Aasia Korat (a pseudonym) came to the United States in 2006 as an asylum seeker. She is now a teacher at a Muslim school. She says she has very favorable opinions of Americans and how kind they are. However, she is very concerned with how Muslims are being treated.
“When I moved here, I only saw the positive side of America, but now I am starting to see the negative side. At a personal level, most Americans are nice, so where does this misunderstanding come from? I love the way typical Americans are. They are people dedicated to their work, honesty, and so many good values. In terms of all the help I received from the government, I never felt discriminated against. I am just concerned about misunderstanding.”
She says she tries to avoid the media because it frustrates her how they are trying to make Muslims look bad. “I don’t know whether it is genuine fear or a means to bring Muslims down. I don’t understand. I would just like everyone to be more tolerant towards each other. Islam means nothing but peace. Jihad means nothing but struggle. Muslims are struggling for peace.”
She wears a hijab and feels that she is more of a target because of this. “American values are such that they allow people to express their religion and that includes wearing a hijab. So why are we being targeted for expressing our rights?”
Someone once stopped his car outside the school where she is teaching and asked if this is where they were training students to become terrorists. “We are sincerely working to make our kids good Muslims and Americans. We are not working to make our kids terrorists.”