The M Word seeks to elevate, amplify, and celebrate the contributions of Muslim Americans to our country’s varied and inspiring cultural landscape. To help us, we are inviting audience members, online followers, panelists, and others—both Muslims and non-Muslims alike—to share their personal experiences with what it means to be Muslim in America.

Today, we feature a video by writer Bushra Rehman on what it means to be Muslim in America.


“That’s a hard question for me because I struggle with my faith. I know that who I am is so Muslim in how I treat people, how I move in the world, my morals, and my purpose in life comes from my Muslim upbringing. And yet, I have a crisis of faith. At the same time, in this political moment, I feel that it is so important to stand up for my Muslim family and my Muslim community even when they might not understand me—that I still follow what I learned as a child, to defend those who need defending, even if it will not be returned.”

We want to hear your stories! For the chance to be featured by The M Word, submit your own video story with us on Facebook or submit your story in writing here. By submitting your story, you grant PEN America the right to use all still and motion pictures and sound recordings you provide in furtherance of its nonprofit charitable mission, including the right to advertising, promotion, and future marketing of PEN America and its activities via radio, television, video, DVD, the internet, podcasts, PEN America publications, or any other use, by any means now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, throughout the universe. 

The M Word is generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges program.