The End - 2000 to 2009

Sorry Canada (though in reality, it’s probably the best in the world). I’d like to even go more detailed and say NY-NJ Metropolitan area, the DC-MD-VA area, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles-San Diego area are the best areas within America for a Muslim to live. I think the countries that are exempt from this in the Muslim world would be Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Edit: I know I’m going to take heat for saying Saudi Arabia is better to live than America, but I say this primarily my bias for the lack of ease of eating Halal food in America. Everyone who lives/visits Saudi Arabia always tell me how great the chicken and lamb is in Saudi. So meat is a factor for me where I live. I’m bias for the availability halal fried chicken. If I can make my daily salat, work and get some nice halal lamb and chicken, then I’m straight. If I can do this in Makkah, of course it’s better than the entire world. The Dajjal ain’t going to get me there!

Edit 2: For those who took me seriously about the meat thing, I apologize. It does play a factor but obviously it’s not number 1. I still think Saudi Arabia for me personally to practice Islam would be almost as good as America. America would still be the best option for me since I am an American.

Best place for Muslims to live? America

Muslim nations could learn a lot from the US.

By Merve Kavakci

Washington – This summer Muslims were murdered in Holland, Germany, and Belgium – four victims of hate crimes.

These murders are just the latest examples of Islamaphobia coming out of Europe. But Europe is not the only place intolerant of its Muslim citizens. Even in some Muslim countries, expression of religion is often perceived as a threat to the secular state.

One of the best places for a Muslim to live is the United States. In a lot of ways, conditions are better here than almost anywhere. As a Muslim not permitted to wear my head covering as a politician in my home country, Turkey, I know.

Think about it: In Turkey, where the vast majority of the population is Muslim, you will not find a lawyer with a beard or a student at a university wearing a head scarf, but you can find plenty in New York City. In Tunisia, you won’t see a religiously dressed physician at university hospitals – but you can in Alabama.

In the majority of Muslim countries the government is an intrusive enterprise with eyes and ears everywhere. The result is bleak. Countries reward only sycophants of the “divine” state. Muslims feel stifled by the encroachments of the establishment and lack of religious tolerance. If a man or a woman wanted to organize a protest against the government to gain the right to practice their religion more openly or be politically active against the status quo, may God help him to escape from the wrath of the state.

Many Muslim countries promote homogeneity while their citizens yearn for a right to diversity, which will give them the ability to practice their religious rituals freely.

In America, on the other hand, doors open to accommodate people’s religious beliefs. And that, along with citizenship rights and the opportunity to exercise the freedom to practice Islam day in and day out, is what makes the US so good for the millions of Muslims here.

American Muslim women can engage in any sport they choose wearing their religious garment – unlike in France and Italy where Islamic-approved swimsuits, and therefore Muslim women, are not welcome in the pools.

The White House and universities alike host iftars to celebrate Muslims’ holy month of fasting. Elementary school students can attend Friday prayers without having to worry about absentee records.

These small but significant examples of freedoms attest to the country’s sine qua non of inalienable citizenship rights: freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

That is not to say that the US is exempt from the mistreatment of Muslims. Racial profiling and workplace discriminations sometimes do occur. Yet the difference is when American Muslims face an unjust treatment, they have recourse where they can find justice.

Examples abound: The Justice Department sided with Muslim high school students in Texas who weren’t allowed to pray on school premises during lunch break in 2005, when they took their complaint to the federal government.

This year, a judge has ruled favorably in the pretrial lawsuit brought by six imams who were detained in 2006 for “flying while Muslim.” This would not happen in many Muslim countries since judiciary bodies are generally under the thumb of the regimes that promote coercive secularization.

Post-9/11, the US did mistreat some Muslims. But today, the Obama administration is making amends by probing alleged CIA torture and by closing the Guantánamo prison. There, after early abuses, officials accommodated detainees’ religious needs. So-called Muslim nation-states could learn from these steps in their treatment of devout citizens.

As President Obama tries to mend America’s relationship with the global Muslim community, he should promote “democratic” change from within, supporting any push from within countries for more heterogeneity.

Supporting the will of the “people” alone rather than the (semi) dictators, even when it is difficult, could make a huge difference.

Dr. Merve Kavakci is a lecturer of international affairs at George Washington University.

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  • 59 Responses for "Sad but true for most of the Muslim world: Best place for Muslims to live? America"

    1. Farooq October 5th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

      Grateful Australian, I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is no country today where christianity is prevalent.

    2. Maverick October 5th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

      If “prevalent” means that over 95% of the population identifies as “Christian” then yes there are plenty of countries where Christianity is still prevalant.

    3. miloservic October 5th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

      @Farooq

      China tend to be the next one…

    4. miloservic October 5th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

      @ Maverick @ Farooq

      yes , that’s true. when facing muslims , even a non-church-goer can be a Christian.
      what lies behind the religion clash is racial and culture clash.
      religion is not the keypoint

    5. muslimah October 5th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      i agree with the commentator abv. uae is better than saudi imo (well leaving makkah and madinah of course).. more freedom..mixture of west and east..i dont think any country in the world beats uae when it comes to tolerate other cultures and religion.

    6. Gr8Guy October 18th, 2009 at 6:34 am

      In my opinion, the best place for a muslim is SouthAfrica.

      We are treated like equals here.
      As for America, it is not the bastion of freedom it used to be, forget muslims, even non-muslims aare closely monitored in every aspect of their lives.

