Stigmatized! From 9/11 to Trump and Beyond: An American Muslim Journey

Stigmatized! From 9/11 to Trump and Beyond: An American Muslim Journey

by Reza Mansoor


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This book is written to give the reader a perspective into the challenging times that immediately followed the terror attacks of 9/11, from an American Muslim perspective. As challenges arose, it was important to address the misinformation that seemed to be growing in the vacuum that was created in the absence of our input. I was the founding President of an organization, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut - MCCT, that grew out of the ashes of the tragedy of 9/11, that was aimed at countering the fear through education. We were determined to live our faith through service projects that reflected our values, and we invited our neighbors from other faith communities to join us in these efforts. Together with them, we served in soup kitchens and shelters, built habitat houses, walked against hunger and participated in the National Day of service, by collecting towels for the homeless.

Through MCCT, we also formed a speaker's bureau to proactively define who we are, in the face of the increasing fear of us. We reached out to places of worship and other institution and organizations, offering our resources in education. This has become a popular service, with our speakers being invited to various places of worship, including synagogues and churches, local hospitals and various branches of government, including to the judiciary as well as to the law enforcement community. Our efforts were rewarded by the Supreme Court in the state of Connecticut, that gave the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut the Law Day Award for 2013, in recognition of our outreach and education. It was the culmination of years of hard work at outreach.

As we reached out, we were encountering a loud voice feeding on the ignorance of our neighbors of us. They caused a vicious cycle of ignorance, leading to fear and eventually hate, from some very insecure people whose voices were magnified as they were interviewed by some talk radio show hosts and others in media. Into this mix, came some opportunistic politicians, who all combined to make this a very challenging time for us.

Our youth were particularly being affected by this rhetoric and, while we did everything to try to impart to them a positive American Muslim identity, there was a louder voice, which was amplified by social media, that made them feel isolated and alienated. There was now in the picture a group that fed on this fear and division by welcoming them to a false utopia in the Middle East, ISIS. We had to work even harder at making our youth feel secure.

It is into this environment that this book invites us to look to our role models in faith - from Moses to Jesus to Muhammad - God's peace be upon them all, and assess what our role should be in this time. It is to a very insecure world that these role models came, and created legendary change by incorporating wisdom and love. It is not easy to practice "love thy neighbor", even if that is a refugee from a far away land, but that is our religious calling, which is no different to our national calling, which is still emblazoned on the statue of liberty.

Our nation was founded by very wise people and, as Muslims, we have faith that our Constitution will ultimately protect us from xenophobes carrying out their hate. Our nation was founded to prevent the religious extremism. This book is aimed, not just at educating, but at living life with the wisdom of education. I invite you to join me in our quest to make our nation a little more welcoming, a little more loving and a little more whole. Each of our efforts, I am convinced, will overcome every fear, obstacle and trial before us. It is each of us "the people" that hold the keys to this nations greatness. Let us go out and unlock that golden door, about which is spoken of on the symbol of our nation, the statue of liberty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781519640437
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/04/2016
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Reza Mansoor is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology and practices as a Cardiologist at Hartford Hospital. He completed his medical degree from St. George's University School of Medicine in 1992. He completed his medical internship at the University of Connecticut in Internal Medicine 1992-1995. He was a Chief Medical Resident at Hartford Hospital from 1995-1996 and received his Cardiology fellowship from the University of Connecticut (Hartford Hospital program) from 1996-1999. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Mansoor is President of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford, Advisory Board Member of Muslim Student Association-CT Council, and Founding President of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. He is a past president of the Islamic Center of Connecticut and Islamic Council of New England.

He is actively involved in the inter-faith community and provides ongoing didactic presentations on Islam. He is First Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Hartford Seminary and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Covenant Preparatory School in Hartford.

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