Hi Fariha, I was emailed from Medium to join your publication. I definitely err on your side of the spectrum when people try to say how Muslim you are; my family and I are (quietly) against hijab so I do not wear it. I’ve lived a lot of struggle myself never being Muslim enough for the Muslim kids, and being too conservative and weird for the American kids. It tends to feel like a competition, hitting all the targets of prayer, practice, and lifestyle and I am horrible at it, so I would rather take Islam in a broader aspect of simply being a good person who brings good to others.
I am glad you are taking steps to give more dimension to the public outlook of what a Muslim is, because the media sure has our caricature settled and it’s frustrating how people easily buy into it.