to Yemen, inshallah. Can you tell me do white people get treated ok there? I only ask because I have this image in my brain that everyone will try to kidnap my son because they will think we are rich. I am sure I am being a nut job here but I feel like I need to ask. I have heard of stories where a sister is fair skinned and everyone assumes she is rich and tries to take advantage of her.

    • wa alaykum us salaam,

      If you are Muslim, (wear hijab) you will probably get treated just like any other Muslim here. Sometimes men with beards and white thowbs will get a rude comment, but most of the time, people tend to be brotherly/sisterly.

      I think white people get treated pretty nicely here (I’m not white so I can’t say for sure) but people tend to think of Americans as white and think we are Somalian or Ethiopian because we are black. I think a lot of people are in awe of Americans and once they find out we are Americans, I think 100% of the time, their demeanor changes (in a positive manner). Ok, the kids in our building called us “Americans” as if it was a derogatory word, but, they were kids, so I dismiss them.

      People tend to think because you are American, you are rich. You got that right. But just get to know the prices of things, what locals would pay and pay that. You have to learn to haggle or you will get “got.” I’m a pretty shy person and was scared to at first, but got tired of people taking advantage of me, so I will say name a price that I know locals would pay (or go lower because they may work you back up). In some cases you have to be prepared to walk away (or just pretend like you are going to).

      With the recent events at the US embassy here, it can seem like it would be pretty scary. Now when I have to go to the embassy, yeah, I panic, but in my neighborhood, I still feel pretty safe and Allah knows best. I think wearing thowbs, hijaab helps you to blend in so if you didn’t wear those already, you would want to and then if people get to know you in your neighborhood, that’s good too.

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