A Muslim-American Woman Speaks

“…In this interview, readers will encounter Emmie, a young lady who in many respects is very much like many American Muslims I know. Emmie is a twenty-something writer. Her immigrant parents are Sunni Muslim. They are devout, pray five times daily, and performed a pilgrimage to Mecca. Emmie is currently dating Rob, a non-Muslim, American man.

Before our interview, I meticulously planned questions on Islamic doctrine. Emmie showed little interest in doctrinal questions. Emmie wanted to talk about food, love, family, fashion, and sex. During the course of our interview, Emmie sometimes identified as a Muslim, and sometimes not.

“When I say ‘I’m Muslim,'” Emmie said. “I’m not the same Muslim as the hijabi walking down Main Street in Paterson. I’m not the villains that terrorize nations. I’m not the Muslim that I used to be. I’m Muslim because I come from the culture, but I’m not Muslim because I no longer believe in the ideology. Maybe I’m my own kind of Muslim. Maybe I’m not. I like to think of myself as just Emmie.”