Muslim Teens Organize to Inform Communities about Islam

August 31, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 31, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that [Massachusetts] teens have "realized that as faithful Muslims they had an important obligation. 'Now I feel like we have more responsibility to do outreach and tell people about Islam,' said Kazmi, a sophomore at Notre Dame Academy in Worcester. 'If you don't tell them about Islam, they look to Osama bin Laden or suicide bombers [for answers to what Islam is.]' Following the attacks, Mohammad started a Muslim club at Belmont High and is [organizing] an interfaith group in her Girl Scouts troop. 'I'm trying to teach people about my religion and learn about other religions, so that I don't stereotype anyone who stereotyped me,' she said. 'A lot of people before 9-11 thought it was an obscure religion on the other side of the globe,' said Mehdi Alhassani, a recent graduate of Belmont Hill School, who is attending George Washington University in Washington. Hussein and her friend Jenny Williamson, a Christian, have started an interfaith organization at Lincoln-Sudbury High School called Breaking Barriers. The group, launched in May, plans to sponsor speakers, including pastors and imams, during the school year. [The Globe reports]... younger Muslims are taking more activist roles than their parents. Older generations of Muslim immigrants faced language barriers and were apprehensive about asserting their religious identity outside their community. But many younger Muslims, comfortably assimilated into the American mainstream, are reconnecting with their faith, a shift that took on more meaning following Sept. 11."