First and foremost, I am Muslim. And hold it close to my heart. But I’m Muslim American of Pakistani descent.
I am a also the founder of a Muslim fraternity, and am passionate about community service, social justice, and civic engagement. Those are the things that I’ve found that I’m engaging in more recently, particularly with Faith in Texas in the last five or six months.
I love learning. I majored in neuroscience with a minor in public health. And now I’m doing a masters in business analytics. I’m a future physician.
My concern is not that people will be violent against us because, let’s face it, that’s already happening. My biggest fear is the fact that such a polarizing divide can be created between us that our Muslim communities will separate ourselves from other communities.
I want to see my Muslim community coming out and caring for other communities, to not just have a ‘seat at the table’ but be creating their own tables, and to honor the uniqueness of our Muslim faith and traditions because we may just have insights that help solve problems for everyone.
Islam teaches service, sacrifice and hospitality - it is a moral obligation to improve the lives of those around you. It’s a big part of our lives, making sure that our neighbors are doing well. And it’s our neighbor’s right to expect to be taken care of by us.
So what drives me is simply the desire to impact a person’s life in more ways than one - I don’t want to be one-dimensional in the way I care for people.
I want to see, and am working for, a future where I know two things for sure: That Muslims are culture creators in the U.S. (and I’m talking about everything - art, fashion, music), and that we are able to freely practice our religion - that we won’t fee intimidated or scared of having to pray.
What if my kids grow up seeing this culture of Muslims engaged with every aspect of life? They would think being Muslim was cool. That’s the future that I would like to see.