Young Muslims like Humaira Akram are using social media to show the Islamic culture’s younger side.   “Gen Z Muslims have changed or progressed Muslim culture in today’s society by being more vocal, using their social media platforms to advocate for justice and being open-minded,” said Akram, a student at Brooklyn College in New York. Akram and others say they think many non-Muslims see violence and sexism as stereotypes. But younger Muslims are eager to move beyond that, she said.  Sabina Hanan answers comments and questions about Islam and the Muslim culture on social media. This photo is from her Instagram account.“They are eager to learn and succeed, while speaking up against misconceptions and raising awareness for future generations, speaking up against injustice, and using their voice to make a change,” Akram said.  While the conservative religious regimes in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan mandate women wear head coverings and remain subservient to men, the governments in Indonesia, Muslim.co is a new digital publication for Gen Z Muslims within the ummah — a community of Muslims brought together regardless of race, gender, sect or practice of their faith.Other Gen Z Muslims like Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh have created an online platform for other Gen Z Muslims. Al-Khatahtbeh is the founder of Muslim.co, a new digital publication for Gen Z Muslims within the ummah — a community of Muslims brought together regardless of race, gender, sect or practice of their faith.  Gen Z’er Haniah Ahmed studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada and said she believes Gen Z Muslims celebrate the culture in a way that is more liberating and accepting. “Gen Z Muslims have been able to tie together Muslim and non-Muslim culture, like Western ideals and Muslim ideals, without sacrificing their beliefs, making Islam more approachable and relatable,” Ahmed said. “Gen Z Muslims, for example, have tied together the rights of women that the Quran has stated and Western feminism to make Islam more understandable and approachable and relatable.”She added, “Gen Z Muslims have also changed Islamic culture to become more liberal in such a way that Muslims are now proud to express themselves in whatever way they see fit, especially in ways that are directly tied to the arts and music sectors.”  Love and marriage Traditional Islam has encouraged Muslims to marry within their faith. Younger Muslims are changing this, said Hanna El-Mohandess, a Gen Z Muslim studying at Emerson College. “Nowadays, there are many Muslim women who are with guys who aren’t Muslim, because a lot of those circumstantial rulings, like arranged marriages and marriage laws, no longer exist,” she said.  Imran Muthuvappa, a Gen Z Muslim student at the University of Albany, said the internet has allowed other younger Muslims to become stricter in their faith.  “In my own personal circle, a lot of people are becoming even more strict about their faith due to the fact that they now have support systems through the internet. I feel that with a lot of the people that I surround myself with, they have progressively felt less pressured to conform to Western standards,” Muthuvappa said.  Ahmed said changing minds over a generation takes time. “I believe the actual Muslim faith and belief system has not changed. But the individuals who previously made the belief system come across as limiting and unaccepting and are being slowly pushed aside,” Ahmed said. “Gen Z Muslims with progressive views of Islam are starting to take a stand in leading the Muslim youth by understanding that religion is an extremely unique path for every person,” said Ahmed. “Something which their ancestors did not understand, as they thought religion is extremely black and white.”
 

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