Some users asked that I do an AMA after this post made the frontpage of /r/pics yesterday.

I'm an anesthesiologist in the Texas Medical Center and for the past three years I've served as President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, the oldest Muslim youth organization in the country (est. 1920).

I recently wrote a piece for about my experience being detained by the FBI at the airport because of my appearance.

I'm not looking for an apology. Rather than focus on what happened, I'd like to talk about the need for balance between protecting the public and preserving the dignity of the innocent.

I always want to encourage my fellow Muslims who are being profiled to rise above it. Be patient, be polite, and set a positive example.


/u/beernerd is helping me get started

Comments: 175 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

chaz91w19 karma


MuslimYouthPresident22 karma

First of all, mad respect!

Just by talking and welcoming Muslims, we tear down this wall we created or that we've allowed to spring up.

Teaching is the best. When non-Muslims speak on our behalf, it REALLY HELPS. Much respect and love for the services you've rendered to our country, sir!

BFG_900018 karma

Is it true that redheads generally a bigger dose of anesthetic than other people? Why?

MuslimYouthPresident23 karma

That is true. We don't exactly know why. They also wake up more startled, and prone to anesthetic complications. It's definitely biologic.

CarmineFields13 karma

Do you think the actions and words of Donald Trump are having a real effect on how Muslims are treated?

MuslimYouthPresident23 karma

I fear that I may, perhaps. It's early to say much, but certainly the thoughts and ideas of leaders shape the conscience of society. Let's hope he that we do not marginalize our nations Muslims. Afterall, we need their help in this fight against radicalization of their/our youth.

321zzz9 karma

Greetings Dr. Rana, I am a fellow anesthesiologist. When the events of 9/11 occurred I was working in a hospital which employed a surgeon who, as a Sikh, wore his turban at all times, even in the OR. He was an outstanding surgeon and a better human being, yet after 9/11 there were those who made all manner of suspicious, pejorative and derogatory comments about him because, despite being a Sikh and not a Muslim, the turban made him an easy target. (Not to say that Muslims are deserving of those kind of comments, either!)

I am curious what your experience is like in the hospital. I would assume you are treated well by those who know you, but what have you run into as a Muslim physician, from both patients and staff?

MuslimYouthPresident16 karma

I have only been treated with respect, I've prayed many a time in chapels that you find in hopsital, but I've also prayed in call room, and even quietly in the OR (not in the formal way though).

I have a beard, but beards are trending favorably right now :)

I stay trimmed and clean cut.

The Prophet of Islam said that "a smile is charity". Muslims should adopt this happen and let that "smile" that starts on the face extend to their attitude and conversations and people will begin to like you.

Goullet8 karma

What do you think when you are discriminated? Do you shrug it off? Do you get impatient? Do you laugh in their faces? How do the world events curb your feelings towards these ignorances?

MuslimYouthPresident22 karma

I understand that profiling and surveillance is necessarily. All Muslims in fact should exude patience and be nothing but cooperative. Authorities should balance this balance with a sense of respect for the dignity of the Muslims whom they profile and surveil. Every human has their dignity.

mrshatnertoyou8 karma

What do you believe the Muslim community in Western countries needs to do, to try and minimize potential conflicts and further escalations of tension?

MuslimYouthPresident27 karma

Stop sulking in your troubles, and start an AMA :)

In all seriousness, this is a simple way to say exactly what we need to be doing.

We also need to be talking to our children more. Too often we overlook that. Our children are silently being missed in this whole mania. Our children should be told that Islam does not teach violence and they should not be ashamed of their religion. Violence, in fact all types of bullying and abuse, are completely foreign to Islam. Be proud, and be THAT kind of Muslim.

thelonewanderer9998 karma

As an Ahmadiyya, what do you make of the claim that you aren't a "real Muslim"?

What do Ahmadiyya think of the Sunni and Shia madhabs?

MuslimYouthPresident21 karma

Greetings of peace to all!

I believe myself to be a full, practicing and observant Muslim.

