About nine years ago I had the privilege of going to a Muslim nation for the first time. Before I went, I didn’t know what to expect. I remember being very fearful because of my lack of knowledge and experience with Muslims and their culture. I grew up in a town that didn’t have any Muslims and the only exposure that I had received was from television.
In my mind, Muslims were people who hated Americans and wanted to kill us because we weren’t Muslim. Looking back on it I laugh because of my naivety, but at that time these thoughts really scared me.
I’m so glad that I was able to overcome my fears because once I was there my thinking drastically changed. I found that the Muslim people that I got to know were some of the most hospitable and kind people that I had ever met. I have been to many Muslims countries now and have developed friendships with many there. They have opened my eyes to the stereotypes that I had once bought into.
This video is my effort to try and help people think about this issue. I think we as Americans can get worked up about a group of people that often we know little about.
Here are some questions for you:
How many of you are afraid of Muslims?
How many of you have ever met a Muslim?
How many of you have had a Muslim friend?
I think we fear because we’re scared of the unknown. Have we made an effort to understand?
I would love to see Americans start dialoging with Muslims both here and abroad.
My Muslim friends in the Middle East and North Africa made me promise that I would tell my American friends that they aren’t terrorists. I hope you enjoy this video that I made.