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Old 02-15-2018, 07:02 AM
33 posts, read 16,344 times
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Hello to all,

My husband and I currently live in Florida and are hoping to relocate to another southeastern state in the next few months. Our options for states to relocate to include these six: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, or North Carolina. So, our concern is this: we would really like to live in a place with close access to natural beautiful landscapes (as opposed to a huge metropolitan city), but as we have observed thus far, the further you get into more country-esque territory, the closer you could be getting to more conservative and/or less open minded populations, particularly in the states known as "bible belt" states. Because my husband and I are visibly Muslim, avoiding a city where we might have a high probability of being especially ostracized or even antagonized for our religious choice, is very important to us. We do not inherently have a problem with other religions. We are happy to co-exist peacefully with others of all walks of life. It is more a concern that others (religious or non-religious) would have a problem with us. Of course everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, that is a reality we all have to live with, but really what it comes down to is making sure our physical safety is not especially at risk (i.e. we would not want to move to a community with especially anti-Muslim residents as that would probably not be a wise choice) -- but of course, living in the South, can make that more difficult. This is where hopefully you all come in. I would love to hear your polite feedback if you lived in a city in the Southeast and can attest to the level of Muslim acceptance in that particular city. We are especially interested in living in a smaller, satellite city that is adjacent to a larger metropolitan city (for the job opportunities) and we would ideally commute. So, for example, Atlanta, while obviously more liberal because it is a definite urban area would be far too large for us, but perhaps a much smaller satellite city to Atlanta. I myself would prefer a state like North Carolina or Tennessee over Georgia because the change in topography from Florida would be a most welcome difference from the flat land we are used to seeing for so long. But we are open to hearing all suggestions. I do not want to spark a this religion (Christianity for example) vs. that religion (Islam) debate, as I believe that might be frowned upon here and in the end is sort of besides the point. I simply want to know if you found a certain place to be a peaceful (enough) location to live your life as a visible Muslim and not really be bothered by others because of it. So if you did experience a particular region or city to be especially anti-Muslim perhaps avoid saying it was because you believe they were "this" other religion, just using the term non-muslims will suffice. Okay, I hope that explains what kind of advice we are looking for! Thank you in advance for your help, we truly do appreciate it as this will be a big life change for us moving to a whole new state!

Last edited by LMNoor; 02-15-2018 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:17 PM
33 posts, read 16,344 times
Reputation: 31
p.s. We are okay with living in a place that is not particularly diverse also. At this point, we are not necessarily overly concerned with finding a large, thriving Muslim community to be a part of as we are more focused on just finding a place to embrace quiet living (hence the pull to live in "the country" vs. the bigger "city life". The city we live in now in Florida is quite loud (literally) and as one of us has a sensory sensitivity to sound, finding a new location to embrace a more nature-focused life 'away from it all' would be most ideal for us to find solace right now. Thanks again!
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:06 PM
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,737,886 times
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If I had to guess, I'd go with North Carolina. Although that State might be the most developed away from the rural living, I'm sure they have plenty of rural areas and the least amount of ignorance and/or Anti-Muslim conservatives.

Perhaps another member can clarify the issue further for both of us.

But, I'm sure you already know that you'll find some Anti-Muslim conservatives everywhere since social conservatives often seem to think of themselves as patriotic when they "hate/distrust on the right groups" and there is no group better to hate on than extra-National groups for whose team members have attacked us in some way.

Also, if I am welcome to suggest, perhaps find a way to consistently advertise your patriotism and social "normalcy" (sports teams or whatever), especially due to the higher number of social conservatives that live in rural areas. As far as I've seen, these are some of the things rural Christians do themselves.

The drawback is that most conservative Protestant Christians hate outward displays of (extra-holiday) religiosity (even if considered Christian by the displayer) that aren't only verbal or scripturally Christian.

Best of luck with whatever you chose.
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Old 02-16-2018, 02:43 PM
33 posts, read 16,344 times
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Thank for your input. Yes, North Carolina is definitely up there as one of my preferences so far... it just seems like it may be a safer bet than the other states I listed.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:22 PM
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I'd be very careful with rural and small town Alabama. Also, part of it will be how much you will "stick out". I am referring to female clothes. Male clothes sometimes too. I worked in small town Alabama. Klan is still there.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:25 PM
33 posts, read 16,344 times
Reputation: 31
Yes, I have been leaning against the more southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, & even South Carolina for such reasons. I was really interested in Tennessee for a bit, until I realized (via forums on City Data actually) there was a strong Pentecostal following there... Which, from what I have read, can be indicative of a higher non-tolerance towards other religions. Which leaves us with North Carolina. I like North Carolina, I was just hoping to be able to cast a wider net as far as sending out applications/job opportunities as to increase our chances of getting out of Florida.
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:24 PM
Location: Alabama!
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Depends on where in North Carolina. Big cities will be more liberal than small towns. NW and western NC are much, much more conservative.
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:43 PM
Location: North Carolina
2,904 posts, read 2,009,925 times
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I'm torn on how to advise you because my first inclination would be to suggest rural areas with a major college presence (particularly those near a larger state university), but then that only leads to more segregation with Muslims gravitating towards the same cosmopolitan large cities and college towns over and over.

Part of the issue in the ultra conservative areas is that the only exposure to Muslim people that the folks in those areas have is the anti-Muslim rhetoric that they get from their crazy relatives' email forwards from grossly inaccurate and intentionally misrepresented right wing propaganda. Some people seem to have a need to be prejudiced against someone, and it embarrasses me that right now it is still socially acceptable to many people to be openly prejudiced towards Muslims, and ironically, rural, Southern, Caucasian men (who are ironically stereotyped and condemned by some as automatically being prejudiced). I feel like if some people in those rural areas actually knew a Muslim person, and sat down and broke bread with them, that the hearts of at least some of them would change, particularly among the younger generation. But because Muslims are understandably wary of going in those areas, whenever they do, people who are prone to being prejudiced are far less than gracious. And it's a vicious cycle.
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