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I am Hoosier, I am Muslim: Six stories of faith and Indiana pride

Posted at 5:39 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 19:08:24-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- What does it mean to be a Hoosier and a Muslim?

On Monday, more than 60 members of Indiana's Muslim community took the opportunity to visit the Statehouse, meet with Gov. Eric Holcomb and join in prayer with Indiana lawmakers.

RTV6 spoke with six of those in attendance, ranging in age from 18 to 80, about what their experience of being a Hoosier Muslim is like.

They are doctors, students and business consultants – grandfathers and soccer moms. They are proud to be Hoosiers, and they are proud to live in a state where they can practice their faith freely.

We asked them one simple question: "What does it mean to be a Hoosier and a Muslim?" Find their answers below:


Mohammad Rashid, 20

  • Biology major at IUPUI
  • Indiana resident for 17 years

"First of all, being a Hoosier is one of the greatest things, because Indiana has – we do have a lot of corn, everybody complains about the corn – but we have a lot of nice and amazing people around here. And being a Muslim here – honestly, I live in Fishers, it's very easy for me. People are so inclusive. They're so nice. They wave at you when you're walking down the street. In Indiana it's really great. Going back to New Jersey, it's not the same there. Indiana is awesome."


Faryal Khatri, 28

  • Communications coordinator at the Islamic Society of North America
  • Born and raised in Indiana

"This is my home. I was born here and I'm proud to be a Hoosier. Even though there may have been a couple incidents … there's so many more people who are loving and caring and they really exemplify the Hoosier hospitality. I love Indiana. I find it to be my divine mission, my religious obligation, to fight the injustices, to not remain silent, to not run away. I'm a proud Hoosier, I'm proud to be from Indiana. This is my state. This is my home."


Abdel Rahman Nada, 18

  • High school student
  • Born and raised in Indiana

"It means a lot of things actually. For me, one of the things I've always liked being is a Hoosier. I've loved representing the state of Indiana, and, actually, when we do a lot of interfaith activities most of the time we go to Chicago, or go to other places like that. I'm always proud to represent the state of Indiana as both a Muslim and a Hoosier."


Hira Majid, 32

  • Business consultant at Eli Lilly
  • Indiana resident for 25 years

"It's just so natural. Both of those identities are part of who I am. I don't know if anyone's ever been asked what it feels like to be Christian and a Hoosier or, you know, and ethnicity or a Hoosier. It's very natural to me. It's who I am. I've never experienced anything different."


Rima Shahid, 33

  • Executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana
  • Born and raised in Indiana

"Being a Muslim and being a Hoosier – that's my identity. I didn't choose to be a Hoosier. I was born here in Indiana. But I did choose to keep my parents' religion and be a Muslim. But that's my single identity. I think we don't ask people what it means to be a Christian Hoosier or a Jewish Hoosier. And so, in that way, I'm no different as a Hoosier than anybody else just because I refer to God as Allah."


Dr. Haroon Qazi, 80

  • Plastic surgeon
  • Indiana resident since 1970

"I'm an American. I served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, and I was also stationed in Fort Benjamin Harrison from 1970-1972. Since then I've been in private practice in plastic surgery. So I've had a very pleasant experience living in the state of Indiana. It's a nice place to live. It's a great state. This is home."