I have nothing but love and prayers for our Sunnia and Shia brothers. We believe the Mahdi has come, and invite the Ummah to practice Islam in the peaceful manner for which it was intended.

dsquard4 karma

The Mahdi, as in the redeemer of Islam? Who do you think the Mahdi is?

JMTAHMD9 karma

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas

MuslimYouthPresident12 karma


Born in Qadian, India. To learn more, goto

andreib147 karma

I have a theory where a cause of all the stuff happening atm with Islam is due to the lack of a central authority when it comes to the various sects allowing every local preacher to basically do his own thing.

Since the Ahmadi muslims actually have a central authority as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) do you find that your sect is more united in their goal and less likely to fall under the influence of extremist imams? If true do you think there would be any possibility for the various sects to come together and form their own central authority so that the extremists are isolated from the general muslim population?

MuslimYouthPresident14 karma

Yes I do believe they can unite under one leader, but that leader MUST practice true, peaceful Islam and be a SPIRITUAL leader not a political one.

You find this with the Ahmadi Muslims. It's ironic that we've been oppressed all over the Muslim world, yet during this time of need where the name of Islam is being tarnished Ahmadis have risen to bail the oppressors out and defend the honor of Islam

TuskenCam7 karma

I think we all understand that hatred and abuse of personal liberties is often born from ignorance of the "other". In your opinion: how can everyday citizens make the biggest contribution to helping young Muslims be a part of our society, rather than alienating them?

MuslimYouthPresident17 karma

Become literate: Read a Quran. Visit a mosque. Saying hello to Muslim neighbors, especially their youth. Acknowledging their contributions. Condemn hatred where and when it happens. Basically do the same thing we do for Jewish-phobia and homophobia, but extend the same sense of respect for Muslims. These will keep them from being marginalized.

Jahonay6 karma

Extremists seem to believe in abrogation, which I assume you know about. Do you believe in abrogation?

MuslimYouthPresident15 karma

I don't believe in abrogation of the Holy Quran. I just don't think that people are interpreting the Quran properly in the first place. Abrogation is a dangerous concept, and there is no justificaiton for in the Quran itself

drocks276 karma

If you had a chance to speak with Donald Trump, what would you say to him?

MuslimYouthPresident32 karma

Hello Mr. Trump.

Though I have respect for you, as not just a Muslim but as an American and as a human being I feel that your ban on Muslim immigrants policy is fairly extreme. It has the timing and undertone of reactivity and some have even said hostility. I am not your enemy, I am your ally. Think of all the wonderful and influential Muslims you have come to know and worked with over the years -- the celebs, the politicians, the businessmen and entertainers. We love America as much as you do.

I may not agree with you, but if you need my services, you're welcome at my hospital -- no ban on you Trump. :)

823645 karma

Why anesthesia? I hear that the best thing about anesthesia is the lack of patient care - do you agree? What's the worst thing?

MuslimYouthPresident8 karma

Arguably the most underrated type of health care delivery is anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist essentialy brinks you to the brink of death and back. Every humbling.

remotectrl5 karma

Do you have a favorite variety of apple?

MuslimYouthPresident11 karma

Green :)

MuslimYouthPresident7 karma

Especially when spelunking ;-)

challenge45 karma

In this time of intolerance, hatred, hostility can we all agree enough is enough? Would you be in favor of Justin Beiber not being allowed to making any more music?

MuslimYouthPresident18 karma

I bought his album actually :)

challenge4-1 karma

Bought music? What is this 1980?

MuslimYouthPresident13 karma

iTunes, my friend =)

GeoM565 karma

I keep hearing that moderate (i.e., not extremist) Muslims hold beliefs that would considered extreme by most (e.g., punishment for homosexuality, apostasy, and blasphemy, etc...). Admittedly, I am hearing this from a biased group in /r/atheism, but the evidence they present is starting to make me think that a "moderate Muslim" is not so moderate. What are your thoughts on this matter?

MuslimYouthPresident11 karma

The Muslim world is having an identity crisis. They are lacking guidance and leadership in a time when that's sorely needed.

We have to remember though, there's a billion and a half Muslims around the world. If we were really that extreme, you'd feel it way more than you think you do.

