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...]

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...]

Lessons from a Halal Restaurateur

Recently I sat down with Ali Malik, a native of the SF Bay Area and an American Muslim entrepreneur, who stumbled into the Halal restaurant business accidently after being in the banking and finance industry for 8 years.A few years after the financial collapse of 2009, Ali became a partner at Falafel Corner in Fremont, CA. A few years later he started a new partnership at a Halal Mexican Restaurant called Gourmet Degree Grill in Union City, CA. Unfortunately they recently had to close down … [Read more...]

Ramadan 2014 – White House Iftaar & Learning to Play the Game

As many of us heard via social media, President Obama made a statement at the 2014 White House Iftaar in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against Rocket Fire from Hamas. I, like many American Muslims, was very upset after hearing this and wondered how and why the President, who I supported and voted for in 2008 and 2012, would say something so disrespectful to an audience of mainly American Muslims at a White House Iftaar.But after thinking about it and reading articles and f … [Read more...]

A Letter to my Father

March 19th, 2014 – It’s been 6 years since you passed away. A lot has changed since 2008. You have 3 grand children now: Zunaira, Mustafa and Inaya. They are all healthy and happy, Alhamdulillah. Mustafa has some of your personality – very friendly and likes talking to people, unlike me, which is good, Mash'Allah. Your daughter Sana also got married last year, but I think you know that already. Imam Tahir did the Nikkah and made a nice dua for you.You would also be happy to know that Same … [Read more...]