Islam is not only the fastest growing religion in the world but one of the most diverse.
Muslims represent one of the most diverse populations not only globally but in the United States.
Attire, culture, values- with the diversity amongst American Muslims in race, color, culture and ethnicity, no one group of people can be easily identified as Muslim. Muslims come in all shapes and sizes.
Islam is a fast growing religion with many converts and cultures adding to the diversity and beauty of it.
According to the Pew Research Center, while the global population is expected to grow 32 percent by 2060, the number of those who identify as Muslims is expected to grow by 70 percent.
Muslims are the youngest major religious group in the world with a median age of 24. With Muslims representing a high youth population, Muslims are constantly impacting and influencing future generations.
American Muslims are not only ethnically and culturally diverse but also ideologically diverse. Studies show at least 30 percent identify as liberal and about 20 percent identify as conservative.
Despite their political views and affiliation, however, a large majority of Muslims in the US prefer the Democratic party due to policies directly affecting Muslim majority communities or persons in Republican ideology.
According to studies, in the 2016 presidential election, 78 percent of Muslim American voters said they voted for Hillary Clinton, which is a much lower share than the 92 percent who said they voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Many Muslims refrained to vote in 2016 believing both candidates held anti-Muslim viewpoints.
While awareness of the diversity of Islam is increasing day by day, violence against Muslims still continues.
A study published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in April reported 300 recorded cases of hate crimes against Muslims in 2017, a rise of 15 percent on the previous year.
Yet, hope remains.
Photo series such as “Muslims of America” and other projects are increasingly becoming popular to depict the diversity and combat stereotypes associated with American Muslims.
According to reports, one most likely is to “hate” a Muslim if they have not met one.
We can only hope that more people begin to learn about Islam and interact with Muslims, to realize we are all American despite the experiences, history and features we may carry.
Our religion should not be associated with a label built on ignorance and we as American Muslims should not be embarrassed or afraid of our identity.