The Religious Identity Of A Person

1548 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
There are so many factors that come into play when evaluating the religious identity of a person. Society’s expectations, the views of surrounding friends and family members, self-identity; it is especially easy for someone’s religious identity to be influenced if they are an impressionable age. If they are not at an age in which their views stand alone and can be validated without question, it is easy to be swayed in different directions due to the fact that their beliefs might not yet be based on anything other than what their parents believe, or what society wants them to believe. Throughout the novel American Dervish, we first see Hayat Shah as a young boy whose religious views grow as he does, evolving and from almost non-existent to being very prominent in his life.
As a ten-year-old Muslim boy in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Hayat Shah experiences ridicule, and verbal abuse because of his faith. Since he has not yet been exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs, other than the Christian population around him, his life was delegated much like any typical pre-teen boy’s; sports, videogames, and school. However, he had his Pakistani heritage as well. Both of his parents are immigrants, however, not much of the Muslim faith is included in their day to day lives, especially his father.
When Mina first comes to their house, she brings faith and love to Hayat, two things he hasn’t really had the chance to witness. Being the only child with a father who drinks,…
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