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If one’s only source of information are certain news outlets, one may think that Muslims make no contribution to America. In fact, one might even have an image of Muslims as monsters out to mercilessly rampage and kill. Recently, some politicians have even called for a complete ban on Muslims entering America until they can “figure out” what is going on. When an individual Muslim commits a crime, all Muslims are collectively held responsible. There are often mass shootings in schools, churches, universities, and malls. Never is there a call to ban certain race until we “figure out” what is happening. One must ask whether such rhetoric and attitude really contributes to making America great. This article will highlight some of the many contributions Muslims make to America.
The Making of America:
Muslims were part of America from its very beginning. In 1777, Morocco, a Muslim majority country, was the first nation to recognize America as a country. In 1787, the two countries signed a treaty of alliance that is still in effect today. Muslims were also among the first slaves brought to the Americas by force from Africa. Approximately 20% of slaves who came to America were Muslims. These individuals were often forced to convert to Christianity, but many secretly practiced their faith.
One might think that American Muslims bring no benefit to American society. However, Muslims are on the ground each day serving society and contributing to America. Approximately 10% of physicians in America are Muslim. If American Muslims had a hidden agenda to take over the country and kill all non-Muslims, would they be the one’s healing sick and injured Americans?
These doctors, nurses, and researchers are working each day to make America great. They run free health clinics to serve the ill and less fortunate. Ayub Ommaya was a Pakistani American neurosurgeon who invented the Ommaya reservoir which was used to provide chemotherapy directly to the tumor site in the brain.
Charity groups organized and run by Muslims are too numerous to list. However, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) serves the urgent needs of inner-city families. Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a four-star Muslim charity organization, has been rated among the top 10 charities in America. Islamic Relief is also a four-star charity serving the less fortunate in America and throughout the world. There are many other organizations and charities that build women’s shelters, feed the homeless, and provide family counseling.
Education & Business:
American Muslims contribute to American society and economics. They are about as likely as other Americans to report household incomes of $100,000. Additionally, they are as likely as the public overall to have graduated from college (26% of Muslims vs. 28% among the general public). Because as a group Muslim Americans are younger than the general public, twice as many report being currently enrolled in a college or university class (26% vs. 13%). Similar numbers of American Muslims and members of the general public report being self-employed or owning a small business (20% for Muslim Americans, 17% for the general public).
Sports & Entertainment:
Some of America’s greatest athletes are Muslim. To name a few, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille OʿNeil, Rasheed Wallace, Muhamad Wilkerson, Husain & Ameer Abdullah, Bernard Hopkins, Kenneth Faried, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ahmad Rashad, Mike Tyson, and Bilqis Abdul-Qadir, and Kulsum Abdullah. There are several Muslim comedians who bring laughter into American homes each day, among them are: Dave Chappelle, Dean Obeidallah, Ahmed Ahmed, and Maz Jobrani.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are more than 5,000 Muslims serving in the military. The numbers of Muslims in the military is likely higher since about 400,000 active duty and reserve military did self-report their faith. Muslims are also involved in government, for instance, Andre Carson and Keith Ellison are both Muslim congressman. Ellison is the current deputy chair of the Democratic party.
Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi American is regarded as “the father” of tubular designs for high rises. His most famous buildings are Willis Tower and John Hancock center. His innovative structural systems remain faithful to skyscraper structures and construction.
A Pew Research study on American Muslims has shown that most American Muslims are well integrated into American society. The study shows that more than half of Muslims who come to America want to adopt customs and American lifestyle. The study also demonstrates that American Muslims’ everyday activities are similar to the rest of the general public. American Muslims participated in nearly the same percentage as the general public in activities such as recycling, amount of time watching television, use of social media networks, watching sports, and displaying the American flag. Yet, despite being American as American gets, Muslims are often made to feel alienated and unwelcome.