By Lee Lawrence

FLINT, MICH.; AND ALEXANDRIA, VA.

Listening to immigration attorney Muna Jondy talk about growing up in Flint, Mich., it’s easy to imagine her as a teenager, eyes ablaze, hands on hips, confronting her Syrian-born parents with her all-American attitude. A petite woman with a strong, expressive face, she sits cross-legged on her couch and leans forward to recount the day, at age 13, that she wanted to go to the movies with a friend.

Ms. Jondy says her mother, a devout Muslim, responded “like I had asked to snort cocaine.” She was incredulous, and Jondy recalls her asking: “Did you just ask that? Did you just say that out loud?”

Jondy had already started to cover her hair with a head scarf out of modesty. She never questioned the family’s dietary restrictions. She prayed faithfully, and during¬†Ramadan¬†she fasted. But not go to the movies at the mall with her female friends? She balked: “Really? Is that Arab or is that Islam?” [Read more…]