Sue said that much more effort and outreach to Arab communities is needed [there were times when "Muslim" and "Arab" were used interchangeably]. They lack a lobby and therefore any input into congressional decisions and legislation. Muslims have contributed greatly to the American community. (In search of statistics, I found that many Muslims in the military withhold specifying their religion to avoid harassment.) We are so categorized, so separated into groups, said Nina. "I wish we would come together."
Eight forty-three-minute programs were assembled and edited out of four months of filming. Those inimitable couch conversations lasted far longer than the programming suggests, said Billy.
An audience member drew a parallel between Billy's fatigue with having to justify Islam and 9/11 and theologist Karen Armstrong's admission that she has given up on arguing that Muslims aren't violent.
At least two of the families featured on AAM are "Sushi"--where one parent is Shiite and the other is Sunni, and the marriages are solid rather than microcosms of hostility.
The conversation ended on a very upbeat note. Billy remarked that the next few generations of Muslim youth will shock us. Adolescents are extremely ambitious and motivated. Sue belongs to an organization that awards scholarships in a variety of professional disciplines, encouraging Muslim youth in their drive to become a more integral part of American society. She herself, in her own outreach project, belongs to the YWCA.
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