By Craig Considine – We stopped in Huntsville, Alabama (Jonathan’s hometown) after staying in Atlanta for four very busy days. About 45 minutes south of Huntsville is a town called Arab. We had to be in Nashville, Tennessee by Sunday night, but we figured we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit, considering we are studying Islam in America. We ended up driving one hour in the opposite direction from Nashville just to visit this town. Watch the video and you can see why it was well worth it.
Jonathan told us that Arab is stereotyped as unfriendly to non-whites. Automatically, we thought about what their response would be towards Muslims. So, we decided to make an experiment out of our visit. Hailey dressed in traditional Arab (Middle Eastern) attire before we stopped at Son’s BBQ for a quick lunch. When we first walked in, thirty people literally stopped in their tracks and stared. But within a few minutes, everyone was back to eating in a cordial manner (except for one little girl that couldn’t stop asking her mother what was ‘wrong’ with her). When we were outside in the parking lot after we ate, we stopped and spoke with three locals that had no idea what Hailey was wearing. They thought she was part of some ‘Middle Eastern religion’ but really didn’t know much about Islam. All in all though, the response from the Arab (Alabama) community was welcoming and friendly, contrary to popular belief. I spoke with Jonathan afterwords and he was proud and happy that the response was positive as he thought it would be.