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BBC TwoThis World


Last Updated: Friday, 11 March 2005, 18:50 GMT
It's My Country Too
Salman Ahmed
Salman Ahmed wants to reach out to young American Muslims

Since 9/11 the US is a changed country... especially for Muslims.

Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US. Yet one in four Americans regard Muslims living among them with suspicion.

And what if you are an American and a Muslim?

This World follows Salman Ahmed, founding member of successful rock band Junoon, as he explores what it means to be an American Muslim these days.

Salman says: "I never thought about my religion in a sense that I have to explain it to the rest of the world."

But as non-Muslims search for answers, this is exactly what they seem to be asking of their fellow citizens.

Salman talks to taxi drivers, students and law reform campaigners, including a mother whose desperate search for her Muslim son after 9/11 turned her into a political activist.

He also speaks to a group of Muslim comics, a new force in the fight to combat mutual fear and suspicion.

But, is there such a difference between American and Islamic values?

Many would argue not. In fact, traditionally, the Muslim community have felt comfortable living in a country that puts so much emphasis on religion as an intrinsic part of politics.

Salman's cousin Ali is a founding member of the website Muslims for Bush and admires the president's frequent references to God. "I want him to talk about God more often, I want him to bring in his Christian values, because those are values that most Muslims share."

However, Ali now seems to be in the minority. In contrast to voting patterns in 2000, many American Muslims voted against a Republican administration in 2004.

"Unlike some other parts of the world, where Muslims seem to see themselves just as victims," Salman says, "American Muslims are fighting for their rights, and blending Islam with the modern American identity."

Producer: Ruhi Hamid for October Films
Director: Clifford Bestall
Editor: Karen O'Connor

Muslim American: A new identity?
14 Mar 05 |  This World
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14 Mar 05 |  This World

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