Comedian | Professor | Writer
(& Smartest) Arab
Ramadan, in part, is meant to be a reminder to all Muslims as to how lucky they are to have constant access to food and a few dollars in their pockets. And it’s also a reminder of how they have survived. For a group of people that have spent the last hundred years being the doormat of the media, films, and American foreign policy, spending 30 days of sunlight (even in July) without food, drink, and sex is not that big of a deal. Well, the lack of food and drink is not that big of a deal.
Muslims are part of the fabric of American society. Unfortunately, Americans need to be constantly reminded of this fact. But the people in Maine, North Dakota, and Iowa don’t have to be reminded as much.
As far as we can tell, the first mosque in America was formed in Maine and used by Albanian Muslims in the very early 1900s. I say “formed” because that mosque was established in an existing building. In 1929, in Ross, North Dakota, Muslims erected what Wikipedia calls, “the first building in the United States purposely built to be a mosque.” It’s nice to hear “Muslims” and “purposely built” referring to something other than an explosive device. Cedar Rapids, Iowa is home to the “Mother Mosque” of America. This means it is the longest standing mosque in the country. “Mother Mosque” also means that this mosque does not let other mosques wear shorts, listen to rap, or date.
So to all the Americans out there who are worried about the influx of Muslims to this country, I would just say this: The Muslims are not coming. They are already here. And they’ve been here for a long time. And they don’t just pump the gas and sell you your Big Gulp anymore. They own the BP and the 7-Eleven… and five more. And they haven’t stopped there. They work in hospitals, universities, and Wal-Mart. They star in movies, TV, and comedy specials. They catch touchdowns, make jumpers, and knock people out. They are singers, rappers, and supermodels. They give you analysis and advice on CNN, the New York Times, and “The Dr. OZ Show.”
And the children of Muslim immigrants have contributed great things to American society as well. One co-founded YouTube. One became Miss USA. And I heard that one even became President of the United States.