"New Wave" of Religiously-Identified Muslim Youth in the Silicon Valley

September 10, 2005

Source: The Mercury News


On September 10, 2005 The Mercury News reported, "Huda Shreim used to be a bad girl: Cutting class, fighting, lying, scrawling graffiti. Today, the 19-year-old Jordanian immigrant prays five times a day and covers herself from head to toe, following the Islamic mandate to dress modestly... Shreim is a member of a new wave of Muslim youth in Silicon Valley, and elsewhere, who are breaking with their secular upbringing and becoming more devout. In many ways, the phenomenon is nothing new or unique to being a Muslim. But this group is special in that their desire to become more observant intensified after Sept. 11. Their motivation? To show the world that they can be religious Muslims, dress traditionally and not be terrorists... 'These kids are saying, "I was born in America, and the Constitution says that I can practice my religion, and my religion says I must dress this way,"' said Yvone Haddad, a Georgetown University professor who studies Muslims in the West. 'Though one option is to just go into hiding and "be like us," these kids are saying, "No."' Shreim and other newfound Islamic enthusiasts know their highly distinctive clothing is an invitation for others to ask about their backgrounds -- and they welcome the challenge."

See also: Islam, Youth