“I’m a lot more alike than different” – Mrs. Fttil
“We hold the same ideals” – Dr. Hussain
On Sept. 27, the World Affairs Council of the Quad Cities began a new program year with a panel discussion, “Living as a Muslim in America,” held at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. Moderated by Dr. Lisa Killinger, the panel included Dr. Matlub Ahmad, Mrs. Samia Ahmad, Dr. Waqas Hussain, and Mrs. Holly Fttil. The panel’s theme is of particular importance in our current political climate, as Dr. Killinger expressed, because it “has become the faith that is okay to hate.” This becomes strikingly clear when you consider, for example, the media coverage of terror and criminal acts. You might be surprised to learn that, according to the FBI, 94% of terrorist acts have been committed by non-Muslims from 1980 to 2005. While the panelists agreed that the attacks on 9/11 were a pivotal moment in the treatment of American Muslims, they were also unanimously grateful to live in America and enthusiastic about the support that they have received from non-Muslims in the face of such hate. In fact, when asked to sum their experience as a Muslim in America with a single word, the panelists chose adjectives like “amazing,” “fortunate,” “exceptional” and “exceptional-er.” They noted that the Quad Cities community has been particularly supportive. After 9/11, noted Dr. Killinger, the QC mosques received countless letters and cards of support, flowers, and words of encouragement. The event ended with a Question and Answer session in which the panelists graciously explained various customs, such as the headscarves that symbolize modesty and humility, as well as the 5 Pillars of Islam.
The World Affairs Council of the QC (WACQC)
is nonpartisan and a 501(c) (3) organization seeking to foster global
education and international understanding within the Quad Cities and beyond.