The 1st Ramadan Interfaith Iftaar (In the Bay Area)

Continuing our series on the history of Muslim Media Activism in the Bay Area from last month, I was recruited by my local mosque, the South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA) in San Jose, CA shortly after the tragedies of Sept. 11th, 2001. According to Mohammad Azizuddin, the former Vice-President of the Mosque Board at the time, "[The] Majority of the SBIA membership is from San Jose, which is the largest city in the bay area in terms of Muslim population, but had no formal media representation to … [Read more...]

The Religion of ‘Star Wars’: Why People of All Faiths Embrace the Force

Yoda, seen here in The Empire Strikes Back, has parallels in many religious traditions. (Photo: Everett)Gwynne Watkins WriterYahoo Movies May 25, 2017A lifelong Star Wars fan from California, Irfan Rydhan always saw echoes of his Muslim faith in the concept of the Force. But when he began researching the parallels between Star Wars and Islam for a blog post, he was surprised to find a traditional Sufi figure that reminded him of Yoda. “Al-Khidr is described as a green being w … [Read more...]

Muslim Media Activism, Circa 1998

In 1998, I had been out of college (UC Berkeley) for 1 year and was living in Oakland, CA.  After a year of working, I decided to join my friend Javaid, who recently got his degree in Radio & TV Broadcasting from SFSU to start a Video Production Company to serve the needs of the American Muslim Community (we wanted to make a feature film, but ended up making wedding videos instead).  As there were always negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media (even before Sept. 11th, 2001), we also w … [Read more...]

Construction Costs for Mosques in Trump’s America

The aftermath of the election of Donald Trump for President of the United States has brought more attention to parts of the country, which for many have been largely ignored by mainstream media: Middle America. Some of the strongest support for Trump came from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. Although they do not all fall under the category of Middle America, they do have very similar characteristics: Small towns, where many people are middle class, traditional family values, some … [Read more...]

Why I Eat Halal Food (Part 1)

I started eating fully Halal when I was about 16 years old.  At that time most of my Muslim friends did not eat fully Halal and it was only after learning about Halal in Sunday school that I started to take it more seriously.When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s there were not many Halal restaurants in the Bay Area – except for one or two Muslim Chinese spots and a couple of Indian-Pakistani restaurants.  In those days, Halal eaters like me were happy to be able to eat meat outside of th … [Read more...]

29 Bay Area Halal Eats for #SuperBowl50 Foodies

One of the largest sporting events in the country, SuperBowl50 will be coming to the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday February 7th, 2016.Thousands of people around the world will be visiting the Bay Area during the nine days leading up to the Big Game, from Jan 30th to Feb 7.San Francisco is definitely a “Foodie” city, but the whole Bay Area from San Jose to Fremont and Oakland have many gems as well. Here is a list of not only Halal, but well known seafood and vegetarian places which mak … [Read more...]