The following is a clip from a documentary called Abraham's children – following the lives of 6 Muslim American kids – can you identify with any of these children?
Disclaimer: background music.
I didn't know that every tenth kid in NYC is Muslim. It is a tough time to be a Muslim kid especially if you attend public school. But despite the negativity and problems, I see strong, proud Muslim kids everyday! It is also a great time to be a Muslim kid because more people are learning about Islam everyday. I want to talk to you and your parents but mainly you – Muslim kids – about what is it like being a Muslim kid in today's world. What problems to do face? How do you deal with them?
Are you a hyphenated kid: Muslim-American, British-Muslim etc.? How do you deal with the hyphens? Do the kids in your school know that you are Muslim? Have you been bullied because you are a Muslim – how do you deal with the bullying? Or are you a Muslim kid in a Muslim country who is finding out more about her religion? Tell us what it is like being a Muslim kid in 2011?
I have four kids Masha Allāh – each one of them special in their own way. I home school one and two attend elementary school.
My eldest daughter is ten. She is my constant companion. She is a strong Muslimah and a blessing from Allāh. She tries her best at everything whether it is taekwondo or art, but thinks my expectations are too high.
My younger daughter practices wearing hijab to school on Fridays – she gets teased a lot about it but I think she is amazing because when people ask her why she wears it, she just answers, “why do you wear pants?” Gets them every time. She is special to me because she tries really hard to bring a smile to me face, especially when I am having a rough day.
My boys love talking about if they are on Allāh's team or on Shaytan's team? They think it is really cool that they are named after noble Prophets of Allāh and get happy when their names are read in the Qurʾān. When my son started kindergarten, it was in Ramadan, so we shared out Muslim traditions with his class and that helped him feel comfortable, knowing that it is OK to be different. Ever since President's Day in February, he tells me that I practice slavery because I make him clean his room and 'slavering is illegal, Mama'. :)
Are you a parent of a Muslim kid? What makes your kids special? Share you stories.