Baheera Mariska, "Muslims in America"

Living in America as a Muslim poses significant challenges as Muslims often face discrimination, hostility, and even violence. Ever since 9/11, there has been a rise in Islamophobia and negative portrayals of Muslims in the media. "Muslims in America" is a collection of personal stories from Muslims here in the local Maryland community. After interviewing individuals from varying backgrounds, I dedicated a spread for each person that highlighted their unique experiences with Islam in the U.S. I conducted a photoshoot for every person interviewed and wrote a short paragraph summarizing what they shared. My hope for this project is to celebrate the diversity within the community and cultivate a space where we can recognize all aspects of the Muslim experience. Whether that be the struggles, hardships, or joys, each person was free to share whatever they felt was necessary and important to them. The idea behind this magazine is to move away from any harmful Muslim stereotypes portrayed in the media. Rather, I want to show how Muslims come from all different parts of the world and do not fit into one specific category.