Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Fellow American

I know from personal experience and from just watching the news every day that many Americans hold ALL Muslims responsible for 9/11, spread lies and misinformation about Islam, and have no desire to know or learn about Muslims. The Mission of "My Fellow American" is to combat Islamophobia, to try to change the preconceived misconceptions and to get Americans to realize that the vast majority of American Muslims are just like you and me.

"Muslims are our fellow Americans, who today face threats to their civil rights and even their personal safety because of the fearful and often hateful rhetoric that would not be tolerated were it uttered about any other minority group." - from the "My Fellow American" website "About" page

The following short video is effective, poignant, and gives lots of food for thought.

For more information about the My Fellow American Project and to find out what you can do, click here.


  1. "Muslims are our fellow Americans, who today face threats to their civil rights and even their personal safety because of the fearful and often hateful rhetoric that would not be tolerated were it uttered about any other minority group"

    This is bullshit. Muslims are victims of violence any more than any other group (and less than Jews and African Americans). As far as what people think about their religion, that is really fair game. Just listen to what conservative Christians say about Catholicisms. It is not much better than what is said about Islam.

  2. should have read " Muslims are victims of violence no more than any group"

  3. This assertion is not supported by the facts, which say the opposite in a land of over 300,000 million people.

    “…8.4 percent of religious hate crimes in America were anti-Muslim in 2009 (the most recent date for which statistics are available). By contrast, that same year, nearly 72 percent of religious hate crimes in America were anti-Jewish (Muslims in America faced 107 incidents of bias in 2009; Jews faced 931)... 2002, 10.5 percent of the religious bias crimes in America were anti-Muslim while 65% were anti-Jewish; in 2006 (just to pick another post- 9/11/2001 year), 11.9 percent of the religious bias crimes in America were anti-Muslim while 65.4 percent were anti-Jewish. (It is worth noting here that exact statistics on the Muslim population in America are hard to assess -- estimates range from 2.6 million to 7 million, a number President Obama cited -- the Jewish population is generally agreed upon at about 6.5 million).
    …given that America has been targeted by a great deal of terrorism in the name of Islam over the past decade -- targeted by terrorists who say they are acting in the name of Islam -- America has not over-reacted in a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry.
    Whatever may be the case in Murfreesboro, notice the rest of the story out of Tennessee: Muslim leaders in cities from Chattanooga to Knoxville to Memphis say they have "experienced no hostility."

    Indeed, the Muslim experience in America is an interestingly supportive one, especially in our post-9/11 world. In 2008, Americans elected a president with an Arabic name and whose father had been born a Muslim -- and in higher numbers than in several previous presidential elections: Barack Obama received 53 percent of the vote in 2008, George W. Bush received 51 percent of the vote in 2004, and Bill Clinton received 49 percent of the vote in 1996.

    Another example of a lack of widespread anti-Muslim bias is the fact that in 2010, a Muslim and Arab woman, Rima Fakih, was chosen as Miss USA. Indeed, it appears more in the Muslim community had a problem with Ms. Fakih's crowning than did the rest of the American community. And most recently, a CNN poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans said they would be OK with a mosque in their community and that "positive views of Muslim Americans are on the rise." It is also worth noting that nearly 700 mosques have been built in America over the last decade…”
    Do Muslims get bad press in the media?
    … No fewer than 42 per cent of the respondents hailing from Muslim minority countries reported unfavourable opinion of Muslims…the second highest unfavourable view of Muslims was reported in China with 65 per cent of the respondents holding an unfavourable opinion. While the Pakistanis may think of China as a steadfast friend, only 16 per cent Chinese replied positively to the questionnaire…56 per cent Japanese responded unfavourably while India is another country where the majority (greater than 50 per cent of the respondents) reported an unfavourable opinion. .. 48 per cent South Koreans, who  hold an unfavourable opinion of Muslims…France with 63 per cent favourable opinion of Muslims had the highest favourable view of Muslims amongst Muslim minority countries followed by Great Britain, Canada, Kenya, Russia, and United States. Almost 61 per cent respondents in Canada and 59 per cent respondents in the United States reported a favourable opinion of Muslims. Unlike other countries listed here, Canada and the United States stand out for their favourable opinion of Muslims…
    …Among the Muslim majority countries, Turkey and Palestinian Territories standout for having an unexpectedly high unfavourable view of Muslims.  Almost one in five respondents in Turkey and Palestinian Territories reported an unfavourable view of Muslims… Pew Global Attitudes Project

  4. Susie,
    First off, let me tell you I thoroughly enjoy your blog. With saying that, the longer your out of the states; you tend to chime from your self induced bubble from the KSA. I agree with some of what you've said. We as American's, have freedom of speech and religion. True, American Muslims are American's. Where I don't agree, they don't try and asimilate in our society. It reminds me of the Amish and how they feel about the "English." I feel very uncomfortable around Muslims. They aren't friendly and very clickish. My Mr. Arab also know my views about the subject. You ask me what I can do? I'm not the one snubbing in public they are.

