As in other American religious groups, a tiny minority of young Muslims take their religion to an extreme, including in the context of love.
American culture often presents two opposing paths for young Muslims. The contours may be particular to Islam, but the story is one shared by Catholics, Jews, and even the Puritans.
On one side are people like President Donald Trump, who retweets unverified videos purporting to show Muslim violence; says things like “I think Islam hate us”; and claims there’s “no real assimilation” among even second- and third-generation Muslims in the U. On the other are movies like , which depicts the autobiographical love story of Kumail Nanjiani, a Muslim comedian who rejects religion and falls in love with a white woman, devastating his immigrant family. Muslims are creating distinctively American forms of their religion.
Like others in their generation, Khan and Siddiquee have gravitated away from religious institutions and regular practice.
Abdullah Antepli, an imam who teaches at Duke Divinity School, often sees similar patterns among the undergraduates he works with.
Imams will often compare young Muslims and Jews, she added, wondering whether their religious organizations will also be hurt by widespread disaffiliation.
“They’re like, ‘Oh, the rabbis are panicking, so we should also be panicking.’”* * *Sana Khan, 27, and Yusuf Siddiquee, 29, both grew up in households they describe as rigid, “where you have to be Muslim and there’s no questioning it,” Khan said.
As a group, Muslims are extremely diverse, and their experiences reflect that diversity.
Some young Muslims care deeply about their religious and cultural identities, but choose to prioritize other parts of life.
“For me, it was more thinking ahead about integrating my partner into my family,” she said.