Khan said she cares a lot about certain Muslim traditions, like fasting on Ramadan, but she’s not that observant during the rest of the year.
Converts face questions from family members who might not understand their new religion, and have to navigate the sometimes-unfamiliar cultures of new friends and partners.
And some Muslims don’t feel accepted by their own community, for reasons of race, gender, or sexuality.
“There is an incredible difference between the students and the parents in how they’re thinking about American Muslim identity,” he said.
“The parents want to invest on the Muslim side of that hyphenated identity—they are really worried for certain aspects of that identity to be preserved.” Most students, however, “are negotiating and brainstorming on the American side.” There’s some evidence behind the anxiety: Less than half of Muslims under 40 visit a mosque each week, according to Pew Research Center, and only one-third of Muslims under 30 pray five times a day in keeping with traditional Islamic practice.
You don’t need to know this much information.’”Like other U. Muslims of her generation, Ahmed has spent a lifetime toggling between various aspects of her identity.
She even followed a band as it toured the country—a coming-of-age story straight out of Hollywood, except that it was a Muslim punk group called the Kominas.“It would have been so much easier if I would have just gotten an arranged marriage,” she 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.
According to the Center on National Security at Fordham University’s School of Law, young Muslim converts are particularly common among those involved in ISIS-related cases in the U. But for the vast majority of Muslim parents, teachers, and imams, the worry is the opposite: that the young will drift away from their faith.
“The people [who] are anxious about [assimilation] are the people who are white-knuckling it, holding onto tradition, worried that they’re going to lose it,” said Zareena Grewal, an associate professor at Yale University.