  5. Susie,
    Since I happen to agree with Gabrielle's comment, (the last comment posted at the time I was reading,) I decided to actually watch the video. Susie, I could not believe my eyes and ears. You posted an audio collage of some of the most truely disgusting remarks and attitudes to be found in the United States, and then combined it with a collage video of people who might as well been in a saccarhine commercial.

    Are you suggesting that this horrible audio makes a statement about American citizens as a whole? And then based on that deformation, go on to conclude that it is "Americans" who need to improve their attitude? And justify that harangue with a series of carefully selected images of happy people helping each other, and yet who are so unfairly being treated as victims?

    I began reading Muslim blogs a few years ago, to find out what Islam is at the "grass roots" level. How would I know just how representative blogs are? I don't. But the things I have read by male bloggers, and by women, show a group of people that regards "non-believers" (basically everyone except themselves)as lower than wormsweat, meanwhile turning victimology into somewhere between science and art.

    Wish I could say "too stunned for words" but I'm obviously not.

  6. First of all, I did not make this video. I agreed to post it because I have seen, read and heard about discrimination against Muslims especially since 9/11. As horrible as the audio may be for some to hear, the reality is that there are people in America who actually feel that way. I have severed childhood friendships because of their bigoted attitudes toward Muslims.
    When people know that I am married to a Muslim and continue to send/forward me inflammatory anti-Muslim emails despite my request for them to stop, I can only conclude that there is still a serious problem. I am not saying that the majority of Americans feel this way, only that a problem exists. I'm also NOT saying that all Muslims are perfect or without fault. Please don't read more into this than my intention, which is to merely bring light to this subject matter and promote discussion - that's it.

  7. I too, agree with Gabrielle. And Marianne has the correct stats, muslims are not the largest target of crime based on religion.

    The video/audio is quite raw, disturbing. That said, I've not encountered freinds, family or co-workers with this opinion.

    I have, however, seen and heard muslims at rallies here (in Columbus OH) ranting and raving about living among the kafur. Americans are immoral and depraved. And all we can do is walk on by, free speech.

  8. I was with my Arab husband when he was threatened with a gun in "small town America". There is a problem, but I think more so in rural, remote areas. But I have also been on the receiving side of discrimination here in the Middle East for being an American. I would say it goes both ways. And I mostly agree with Gabrielle...

  9. Currently I am in Washington state, a fairly progressive state, as far as that goes. Just this afternoon, my son and I went to Target and parked our car in the very closest spot to the door of the store - which has never happened before. We were inside for maybe 10 minutes and when I came out to my car, 4 of the car windows had been written on in neon paint "911" and Sept 11." It's ironic that this happened today with this discussion going on. Normal Americans may not see hate crimes like this every day, nor do I, but it's out there.

  10. Susie, I am surprised that you or your property were targeted, unless you are wearing hijab and thus, have made yourself a target? As you know, the veil in ANY form is considered oppressive against women in the West. Many people see it as creeping sharia and are offended. They remember 9/11 and all the countless terror attacks while Muslims celebrated. Since polls show that most Muslims not only support discrimination against women, but also want Islam to rule the world and a majority also support suicide jihad, this is an issue.

    There is less violence and discrimination against Muslims in America than anywhere else. The figures, if you read what I posted, are miniscule. Often it is Muslims who discriminate and demand that sharia be implemented and that they, because they are Muslims, should be granted special privileges that other groups do not enjoy. For example: Separate facilities for men and women such as at gyms and public swimming pools; time off 5 times a day for prayer; time off for Hajj; refusing to take people who have dogs or carry alcohol in cabs; Demanding that people not eat in front of them during Ramadan, and on and on.

    Susie, bigotry exists everywhere. Most likely everyone has been discriminated against at some point in their lives.

