Rarely do photographers put together religion stories, but the New York Times just came out with a piece on gun-owning American Muslims that truly stands out.
Egyptian documentary photographer Amr Alfiky, together with Adeel Hassan, who writes for a Times newsletter on race, assembled vignettes on nine such Muslims in Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma and northern Virginia.
It’s the kind of piece that definitely stands stereotypes on their heads. The familiar surroundings (the local gym, the tree-lined neighborhood streets, a university library) in which these folks are photographed convey the idea they could be us.
What these Muslims want to say in this story is they are us. As for the Second Amendment, they own it.
American Muslims ... say they own guns for the same reasons as anyone else: for protection, for hunting and sport shooting, for gun and rifle collections or for their work.
They also cite another factor: fear of persecution, at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have soared to their highest levels since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But owning a gun is no assurance of security. Muslim gun owners are viewed with suspicion by gun stores, ranges and clubs, and occasionally met with harassment. ... Gun ranges and gun shops in several states have declared themselves “Muslim-free zones.”
Guess I had no idea such thing existed. Then again, I googled "Muslims and guns" and saw non-stop images of ISIS, jihad, you-name-it.
What the Times is offering is a whole different side of God and guns.
One gun range owner in Arkansas, Jan Morgan, gained national attention in 2014 when her business was one of the first to declare a ban on Muslims. (She used her newfound prominence to run for governor, losing in the Republican primary last month.)