In terms of academics, Serene Ibrahim, 20, resembles other college students. She has set her sights on a major, nursing, taking inspiration from her aunt, a nurse, and her favorite TV shows, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “ER.” She also plans on graduating after finishing four years of studies, in 2009, from Indiana University South Bend.

Serene, however, has never attended a typical college party, and probably never will.

But that’s all right with her.

Serene’s faith, Islam, prohibits dancing with someone of the opposite sex and drinking, so she finds other ways to have fun with her non-Muslim friends.

“We go to the movies, we go out to eat, we go shopping, and sometimes I go out of town” to visit friends in Chicago, Serene says.

Muslim girls growing up in America, like Serene, may face unique challenges in keeping their social life in rhythm with their religious standards, but some local Muslim girls say their lifestyles are more similar to their non-Muslim American counterparts than many people think.

In the wake of a recent Pew Research Center Study that shows Muslim Americans are largely “assimilated” and “happy with their lives,” five Muslim girls living in South Bend reveal they are no exception. (MORE)

 

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