When I was growing up, we often heard Islam in the form of a slogan: "Islam is the solution," but no one ever told me that Islam can be a burden... Very few Muslims write about Islam creatively because I don't think we're given permission to. I think that's the bane of modern Islam. It's been reduced to slogans.

— Haroon Moghul

The most tempting Haroon Moghul quotes that are glad to read

There are companies like Facebook that wield tremendous power over how Americans understand the world. Do they have a social responsibility now? That's the question we're only beginning to ask. Literature still has this power to do things that other forms of media don't have. The process of reading and writing and having arguments about ideas is valuable. I'm afraid it's something we're losing.

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I'm looking at my window right now and it's a perfect blue sky.

And if you ask people about Sept. 11, the one thing they'll tell you is how serenely, awesomely, perfectly blue the sky was. The juxtaposition of how the day began and what happened is jarring even now.

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I think that every individual is a microcosm of the culture that they're born into. They reflect the anxieties, insecurities, and strengths of that culture. I'm also American and I reflect on what it's like to be an American in the 21st century.

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The Transportation Security Administration has probably converted more people to Islam than any religious order in the last 100 years. It doesn't matter how you choose to self-identify or even if your religiosity is private; when you get to the airport you know how you're going to be treated based on your name. Possibly also because of the colour of your skin and the colour of your passport.

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I was raised with this consciousness of being part of this global Muslim community. At the same time, I didn't even know if I wanted to be Muslim. It was this incredibly complicated moment: I just needed to balance these two things where you care about people on some deep level who are my co-religion and are being killed because of their religion. Then, at the same time, I'm like ah, I don't really know if I want this.

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There are so many stories that need to be told and are not being told.

We tend to want to put things in boxes: "This is a memoir about a Muslim," or "This is a memoir about a woman or a normal personal." There's a certain story that assumes to be universal. Everyone else is ethnic fiction. Anyone can aspire to universality.

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If you are an American Muslim, you live in a community that is really struggling to get its feet off the ground. We're a very young community, so to speak, institutionally and otherwise. The way in which we're portrayed it's like we're the empire from Star Wars and the truth is that we'd be lucky to be the Rebel Alliance.

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Writing something down and processing it, sitting with a text and a story, editing and rewriting new drafts - that entire process helps clarify something for myself. Depending on the person, the act of trying to tell your story helps you understand yourself better, helps you come to terms with something that happened.

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Humour is a way of relating and connecting to people, especially when you're a minority or misunderstood. It has the power that other forms of conversations or writing don't have. With all the problems I had, sometimes the only way of coping with it is to make fun of yourself.

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There are times when I think being bipolar gives me the ability to see and want and write things that other people cannot and do not. One of those is writing. Creativity is something that co-presents with bipolarity. There are other times when being bipolar legitimately sucks and leads you to a point where you want to kill yourself. Very odd thing when your brain which, evolutionarily speaking, should want you to survive is telling you to die.

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You aim comedy up. If comedy is aimed down, you're a jerk. You laugh at the powerful as a way of bringing them down to your level or bring yourself up to theirs. Donald Trump doesn't actually laugh. I've never seen him do anything other than smirking. He doesn't have a sense of humour. He's just mean.

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