Becoming American? a "treasure trove"October 13th, 2011 by admin
In her new book Becoming American? Yvonne Haddad seeks to overcome the myth that Arabs and Muslims living in America are somehow not American. In fact, Haddad proposes that the message these groups bring to America is one of an uplifting nature.
Greg Garrett's latest review of Becoming American? focuses on this very aspect of the book. Writing for his online column "Faithful Citizenship," Garrett (author of One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter) says,
Haddad reports that the latest generation of Arab-American activists takes American values very seriously, and they believe that their Arab or Muslim heritage can be a part of making America better, into an America "that is not blinded by special interests but is truly guided by the values it preaches." (95) As I wrote in this column last month, the best recent poll shows just that: American Muslims embrace America and want to be embraced in return as American citizens.
That hasn't happened yet. Haddad quotes, for example, a woman who says "I feel American, I bleed American, my country denies me that identity because I am a Muslim." (96) But surely we can see how patently unfair that seems. Books like Becoming American? that inform general readers about the other side of the question can-and one hopes will-be a part of that process of change.
You can read the entire review, which was part of a blogger's roundtable on Patheos.com, by clicking here.