From Susan Slyomovics, we can see the conflict of, or lack of, identity. Whilst America is seen as an ethnicity, the Muslim population sees their religion as one as well. However, the United States tends to view from a non-religious ethnic perspective, which provides Muslims living in America the obstacle to be seen as an ethnic group.
Why isn’t America primarily classified according to religion? I believe it is due to two reasons, one being that our history of immigration dictated the life of immigrants by grouping them by their homeland. Now we can ask ourselves why this reasoning existed, but fortunately we have discussed it before in class, which factored in prejudice, knowledge, and survival. I also believe that most Americans don’t identify by religion, because there is an increasing number of Americans who, well, are not that religious. Religions do cultivate certain cultures, but they are being practiced less in the present time than before. We also can ask ourselves the reasoning behind this. I personally believe that assimilation of a new-wave American culture is on the rise. This specific culture is different than the American traditionalism of the past, for its lifestyle is very liberal, but does not necessarily mean patriotic. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I believe the culture in America that views success in wealth through material, physical, and sexual means is new-wave.
Though Muslim Americans may group themselves in a different way than the cultural means that America was built, it is good to see them adapt to “American” ways to show who they are. By wanting to do a mass worship and gathering with food, they have resorted to marching an American parade. Although New York City’s directions are deceptively not the right direction and although it is regulation that parades stay along one avenue or street, the Muslim Americans manage and worship the True East anyway. They even display American pride in their Muslim World Day Parade.
They have been more quiet these days, as Slyomovics suggested, due to 9-11. Regardless, I commend the Muslim ethnic group for making it work. It may be harder to be recognized as a legitimate ethnic group today, as we can see with the previous debate on the proposal of building a cultural center run by Muslims over Ground Zero. It is sad that people now see Muslim Americans as an ethnic group more so because of terrorism than the parades that had the intent of being seen. I hope this time America will be the one to adapt and accept the Muslim population as opposed to the hostility expressed today.