There is a new tendency that is currently gathering pace in the USA: Muslimzs are starting to switch their names for English names. This way, they are trying to get rid of insults and suspicion, which has increased in recent months after the terrorist attacks on America on September 11. Some of Muslims who have the name Tarik decided to change it to the American name Terry. A lot of the Muslim people complain that as soon as “native” Americans hear their names, they change their facial expressions at once. Therefore, some Muslims ran out of patience and decided to change the names that were so bad to hear. American Mohammeds become Michaels and Badres turn into Marks. The usual answer to the question of why you decided to change your name is: “Because of the discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices caused by my name."
The people who are changing their names would never do so under other circumstances. However, the present situation is totally different: innocent people have to carry the responsibility for the actions of fanatic extremists of the same religion. A new name will not really help to get rid of suspicion and bad words, but it does play a role of psychological protection. Not all Muslims in America will rush to change their names of course, but there is a sad tendency anyway. This is not because of the unity of the nation, about which President Bush likes to talk, and there is another paradox: those, who changed their Arab names into American ones are not likely to start liking America more; it will be vice versa.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov