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Being Muslim in America

I am Muslim: Bander Almohammadi

Bander Almohammadi is a University of Kansas law student who is from Saudi Arabia. Almohammadi shares insights into the Muslim faith and how the Lawrence community has accepted him.
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Bander Almohammadi is a University of Kansas law student who is from Saudi Arabia. Almohammadi shares insights into the Muslim faith and how the Lawrence community has accepted him.

What is it like to be Muslim in America?

People of Islamic faith been scrutinized long the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — and in Paris, San Bernardino, Calif., and now, Brussels.

In the aftermath of the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the deadly March 22 bombings at the Brussels airport and a subway station, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said law enforcement should be empowered to "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."

The idea was immediately and widely condemned by Muslims-American groups. But debate over Muslim immigration likely will continue long after the current presidential campaigns end.

We wanted to know what being Muslim means, and earlier this year, met two from Kansas City and one from Lawrence to hear their stories. We learned how important faith is to their lives, and how often they can be misunderstood by others.

KU grad student Bander Almohammadi wants a safe city for his family during his studies abroad. Jasmine Abou-kassem, who grew up in Overland Park, talks about being the target of others’ fears. And for Shawnee’s Aisha Sharif, whose parents converted to Islam before she was born, her faith is strengthened by her daily prayers.

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Aisha Sharif, an English professor at Longview Community College, spoke about her experiences as a Muslim woman in Kansas City. VIDEO BY DAVID EULITT deulitt@kcstar.com

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