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His name is a daily message to his fellow Americans: They must deal with him for who he is — a Muslim who loves his country and proudly sells American flags.

“A lot of people use a nickname to make it easier for Americans to pronounce,” says Fawaz Ismail, who for decades went by “Tony,” “but now, I don’t care. They’re going to have to pronounce my name. It’s not that hard — Fah-wahz.”

There was pride in that decision but also a real and still-growing anger — at Americans who assume that anything Islamic is shorthand for terrorism; at the older generation of American Muslims, whose immigrant, old-world version of Islam paints them as rigid and intolerant; and at people who accept him if he’s Tony but recoil at a name such as Fawaz.

“It’s hard hearing your faith put down all the time as this scary, evil thing,” he says. And hard to endure the cloud of suspicion that American Muslims feel has grown rather than dissipated over the past decade.

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