How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

by

Moustafa Bayoumi

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A friend of Rami’s and a religious scholar who, despite his youth, is already a local celebrity in New York’s Muslim community. He dresses traditionally, which makes his parents worry for his safety, and spends his Fridays giving sermons and Qur’anic recitations at mosques around the New York area. Out of a tiny “office” in Staten Island, he and Rami run a website that sends free copies of the Qur’an to anyone who requests one, in various languages, which they consider an important form of da‘wa (missionary) work. While he is deeply aware of the discrimination and suspicion his community faces, he is dedicated to offering non-Muslims a more positive and holistic view of Islam. Bayoumi spends many Fridays with him and Rami.
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Mohammad Character Timeline in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

The timeline below shows where the character Mohammad appears in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Rami
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...weeks later, Rami and Bayoumi go to Friday prayer, where Rami’s friend and Bayoumi’s student Mohammad, an outstanding young Islamic scholar, is leading prayer. Rami has grown a beard, and Mohammad... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
Bayoumi accompanies Rami and Mohammad for their da‘wa work, sending free Qur’ans to anyone who requests them from a tiny... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Bayoumi spends numerous Fridays with Rami and Mohammad, working a few hours in the office before following Mohammad to a prayer session he... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
Another Friday, after his sermon, Mohammad goes to speak with his old high school’s Muslim Students Association. The students revere him... (full context)