    However, making speeches and remarks is rather different than acting upon the suggestions. Muslims on a daily basis commit horrific crimes in the name of their religion. Most of the victims are other Muslims, which clearly shows that there is serious bigotry against those deemed ”not good enough Muslims” by other Muslims. Case in point, Sunnis against Shia.

    Those are just the facts that are printed on a daily basis in many Islamic papers, including Arab News. One can read not only in articles, but also in the comments made in such publications the level of hatred that Muslims have not only for “lesser” Muslims, but the rest of the world. One can read that these people cannot wait for Islam to take over.

    It seems to many people, not only in the West but all over the world, that it is Muslims who must change their attitudes and begin to win hearts and minds. Because the daily carnage and bigotry is turning people not necessarily against all Muslims, but against Islam and Muslims who subscribe to the fundamentalist doctrines. Those, after all are most certainly in Islamic scripture. KSA follows them. Do not sell others short and believe that they have not read the Qur’an and other Islamic scripture. Often, people most vehemently against another Islamic hegemonic empire are those who know a great deal about Islam and its history.

    1. And did they read the quran in its correct form, Arabic? I doubt it.

  11. Susie,
    I know you didn't create that video, you just posted a link. Both of the components struck me as highly energized and calculated for effect, as much of the political scene is. If I had found the link somewhere else, I would have dismissed it as propaganda and moved on. The only reason I am responding to this at all is because it is on your blog.

    I'm sorry to hear that your car got vanadalized like that, and in such a personal and scary way. And it was helpful to read your previous description of the anti-Islamic or anti-Arab comments you have received from "friends". One forgets to take into account the experiences others have which condition their reflexes to the world.

    People like Glenn Beck would be just embarrassing acne on the American face if they weren't taken seriously by so many people, like those who grafittied your car windows.

    You are doing a service with your blog, as is obvious from most of the people who comment here.

  12. You've been in the bubble too long. This desperate insistence on the widespread existence of "Islamophobia" in the US is just a way of changing the topic and distracting attention from the REAL widespread hatred of Jews (esp) and Christians in SA. Just this week we're reading in the US that Delta Airlines, (a US company, now in partnership with Saudi Airline) is going to ban Jews from its flights to SA. What? So regrettable, so sad, but no big deal, you say? Right. That's because you're used to this bigotry. Consider this same scenario but substitute "blacks" for "Jews." Now you get it. Also, re: "Islamophobia". It's bullshit. There are people in any country, including the US, that have bigoted impressions of people from other places who have different ways about them, different traditions, etc. But it's less so in the US than anywhere else because the US population comes from all over the world - we're not a homogenous crowd unlike some places . . . . I grew up in a very rural state that was governed by an Arab for 8 years . . . in the 1970s/early 80s. Nobody disparaged his Arab heritage and he was a very successful governor. People these days do take issue with Muslims, and others in America, who disparage America, come with the complaints first and the appreciation for the many many benefits and blessings of their adopted country . . . never. It's not a phobia about Islam, it's a contempt for stupid.

  13. I agree with Marianne , Jerry and the others hate crimes toward muslim are a tiny fractions....

    Some muslim sent CV to franchises that requires an UNIFORM and them screams bloody discrimination when they aren't hired or they are kindly request to remove their hjiab to work (a women worked in Disneyland that after working WITHOUT the hijab decided to wear it and screamed racism because she couldn't wear).

    As a poster said before me what about the bunch of muslim (in the US) who screamed for jihad against kuffar? What about the somali taxi drivers who refuse to pick a BLIND people only because they have a dog with them and then when action is takes against them they screm racism, what about muslim hired in a meat factory DEMANDED to have breaks during the day so they could pray and when the boss said no they said it was discrimination...but the people of other fatith worfkin in the same plant never said anything on working on Sunday or Saturday or any special day for their religion.

    Muslim in america scream racism when anything is said against islam and THREATS with death if someone draw a mohamed cartoon, burns a koran, or whatever could offend them....I've never saw christians threats with death Scorsese for his last temptation of Christ.

    Muslim must grown up, USA is the land of FREE spech and if someone say something that they don't like they MUST accept it they coul not agree with them but if someone say death to all kuffir and burn an american flag on the other hand someone has the same right to burn a koran/bible/torah

  14. I am still wondering why your car windows were spray-painted, Susie? You have claimed to not be a Muslim and to hate wearing the abaya. What triggered the crime? Did you go to the police? There must be surveillance cameras in the Target parking lot.

