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How Americans view Muslims slowly changing, ex-priest says

America, ( Qnnflash) – A former Orthodox priest in the US, Hilarion Heagy, who recently embraced Islam and changed his name to Said Abdul Latif, believes that the perception of Muslims among Americans is gradually changing. He mentioned that after the events of 9/11, Muslims and Islam were considered a major threat to American life, leading some American Muslims to try and assimilate into American culture and politics. However, Latif believes that the level of anti-Muslim sentiment has decreased in recent years due to reduced anti-Muslim rhetoric and increased education and interaction with the Muslim community.

Latif also mentioned that after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Islam no longer seems to be perceived as the same threat it once was, and the American political system has shifted its focus to new post-Covid era challenges against its democracy and way of life.

Latif’s journey to Islam began in his early 20s while he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh, but he hesitated to convert at that time due to concerns about societal and family reactions. He became a priest in a Russian Orthodox monastery in 2013, but his interest in Islam persisted over the years.

Upon converting to Islam, Latif faced mixed reactions from people, with some responding negatively, even though he expected a positive response from them, and vice versa. Surprisingly, some of his Christian friends have been supportive, and some have even embraced Islam themselves after secretly being drawn to it for a long time. While he did not face direct Islamophobic statements, he did receive some negative comments about Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

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