How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American Muslim, or Muslim American?

Photo by NewMediaNormaRae/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Participants in last year's annual Muslim Day parade in New York, September 26, 2010

In the United States, a generation of young Muslims has grown up in the shadow of the September 11, 2001 attacks, among them KPCC intern Yasmin Nouh. Part of the discussion she has been privy to during these years is how Muslims, whose patriotism has been under scrutiny since, should identify themselves: as American Muslims, or as Muslim Americans?

Nouh examines arguments for both ways of self-identifying in this guest post, her second for Multi-American.

Just shy of a decade ago, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks orchestrated by Osama bin Laden opened a chapter in American history that has been fraught with widespread misunderstanding of Islam and Muslims.

Muslims, particularly in the United States and Europe, were asked to condemn extremism and to prove that they were patriotic to their respective countries. Amid the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment, one question became the norm to ask: Are you a Muslim or an American? Which one comes first?

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In the news this morning: Arizona's legal and fence plans, Chipotle under scrutiny, Muslim imams kicked off flight, more

Arizona's governor to reveal plans for immigration law - CNN Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne are announcing today what legal steps, if any, they're prepared to take following an injunction of the state's controversial SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law.

Chipotle Mexican Grill under scrutiny as federal immigration investigation expands - San Jose Mercury News The Denver-based Chipotle chain has been under criminal investigation by federal immigration authorities. It's one of the highest-profile targets in a new enforcement strategy that focuses on employers.

Ariz. seeks online donations to build border fence - USA Today Lawmakers plan to launch a website to raise money for additional fencing. The use of prison labor is also part of the plan.

After deportation, a family divided - The Washington Post The story of a Texas woman who chose to move her family south after her Mexican-born husband was deported.

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'Hispanic-flavored dishes' and other ethnic-inspired, um, treats


Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but its effect on that peculiar cuisine known as "ethnic-inspired" continues. For a limited time only, at least.

This morning I ventured into an International House of Pancakes to try one of a few Cinco de Mayo-related items promoted in a recent news release as "Hispanic-flavored dishes." I didn't think that flavor had been popular since the Spanish conquistadors stumbled upon the Caribs, but what do I know? The flavor in question didn't involve humans, fortunately, but chilaquiles.

From the news release:

With ethnic-inspired entrees predicted to be the top breakfast food trend of the year, IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is turning up the heat with Hispanic-flavored dishes headlining its new Double Cheese Scrambles limited time offer.

Inspired by the traditional Mexican dish chilaquiles, IHOP's new Tortilla Scrambles feature fluffy scrambled eggs with crispy yet soft tortilla chips, enchilada sauce with melted jack and cheddar cheeses topped with sour cream and chopped green onions.

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'An unpardonable slander:' The controversy over the use of 'Geronimo' in bin Laden operation


Multi-American's sister blog DCentric has been posting updates on the controversy surrounding the use of the name "Geronimo" as code for the U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden last weekend in Pakistan.

Native Americans have taken offense to the military's tying together of the notorious terrorist with the 19th century Apache leader and warrior, to the degree that after bin Laden was killed, the team involved in the raid sent out the transmission “Geronimo EKIA,” for "Geronimo, Enemy Killed in Action."

Yesterday, Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo submitted testimony to the Senate Commission on Indian Affairs for a hearing on racist stereotypes of Native Americans. He demanded an apology from the Obama administration and a "full explanation of how this disgraceful use of my great grandfather’s name occurred." DCentric posted more of his testimony, including this excerpt:

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In the news this morning: More Secure Communities resistance, hurdles for national Latino museum, the California Dream Act, more

Officials Resist Federal ‘Secure Communities’ Program - New York Times A program central to the Obama administration's immigration enforcement strategy faces growing resistance from state governments and police. The governor of Illinois has announced plans to pull the state out. There is resistance in other states, including California, where a bill seeks to make participation voluntary.

Many hurdles lie ahead for Latino museum - Sacramento Bee As envisioned by supporters, the National Museum of the American Latino would sit in Washington, D.C. and tell the story of the Latino experience in America, starting with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. But there are financial and other obstacles.

Hispanic Caucus calls on Obama to freeze controversial immigration enforcement program - Los Angeles Times Resistance to the federal Secure Communities fingerprint sharing program is also coming from Latino political leaders. Yesterday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked President Obama to freeze the controversial enforcement program.

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