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“There's a very specific reason why I’m interested in Public Policy and I think a lot of it has to do with my upbringing. I'm an American Muslim born and raised very much in the post-9/11 generation. I remember watching the towers go down on TV. From a very young age, I got really interested - partially out of necessity, because it was a very tough time to be a young Muslim boy in terms of being bullied on the bus and being called terrorist and stuff like that. In my mind, there was such a dissonance between the religion that I practiced and the religion that people thought I practiced. The Islam that I practiced is very different from the Islam that Osama Bin-Laden practiced, you know? There must be a reason for that. 

“And so, I became very interested in the political forces, the economic forces, the social forces that drive somebody to use religion as a form of extremism or as a motivation for violence. Coming to college was my chance to intellectualize that lived experience and try to make sense of the overlying frameworks that explain any of that.”

-Aateeb Khan PPS’18 from Richmond, Virginia

#HumansofDukeSanford is a weekly series highlighting members of the Sanford community.