Muslim millennials joined host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani on Huff Post Live to discuss the exclusivity of many American mosques, as captured in the upcoming film “UnMosqued” by Ahmed Eid.
More and more American Muslims find themselves at odds with the culture in their mosque communities, particularly as many of these places of worship retain strong ties to homelands that self-identified American Muslims may not relate to, say many of those interviewed in “Unmosqued.”
“You go to the masjid, and so many masjids speak their own native language,” commented one man. “Whether it’s Arabic, Bangla, Urdu, Turkish. and our children have a hard time understanding this message.”
“Where is the young generation?” asks Imam Shamsi Ali. “They are moving away, and they are not coming back.”
Ainee Fatima, Ali Baluch, Ramy Youssef, and Yousef Erakat chimed in on the debate to explain their feelings about the acceptance of the Muslim community.
Filmmaker Ali Baluch commented on internal criticism of the Muslim community by saying, “We don’t get hate from non-Muslims– we get hate from within. I’m sure many sisters and women and female Muslims can attest to this– that they get torn apart more by Muslims themselves, by saying they’re not doing something right, they’re not modest, they’re not wearing the scarf the right way. They get torn down more by Muslims than by non-Muslims.”
He continued, “So when you want to worship and be in a great environment, you’re constantly bothered by this religious police who are saying you’re not praying the right way. Instead of guiding you the right way, they’re just scaring you away.”
Yasmine Hafiz is a writer for the Huffington Post, where this piece was originally posted.