[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/02/09/muslims.america/art.sheikhwazir.cnn.jpg caption="Sheikh Salahadin Wazir discusses his Muslim community after Friday afternoon prayers in Clarkston, Georgia."]
I see the following headline in newspapers nearly every day: "Young Muslim Suicide Bomber Kills X People in Y Country." These headlines create problems that go deeper than the immediate violence, because the more sentences we read which begin with "young Muslim" and end with "terrorist", the more we expect those two things to be linked.
I usually write about the impact that the "young Muslim terrorist" frame has on non-Muslims, but I'm increasingly concerned about the impact it's having on Muslims too. My problem is not that young Muslims hear the terrorist story and aspire to that. It's that they hear the terrorist story, are repelled by it, but don't see an alternative grand narrative to aspire to because we haven't created one. As Alexander MacIntyre wrote, "I can only answer the question "What can I do?" if I can answer the prior question, "Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?"
So how do we communicate to young Muslims that we believe in their potential to create good in this world? We tell different stories…
Filed under: Faith
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