Stop! We're Going The Wrong Way!
More Muslims immigrated into the United States this year than any other year in history:
America’s newest Muslims arrive in the afternoon crunch at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Their planes land from Dubai, Casablanca and Karachi. They stand in line, clasping documents. They emerge, sometimes hours later, steering their carts toward a flock of relatives, a stream of cabs, a new life.
This was the path for Nur Fatima, a Pakistani woman who moved to Brooklyn six months ago and promptly shed her hijab. Through the same doors walked Nora Elhainy, a Moroccan who sells electronics in Queens, and Ahmed Youssef, an Egyptian who settled in Jersey City, where he gives the call to prayer at a palatial mosque.
“I got freedom in this country,” said Ms. Fatima, 25. “Freedom of everything. Freedom of thought.”
The events of Sept. 11 transformed life for Muslims in the United States, and the flow of immigrants from countries like Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco thinned dramatically.
But five years later, as the United States wrestles with questions of terrorism, civil liberties and immigration control, Muslims appear to be moving here again in surprising numbers, according to statistics collected by the Department of Homeland Security and the Census Bureau.
Immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are planting new roots in states from Virginia to Texas to California.
In 2005, more people from Muslim countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades. More than 40,000 of them were admitted last year, the highest annual number since the terrorist attacks, according to data on 22 countries provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
Many have made the journey unbowed by tales of immigrant hardship, and despite their own opposition to American policy in the Middle East.
They come seeking the same promise that has drawn foreigners to the United States for many decades, according to a range of experts and immigrants: economic opportunity and political freedom.
Those lures, both powerful and familiar, have been enough to conquer fears that America is an inhospitable place for Muslims.
“America has always been the promised land for Muslims and non-Muslims,” said Behzad Yaghmaian, an Iranian exile and author of “Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West.” “Despite Muslims’ opposition to America’s foreign policy, they still come here because the United States offers what they’re missing at home.”
He came in spite of the deep misgivings that he and many other Egyptians have about the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. In America, he said, one needs to distinguish between the government and the people.
“Who am I dealing with, Bush or the American public?” he said. “Am I dealing with my future in Egypt or my future here?”
I would remind that Muslim man that the American public elected George Bush, so you are dealing with a populace who like George Bush. Please go home if you don't like America. Please.