Sarah Khan is a travel journalist who, after spending years living in South Africa, returned to America post election finding herself questioning how well she knew her home country. “As a Muslim American immigrant, am I just a few 140-character proclamations away from having my citizenship revoked?” she writes in this New York Times “Personal Journey” story.
Ms. Khan was curious about “Trump’s America” and decided to travel to Nashville, Memphis, Wyoming and Minneapolis with her friend, saying “we were two Muslim-American women trying to demystify guns, cowboys, and church, and hopefully evading lard in the process.”
For details of Ms. Khan’s experience, be sure to read her travelogue but ultimately, here’s her takeaway:
“… it’s hard to distill a nation into a series of tropes, no matter how easy Third World-bound travel writers make it seem. America is as much the cowboys bowing their heads to pray for their livestock before lassoing them in a ring as it is the New York couple who spend their summers rodeo-hopping, only missing shows to observe the Sabbath. It’s the Nashville mosque partially funded by Cat Stevens, so fitting in Music City…. It’s the B&B in Montana where I found a Quran on a bookshelf. America is Tom’s Barbecue, a Memphis institution where a Palestinian-American owner keeps separate pits for pork and halal beef; it’s the Indian-Southern fusion at Chauhan in Nashville, where the existence of chicken pakoras with soji waffles and tandoori shrimp and grits confirms my suspicions that there’s a lot about America that’s already pretty darn great.”