Muslim speaker advocates broadening society perspective on Islamic religion

Imam Khalid says old Islamic traditions need to change in order to redefine the way society sees Muslims.

Isam Khalid, NYPD Chaplin and Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, first reflected on his experience as a Muslim growing up as he spoke at Maxwell Auditorium. Khalid encouraged the current generation of Muslims to create a new narrative for themselves today that are not based on those traditions of their parents and grandparents.

“The narrative that exists now around Islam equates us to something that existed thousands of years ago,” Khalid said. “It is not society that doesn’t welcome us, we don’t know how to reach out to society.”

Working closely with the government, Khalid has used his education and knowledge to help Muslims who are confused about fitting in and blending both their American and Islamic culture.

“A lot of the work I do is with Islam’s that are conflicted. You have a generation that tells them what do be,” Khalid said.

Khalid gave passionate recounts of his own personal experiences with Muslim hate, but also mixed in a few stories that brought laughter to the auditorium.

“When I was 12 years old me and my brother went to Pakistan to visit and we were walking through the streets, I had on jeans and Timberland boots and we saw a young boy wearing more cultural attire and all of a sudden the kid screamed ‘Michael Jackson is here,’ –he thought I was Michael Jackson,” said Khalid.

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