Utah Muslims face challenges in America, but love its freedom

dt-common-streams-streamserverFreedom, fear, hope and cynicism.

Those are just some of the feelings Muslims in this country cope with 15 years after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

The lives of Muslims in America encompass a complex set of social norms buffeted by political winds and fallout from terrorism.

For Amr Abdelghany, an initial visit to the United States from Egypt was the first time he felt free to practice his religion as he pleased. That was in North Carolina in 2009.

“The governments we see in the Middle East are using religion to control the people,” he said Monday at a panel discussion on the campus of the University of Utah hosted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “When you are not obeying the king or the president, you are not obeying Allah.”

He said it follows that those who oppose their governments — or others — would use religion to foment terror.

Conditions for Muslims in Utah are good, according to Abdelghany, who is the acting president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the U.

“In Utah, I haven’t faced any hate speech,” he said. “The people here are friendly, open-minded and very accepting of my religion.”


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