American Muslim Youth And Be Community Leaders Essay
Preparing American Muslim youth to be community leaders Emerge USA Leaders. Source: www.emerge-usa.org
“Of course I want to run for a public office, it is my long term goal. This is my calling,” said Hamideh, a resident of Florida, with enthusiasm.
Hamideh represents a new wave of American Muslims, who aim to change the country in a time-honored fashion: by engaging with it. He got the bug to get elected by working with Emerge USA, an organization founded in 2009 and currently directed by a former civil servant, who wanted to change perceptions of Muslim Americans as aloof from their communities, and he sees his group an essential to dealing with growing Islamophobia.
“Islamophobia is not something happening to us, we are contributing to it,” Tamim Chowdhry, the Executive Director for Emerge USA said. “The quicker we define ‘civically engaged American Muslim’ and the quicker we build our own narrative as Americans, the quicker the Islamophobes will stop.”
“Civic engagement” refers to ways in which citizens participate in activities within their communities in order to improve their conditions through both political and non-political processes. As a grassroots organization, Emerge USA is led by ordinary people rather than by political parties.
Emerge USA and similar programs help challenge Islamophobia by building a new generation of Muslim political leaders.
Hamideh, who is in his early-twenties and his parents are from Jordan, testified in opposition to…