Though it's one of the most diverse religious groups in America, the U.S. Muslim population has been subject to narrow interpretation and unfavorable stereotypes. The misconceptions about the "dangers" of the religion became much more prevalent post-9/11, resulting in a surge of Islamophobia and faith-based discrimination in the nation.
"Anti-Muslim sentiment is just systematic of a deeply entrenched anti-blackness that the country is built off of," Imam Khalid Latif, executive director of the Islamic Center at NYU, told Complex. "And if people have to understand anything, and they're trying to understand how to break this down, they got to know where it's coming from."
In an effort to shed more light on American-Muslim culture, we're presenting Islam and Hip-Hop: Muslims in America—the latest installment of our docuseries, Complex News Presents. Speedy Mormon sat down with several members of the religion to discuss everything from representation in the media to institutionalized discrimination to the common thread between Islam and hip-hop.
"The way I think society can become better is, first off, taking a little bit of a look in the mirror," Everyday Struggle co-host Wayno said. "To become a little bit more understanding of Islam, is just ask questions... Acquire the knowledge. I think that knowledge is the only currency we cannot be taxed on. And if you have that, then you're golden. But if you don't acquire knowledge, you just lost."