What is it like to be an American? Ask this Muslim. [video]

“When someone from back home sees me, or hears me talk, the first thing they say about me is that I’m American,” says Aly Ghanim, a native of The Gambia and today a manager for a halal business association in Washington.

Aly’s story’s a common one. American Muslims own thousands of businesses across the country. Like other American businesspeople, they participate actively in chambers of commerce, business associations and other organizations that advocate for their interests.

Aly attended school with people from many faiths. He says the challenges of being Muslim in America are no different from those faced by other minorities.

“You can be who you are, you know, as long as you’re not infringing on anybody else’s rights,” he says. “Nobody’s really going to bother you or do anything to you.”