Extremism comes in waves in all faiths.

itbhi5 karma

What are some of your suggestions about properly dealing with ISIS as a whole? What information can we tell others to help the cause and not spread panic and fear?

MuslimYouthPresident12 karma

First we should not engage in activities which drive them futher down this path. These are battered, broken homes in the after math of war with no sense of direction and identity. They have nothing or little to lose. Second we should not engage in unnecessary violence or disproportionate revenge.

Wormhole-Eyes2 karma

What would you define as necessary violence and proportionate vengence?

MuslimYouthPresident8 karma

By looking at history.

Look at military actions, and their consequences. If they lent to the rebirth and rekindling of civilization and learning - that's proportionate. If it lead to the demoralization and social digression of a people and their values (eg. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan), then it was too serious. So don't repeat that.

Jamisbike4 karma

What would you consider a progressive, liberal or moderate muslim?

I noticed that a lot of Muslims identify themselves with one of the above, but yet they still advocate, support or favor extreme punishments for apostates, adulterers and homosexuals. Even thieves and such, with punishments such as dismemberment and lashes.

How do you define extremists and moderates?

MuslimYouthPresident13 karma

A progressive is someone who is can reinterpret his religion against changing times. That does not mean his religion or his doctrine changes -- not necessarily at all. In my case it certainly doesn't. I consider myself to be fully observant and personally conservative. Yet, I embrace culture, i.e. a taste for entertainment, literature, life, and humanity. In fact, Islam teaches that we should enrich, not replace, culture.

Jamisbike2 karma

But can we make a very straightforward definition of moderate and extremists, so people can relate and distinguish?

For example:

Are you in favor of stoning or killing homosexuals? If you say yes, you're an extremist, if you say no, you're a moderate.

Your opinion on the subject of homosexuality is not important, you can condone homosexuality or not, but your opinion on the physical actions that are justifiable for one "sin" or another are important.

MuslimYouthPresident8 karma

This is an interesting question. The best way is to look at their leaders. If their leaders are extremist, their congregation should be suspect. Similarly, if their leaders are progressive, their adherents follow that tone.

This is most clear in Ahmadiyya Muslims are progressive. We are "traditional" in the sense that we adhere to the Quran to the letter, but our INTERPRETATION is what sets us apart. This interpretation is given to us by The Khalifa of Islam, Mirza Masroor Ahmad. He is our spiritual head, and we believe helped by God to give us the proper guidance for the times we live in.

Definitely not in favor of stoning or killing homosexuals.

mvlad884 karma

What is your position on the refugee crisis in Europe? Do you think that the middle eastern countries should try to play a bigger role in this situation giving the cultural similarities and the geographic proximity?

MuslimYouthPresident16 karma

The Middle East should have taken them in first. Muslims should have extended the relief and refuge their brothers and sisters needed. We are grateful to the west and other countries that have welcomes us, especially those oppressed and kicked down in Muslim countires.

I am an Ahmadi Muslim. We are legally persecuted in the country of my birth -- Pakistan. Our books burned, our mosques demolished, our men shot or jailed, our women and children burned to death... I'm lucky to be here, where i can practice my faith in peace and without judgement.

I have nothing but love, gratitude and loyalty for American. I don't care if I get heckled at the airport and pulled off a plane. I'm a proud American and nothing can change that. God bless American.

dsquard3 karma

Assuming Saudi Arabia never takes an active role in combating Wahhabism, do you think the fight against extremists is winnable? And if so, how?

MuslimYouthPresident9 karma

Like I tell my patients, sometimes things will get worse before they get better. I certainly hope we don't end up in a WW3.

Extremism can be beat. But it can't be beat with bombs, and bullets. That's what extreme Muslims don't understand -- Islam CANNOT spread by the sword, conscience is free and does not bend with swords and guns. It bends with IDEAS.

