Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life as a Muslim was like before 9/11 | Nesrine Malik
We used to have a multidimensional identity based on a rich cultural history. Now we’re just seen as good or bad Muslims
I try to remember what it was like to be a Muslim before 9/11. It is hard. It gets harder every year. I think I remember that being a Muslim didn’t mean much to others, and was mostly a private identity, one that different people wore in different ways.
I feel as if, before, there was a time when a Muslim was a much more complicated, much roomier thing to be – inflected with local culture and individual circumstances. Today, you can only be a good Muslim or a bad one. Either a “moderate” or a “radical”. Either a Muslim who needs to be saved or a Muslim you need to be saved from.