Practical Muslim:  The Story Behind the Stories

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Salaam alaikum,

A couple of months ago, I embarked on a project to develop a space where Muslims could share stories about being Muslim and all the joys and struggles that it meant to be a Muslim in the West. It would be a digital space where they could share stories about travel, cuisine, fashion, and community, as well as provide options to deal with mental health, substance abuse, Islamophobia and racism, among other topics. This would not be a personal blog, but a collaborative grassroots safe space where we diverse voices from within the Muslim community, spanning different cultures, geographies, nationalities, languages and ethnicity, could be heard as they share stories woven through the common thread of Islam.

While I was excited to dedicate nights and weekends to launch this initiative and to invite others to collaborate, I understood that it would be a slow process to create relevant and worthy content. I also understood that in as much as Muslims could celebrate their diversity, they were still plagued with stigma and discrimination from within the Muslim community, as well as challenges and struggles from the larger, non-Muslim community. But this only provides further motivates to continue nurturing such a space, and to turn it into a space where Muslims could share testimonials, where subject matter experts could weigh in with options and provide solutions to challenge stigma and discrimination. Through this labor of love and giving, we would provide options to Muslims that can’t be easily navigated in today’s more traditional spaces.

So, I invite you to help build this vital and much-needed space by contributing with your stories and sharing your expertise through a variety of formats, from blogs and vlogs to podcasts and other original digital content as well as live workshops. Together, we can create a space where as Muslims, we can share and learn about our own diversity, becoming more open to one another, as well as open the doors to the larger non-Muslim community through our narratives of hope and tribulation. With every post, we learn about ourselves, that we are not much different than each other, or from our non-Muslim neighbors, and with each story, we will debunk the myths that other us and keep us veiled from truly accepting one another as we reclaim our narrative as Muslims living in the West. I thank you in advance for your contributions and for joining me on this journey and I look forward to working with you as Practical Muslim grows, with each story, and each new perspective.

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