      As for the whole guantanamo thing, its simply never gonna be closed, ther’e just trying to make it an under the table thing.

    7. Moslem December 19th, 2009 at 6:27 am

      Assalam Alaikum, subhan-Allah, over here we are having all Islam-related conversation, but not even one person started with a salaam.

      First of all, saudi arabia is and should be the best place to live. Why? Birth place of Islam, SAW’s birthplace, the two protected cities by the angels. A true form of Islamic tradition (ahadith). The whole city stops when the time of prayer is due. Al-madinah, a true believer’s hometown.
      As you can see I can go on forever.

      Second, why are you so concern with the Muslims sects? Isn’t it haram
      ? Then why even call yourself Sunni or Shia? You also segregated yourself from them by telling that you’re not one of them. When a person says that I’m a Muslim, I reply to him with a Salam. Once you ask or say that you’re a Sunni, salafi, hanafi, Shia, Wahabis, etc. you already abandoned prophet’s tradition, which was unity.
      Saudis are strict followers of the prophet. They don’t follow shirk, such as Sufi and Shia sects. such as, these sects gets in trouble. Now, don’t tell me that they are Muslim because, in Iraq, one of the Shia sect has made Kabaa of their own, where is say “ya Ali”. (pure shirk)
      then tell me really what is jahilia to me because I think from your opinion, I have to be one of them.

      I think you’re forgetting that this earth belongs to Allah alone and we are allowed to live anywhere we desire, but if you’re looking for these “rights” then America should be your home.
      Example- you’re going to the restaurant and you order food, but you only eat the desert and leave the main dish.
      If you really are looking for these deserts and treats then stay in America . That’s all you’ll get. If you want your rights more than Allah’s laws than you should stay in a non-Muslim country. Besides, Allah says in the Quran,” I ONLY created human and demons to worship me.” these rights you’re talking about are plain desireful opinions. Some of us just want to know what Allah has to say and even if it is against what we like, we would love it.
      These issues about caring for non-Muslims are banded, let me ask you something, are you paying for their schools? Are giving food to them? Are you making sure they are healthy? Of course not, it is not your problem. So why don’t you let Allah worry about. We all are his creation. Allah does takes care of everyone.
      I hope this answers your question. Allah says in the Quran, if any believer makes friends with non-believer, he is consider to be one of them. (kafir) how many non-Muslim friends do you have? Read the Quran, I’m not making this up. If you want, I’ll find you all of these verses.
      Prophet Nuh (Noah) asked Allah to save his family. His son never came into the boat and went on with his own idea to survive and he died. So Noah asked did you promise me that you will save my family? Allah said who doesn’t believe in my words, is not part of your family. Subhan Allah, blood relatives are nothing in the eyes of Allah.

      The issue with your mom and sis couldn’t travel alone.
      I hope this answers your question, a SAHABI almost DIVORCED his wife because she was out of the house without his permission.
      Every 6 mins in America, a woman is raped. If she was traveling with her brother or father or husband, she would have been saved. So the law is unbearable in saudia?

      When we all know that we are not perfect than why are judging a place
      where it wouldn’t be any impurities? Everyone has problems so don’t blame them for being rude.
      If the Islamic police are teaching me something I don’t know I will accept
      it with honor. If they were teaching me something I know than that means I have not been a good follower now, huh?
      It is a Muslims job to bring peace, glad tidings, and warning to all. If we don’t than we shouldn’t call ourselevs Muslims. We don’t deserve to be called “peace-makers”.
      Salam means peace, Islam means to accept/submit to peace, and Muslims means peacer (peace makers). They all derive from one verb slm. And Salam (peace) is one Allah’s names/attributes. So in a way we are praying, worshipping, remembering, technically, living our lives for peace (Allah).

      If you still don’t see what al medina and al Makkah has to offer than I guess I’m the stupid/ignorant (jahil). You can keep your rights, freedom on America. Just give me this land full of peace.
      A believing men and women don’t want freedom. We already are free. Free from rituals and cultural traditions.
      Remember, blessings comes from Allah not “rights” . It can and will be given to whom Allah desires insha Allah.

      Allahumma adhukiba min ashaytaan
      allahumma ighfirli wama qultu wa fa3ltu

      I hope I didn’t upset anyone with my words. Please forgive me, my job was to warn and give glad tidings. I tried my best. Insha Allah everyone would be able to understand what I’m saying. To non-Muslims, I apologize if upset you and if you have questions about Islam, please ask.
      I’ll try my best.

      Salaam wa rahmat Allah

    8. Moslem December 19th, 2009 at 6:51 am

      salaam
      Ps- about halal food

      In Quran, Food of ahl alkitab (Jews/christian) are lawful to us. Also their women. Islam so free, these sects changed the rules. They made these laws which never existed. Islam is an actual law of nature, which will be perfect and easily understood.
      Please stop following these imam, sheikh, leaders. Find out what Allah has to say. You would be surprise how many things are allowed.
      Thats why the first verse recited to prophet SAW was , READ in the name of lord who created, created from
      clotts, READ your lord generous, who TAUGHT by the pen…….
      Those emphases explain easily that we should read and learn more than hear and follow.
      Allahumma ighfirli wama qultu
      Salam

    9. robin doyle March 17th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

      I would never want to leave in a muslim country or any where or be a muslim

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