    Speaking of discrimination claims and requests for making exceptions for Muslims, here we go again:

    Muslim Woman Accuses Air France of Discrimination

    “A Virginia woman accused Air France of getting her terminated from the job she held briefly at Dulles International Airport because of her religion.

    “The hijab, to me, it’s empowerment,” 19-year-old Riham Osman said. “When people, men and women, talk to me, they’re looking at my personality, they’re listening to what I’m saying, they know that I stand for something.”
    ...“I think the fact that I was hired at first with my scarf on shows that Aerotek hired me according to my [qualifications],” Osman said....“He said that apparently Air France has an issue with the scarf that they will not allow me to work  because it violates their uniform policy,” Osman said.…After being notified about the situation, Aerotek said it asked Air France to make an exception to the dress code policy for Osman.“Air France declined to make this accommodation and instructed us to end her assignment at Air France,” read a statement from Aerotek.

    Osman hopes travelers will boycott Air France until she gets an apology.
    Read more:

    Apology? It is Osman who should apologize for not abiding by company policy. It is more likely that people will applaud the action of Air France, rather than boycott. CAIR has lost its non-profit status.

    Hijab or any form of in-your-face veiling is not a statement of faith but rather of ideology. Political, supremacist Islam has no place in the nonMuslim world! Religion should be a private matter. Certainly, people show up in what they deem appropriate for a job interview. If they are hired they are however, expected to abide by the company rules and policies which may include wearing a uniform. Most every job has a dress code which is the “uniform” of the profession. Bankers and attorneys generally must wear suits, wait staff often wear company uniforms, medical workers wear uniforms, police, fire and safety personnel wear uniforms, airline workers wear specially designed uniforms. Why should an exception be made for Muslims when others do not get such accommodations? Do nonMuslims get special accommodations in KSA?

    Osman’s claim that: “When people, men and women, talk to me, they’re looking at my personality, they’re listening to what I’m saying, they know that I stand for something.”

    Indeed, people are very much looking at what she stands for and that appears to be Islamic supremacism. That makes people uncomfortable. What they “hear” her saying is, ”I am better than you!” Since veiling is NOT mandated in the Qur’an this woman is telling everyone that she believes herself to be superior to other human beings as the Qur’an states: ”You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men;... and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.” Quran 3:110

    This is why people object to hijab and any other form of veiling. It is not seen as a religious statement of faith, but rather a political statement of Islamic exceptionalism and supremacism meant to make a bigoted point to the kuffar.
    A phobia is an extreme, irrational fear.

    Today’s headlines:
    Afghanistan: Attack on Logar hospital kills 15
    ”At least 15 people have been killed in a car bomb attack at a hospital in Afghanistan's Logar province…”

    Fear of this sort of daily carnage is very rational.
    There is no such thing as Islamophobia!

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  16. Hi Susie,
    I am surprised about some comments that say Muslims in USA , don't mix very well in the american way of life . To the contrary most of the Muslims I know love American culture and far exceed their american counterpart in the mixing aspect. Nowadays ,things are getting even better. Many average Muslims don't get offended easily if you criticize their religion thanks to openness and media and they are not so strict about their religion .

  17. I do not wear hijab here. As we were driving into Target, we saw a group of young people that Adam knows from his school - he told me that they call him "Terrorist" all the time. We are assuming it was this group that did it. I thought about reporting it to security at Target, but didn't. It is definitely a hate crime and these kids don't realize the severity of their actions.

  18. What happened to you was a crime, Susie. You certainly should have called the police. Young people need to understand that they can think anything that they desire; however acting upon those impulses might get them arrested, convicted and ultimately imprisoned. If your son knows who the culprits might be then he should say so. Naturally you will need proof. That is where the security cameras come in. Better hurry, they do not keep the images for long. I hope that you took photos of the damage.

    Additionally, your son should go to the school authorities regarding being bullied. That is simply not acceptable! It makes those who do it no better than those they wish to denigrate. Bullying is a form of terrorism. Sometimes it turns violent.

    Decent people do not approve of or condone such behavior, which is not only un-American but inhuman (despite being very human, because it is practiced by all too many humans). If you put up with it you are enabling and emboldening these people.

    That said, most Americans object to Muslims demanding special dispensation because of their so-called superior faith and superior way of life.