Extremism is a bad idea, and can only be beat with better ideas. If you are asking "where are the better ideas", please turn to the Ahmadi Muslims. Our spiritual head, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has been giving advice you can find here,, where his sermons and other public addresses can be found.

edit/ typos

Kittensrus323 karma

Serious question: how can people not be afraid in this climate of sensationalized media and everyone being terrorized into fearing Muslims?

MuslimYouthPresident12 karma

True. Even I am "afraid", and perhaps nervous is a better word.

thewhiteman803 karma

First I want to thank you for doing this ama. I want to ask you about your views on homosexuality, woman's rights, and the fate of (non believers) and how do your views differ from traditional Islam?

MuslimYouthPresident14 karma

You're welcome, whiteman!

Islam respects the personal choices of all - whether sexual, religious, etc. Open shamelessness of ANY kind is prohibited -- be it heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, etc.

Homosexuality is not allowed in Islam. It is both nature and nurture. We believe that compulsions which are natural, however, should not necessarily be indulged. For example, it's natural for children to take things. However, you may have to tell them to stop because when you grow up its called "stealing".

In true Islam, you are free to have friends who are homosexual however that does not mean you have to accept or endorse their lifestyle. I have coworkers, classmates, friends and acquintances who are gay, and I have no issues or hostility for them -- nothing but respect.

Regarding salvation Quran also says that ALL believers who are righteous whether Christian, Jew, or other will have heaven as their reward. This is a verse of the Holy Quran. I also believe that God can forgive atheists, non believers, and Muslims for the error of their ways. His Mercy is supreme and is not caged by me or you.

MuslimYouthPresident18 karma

The Muslim world should be called out for their treatment of women in the recent century. I am over generalizing over course, but Muslim women are overtly oppressed and their education denied. As a Muslim, THIS MUST STOP.

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, said that "education is the birthright and responsibility of every man, woman, and child." No Muslim cleric of today can deny this wonderful teaching.

Dubata2 karma

Have you ever doubted or strayed from your religion? If so what did you do to move towards it.

Its nice to see a muslim in the media not acting a fool no matter what sect or background :)

Also what are your views on American healthcare?

MuslimYouthPresident5 karma

I've always been inquisitive and seeking, but never doubtful. Healthcare needs reform, no doubt. Not the best time for patients nor for docs.

Mutt12232 karma

Has the smell of barbecue made you question your religion's stance on pork? I know when I get a whiff of barbecue cooking on a summer night, I'd probably forsake my god and my family for a rack of ribs.

MuslimYouthPresident9 karma


Actually the beef barbecue here in Houston is LEGENDARY. American's second best barbecue spot according to Food Network is only a few miles from my house.

There's plenty of meats for you to enjoy in Islam: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish.

Cdtco2 karma

How has life been for you as a Muslim in Texas?

MuslimYouthPresident9 karma


I love my state. I've lived in Michigan and Maryland as well. Both beautiful, but Texas is home. Sweet home.

I never faced much discrimination actually until this incident.

Kadour_Z0 karma

A lot of people say that there is no conection between islam and terrorism, that all religions can lead to violence. However there is another group that think that there is a unique conection between islam and terrorism. What is your stance on this?

MuslimYouthPresident7 karma

True, all religions can lead to violence. And religion can lead to peace. If you want to get rid violence, you have to get rid of people.

You_Are_All_Smart0 karma

I recently saw this video online, and was wondering what your thoughts are about it. - "Moderate" Muslims admit that "radical" Islam is true Islam

Can you comment on this?

MuslimYouthPresident6 karma

I will try to scope the video later. Thanks for sharing!

NaturalisticAsHell-2 karma

Does the Quran state not to take a Christian or Jew as a friend?

Does the Quran state that Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell?

You seem like a reasonable person. I'm a reasonable person too. I can't be ok with someone who believes the two above statements. Why am I wrong?

MuslimYouthPresident10 karma

The Quran states that some of your most compassionate friends will be Christian - that's a verse.

There is a verse about not taking friends with those who sabotage peace, but its not saying ALL Christians. Akin to someone who says don't makes friends with Muslim extremists.

No Muslims who befriend unbelievers will NOT abide in hell. That's ridiculous. No offense for asking the question though.