USA: Salaam Bhatti spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a lawyer, standup comic


By Len Lear

There was a letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 8 by Salaam Bhatti, spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA in New York, headlined “Get to know a Muslim.” Bhatti wrote about “the ignorance of the 62 percent of Americans who do not know a Muslim…”

In addition to his position as a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, Salaam Bhatti has performed as a standup comic at numerous clubs in New York City. (“How many Muslims does it take to screw in a light bulb?)

He then issued an open invitation to the public to “Meet a Muslim” events every Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Starbucks, 3421 Chestnut St. Rather than going to one of these get-togethers and be one of many people asking questions, I decided to find a Muslim in northwest Philadelphia to interview. So I contacted Bhatti, who put me in touch with a Muslim leader in Philadelphia, who was not able to find anyone for me to interview. No reason was given. Maybe they think I would not be fair.

So since I have gotten nowhere in this mission to put a human face on local members of the Muslim community, despite numerous attempts, I contacted Bhatti again and asked him for an interview, even though he has no connection to northwest Philadelphia. As it turns out, he is a fascinating individual, to put it mildly. He is both a lawyer and a standup comic.

Bhatti, 30, who grew up in Harrisburg, graduated from Albright College in Reading, PA, and Touro Law School in New York in 2011. Did Bhatti experience any bigotry and/or discrimination growing up in Harrisburg? “No,” he replied. “I received some shifty looks after 9/11 in high school but nothing overt.”

Bhatti became a lawyer in order “to fight for women’s rights due to what happened to my family during the India/Pakistan partition. My great-aunt Hafeeza was kidnapped as a teenager; her entire family was murdered, and we don’t know what horrors she had to endure. Unfortunately, the same things are happening today.”

Bhatti, whose law practice consists of pro bono… read more at source.

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