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 Hussein Rashid on what it means to be Muslim in America today.



“So, I think that to be Muslim in America today is about having other people watch you all the time. Salman Rushdie, to paraphrase, has a quote that says, racism is not my problem, it’s your problem. I’m simply the victim of it. And the idea that me being Muslim is strange or weird means you don’t understand anything about this country or about this religion. 

 “I think that to be a Muslim means you have to be unapologetically Muslim. In America today, people are always finding ways to try to silence things they don’t understand. Right now, it’s religion; before, it was race. And as you see with Black Lives Matter, that until we make our voices heard, we will always be silenced. So, our job as Muslims is to be a voice of Islam in this country.”

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.