    There are many Muslims in my city. I know quite a few on a personal and business basis. As such I always ask one simple question of Muslims: ”Do you believe that your Islamic faith/ideology should rule supreme as it clearly states in the Qur’an?” Their answers are very revealing. You would be surprised how many try to hedge and then begin to proselytize, while railing against the Jews.

    Reminding them that proselytizing is against the law in many Muslim countries, but they are free to do it in the West, is thought provoking. Underscoring that others are free to believe or to not believe, brings the points of freedom of religion and democracy for all, home. Most Muslims whom I have ever known are quite grateful to be in the West where they can practice their faith freely, in spite of the fact that most of the males are serious chauvinists who are into: Separate but "equal" for mere women, whom they of course respect, except when they do not. ;)

  19. Sine 9/11 there is plenty of "Islamophobia" in the UK. I have a muslim boyfriend so the topic comes up quite a lot in conversation. I think that every non-muslim person I know dislikes Islam. I don't think that they would ever say anything nasty to a muslim person, but Im sure that they would discriminate against them if they were employing people for instance. People are still angry about 9/11 and they want payback.

    The media are to blame for most of it. The newspapers here (especially The Daily Mail) love to publish incredibly biased stories, often on the front page, like how muslims have banned Christmas decorations and about the (very few) fundamentalists muslims who preach terror, organize muslim marches, burn poppies, want Sharia law in the UK, etc. The views of these fundamentalists are not a true representation of what the average muslim thinks, but the newspapers make out they are. And people like my dad, who doesn't know any real muslims, believes it all.

  20. countrygirl...

    "Some muslim sent CV to franchises that requires an UNIFORM and them screams bloody discrimination when they aren't hired or they are kindly request to remove their hjiab to work (a women worked in Disneyland that after working WITHOUT the hijab decided to wear it and screamed racism because she couldn't wear)."

    The woman wore the uniform for two years without a problem wile she waited for her citizenship to become approved. Very soon after getting it, she sued Disney for not allowing her to wear hijab. She claimed that now she was an American citizen and Disney had no right to discriminate against her for her faith. Disney tried to compromise by making a headcover that would be in line with the uniform she wore but she rejected all options, they offered her a job behind the scenes AT THE HIGHER PAY she was getting while dealing with customers even though that job was not as well paid. She refused...

    If it were me, I would have fired her and not looked back after trying so hard to accomodate her. Disney has a strict dress code and when you sign the contract you are required to agree to it. It wasn't a secret and she signed it agreeing to the requirements when she first got the job. She tried to use her citizenship to bully the company. I would have taken this fight to the mat and gotten rid of her. Not only is she a bully and a liar she is a lousy muslim IMO. If she could go two years without hijab HOW IMPORTANT was it?

  21. I think the way people complain so much about females wanting to wear hijab is an obvious example of Islamophobia. It's just an excuse to have a go at muslims. I mean do you really care if a woman wants to wear a scarf on her head? Is it hurting you or anyone else in any way? I don't really agree with hijab, but if a lady wants to wear it I cannot see what is wrong with it. Sikh men have been allowed to wear turbans at work for years, no one seems to have a problem with that.

  22. @anonymous if someone wants to wear a hijab fine with me BUT as soon as she wants special treatment eg see the story oby mentioned or screaming discrimination because the firm/shop they apply states that there's a dress code and the hijab isn't part of the dress code it won't be fine with me anymore....

    What about the group of muslim who worked in a meat plant and DEMANDED break during the day for their prayers...they sued the plant for discrimination and the stupid judge agreed with them....why grant them MORE rights, why accomodae the working timetable to THEM why couldn't work like everyone else?

    It's not islamophodia but given everyone the same right.

    I'm pretty sure conservative christian girl sould send send her CV to hooters and then sue them (or screming discrimination) because they wouldn't hire her because she refuse to wear hooter's skimpy uniform...but it's happening with muslim gril all around they are sending CV to firm/shop that requires a certaing dress code and then they screms discrimination

  23. In my place of work muslims are allowed to have breaks to pray (although only about 3 of them out of 70 muslims take these breaks) and they are allowed to wear hijab. This seems reasonable to me and it doesn't seem to have any bad effects on anyone. Everyone is entitled to breaks and I cannot see why people can't take their breaks when they want.

    I really don't think that wanting to wear a scarf on their head is asking for special treatment. If the job is for an actress or a model and it really matters how the person looks I can understand why a hijab wouldn't work. But in any other job how will it effect the way they do their job? It won't will it, so I think the workplaces that ban it are discriminating and I believe they need to be challenged on it. Just as I believe that non-muslim women should not have to wear hijab if they got a job in a muslim country.

  24. "If the job is for an actress or a model and it really matters how the person looks I can understand why a hijab wouldn't work."

    Exactly. The woman in Disney was wearing a costume that fit in with her job which is an actress of sorts. She was playing a part...a COSTUMED part. Disney has a strict policy against ANY religious symbols being worn where they can be seen...hijab is a religious symbol which can be seen. Tatoos are also not allowed or moustaches either. If someone refuses to shave their mustache they can't work there. It is ridiculous that Disney is not allowed to enforce their dress code when others including Christians and Jews must abide by the "no religious" symbols rule. But again she went a full two years without wearing hijab...the minute she got her citizenship she started making noise about discrimination.

  25. Dear Susie you need to clean up your blog from anti-Muslim sectarian bigots and liars like this Marianne who spreads her hate, disinformation and inferiority complex from one Muslim blog to another. She was kicked out from other blogs for her sectarianism and bigotry.

  26. I find the statistics about crimes against Muslims compared to Jews incredible. We don't seem to hear many about Judeophobia in the news. But we hear a lot about Islamophobia which some sectarian and racist bigots here are trying to justify and say that there is no Islamophobia. But even if they were true, the sectarianism and Islamophobia in Europe such as France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland is unprecedented.

    There is no sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shias like some said here. There are indeed terrorists who kill Muslims but who knows who stands behind them? Who knows what goes on behind the scenes? And one would blame Islam when Muslims are the victims is beyond any sense.

    Sectarian strife exists in Christianity and Hinduism (and to a lesser extent Judaism because they are a small community). Same for hate preachers. Mainstream Muslims do respect women despite what bigoted and racist liars tell you otherwise.

    People against Islam and Muslims are the most ignorant about Islam. Most of them get their knowledge on Islam from third rate anti-Muslim blogs or websites.

    Being Islamophobe because some criminal Muslims murder other innocent Muslims is as "rational" as being Christianophobe because Christians have killed one another for centuries to WWII to nowadays in Africa for instance. Same goes for Judeophobia.

    It is true that Muslims want to spread their religion and proselytize. None wants an empire that fights others. By the way, proselytizing of other religions is legal in most Muslim majority countries.

  27. To Helene,

    Which Muslim blogs are you reading? The Muslim blogs I usually read certainly do not view nonbelievers as "as lower than wormsweat" or turn "victimology into somewhere between science and art."

  28. "It is true that Muslims want to spread their religion and proselytize"

    You're honest about it so I give you points there, but most people in the USA are very private about religion. They DON'T want to be prostylitized and that goes for any religion...from Islam right to Mormons to Jehovah's witnesses etc. Americans have a very strong yet unwritten policy that "you keep your religion to yourself and I will keep mine to myself." Those that try to spread the good news be it christian or muslim generally are politely told No thanks.

    The Stats that Marianne listed I have seen before. They are from the FBI I believe. She did not list the group that gets the most hate crimes committed against them...gays. Her link is true and actual, not something she made up.

  29. Issam are you high on drugs by saying that "By the way, proselytizing of other religions is legal in most Muslim majority countries." in Marocco that is far from being a conservative countries people were arrested because they were proselytinzing. In Egypt a man and is daughter are in hiding because they became christians.....

  30. Susie, I just discovered your blog and I was immediately hooked! I read all of your posts from start to finish. I am an Christian American married to a muslim born in Riyadh so it was especially interesting to me. I see the change in tone from your original posts about your family and all the new things you were discovering to the one track postings on driving. I DO agree with you on most things but I miss the "friend" who told me all about her wonderful family on the good days and bad. I think this has been a rough road for you but I hope things improve. I am shocked to hear about the Target incident! I have never lived in an area where that stuff happens and I cannot imagine how awful it must have been for you and Adam. I think much of the "Islamaphobia" is not so much about the right of someone else to be muslim as the fear that Americans will have to change to suit "outsiders." I hope your son knows that there are lots of people who are not like that (and also high school is generally crappy for most people but it is over soon!) If he ever decides to relocate (again) tell him to come a little further south to the San Francisco bay area, we are about as diverse as it gets and he would be welcome here :)
    Sorry for the long comment. Love you, love your blog and I wish the best for you and your family