It’s been more than a year since President Donald Trump was elected, and the effects of his presidency continue to be far-ranging and, in many cases, deleterious. I am still haunted by the video that went viral on November 10, 2016, reportedly showing the lunchroom at Royal Oak Middle School in Michigan with some students chanting, “Build the wall!” in seemingly enthusiastic anticipation of Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The video conjured memories of… Read more

In a manifesto published last month in the daily Le Parisien, 300 French intellectuals declared their concerns about growing anti-Semitism in France. The manifesto sparked worldwide controversy, not only because the signatory list included prominent figures like the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, singer Charles Aznavour and actor Gérard Depardieu, but also because of its contentious tone. More specifically, the manifesto holds the teachings of the Quran responsible for the recent anti-Semitic attacks in France… Read more

This is Day 30 – last day – of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. I have been Muslim almost 20 years now. My study of Al Islam began in Compton, California, at Masjid Ar Rashid a storefront prayer place (masala) next to a doctor’s office. There I would find Islamic books, religious (dawah) pamphlets and other reading materials. A random pamphlet mentioned a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that stuck with me: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small… Read more

Failure. I could feel the word slide over me, burning the skin on my arms, chilling the blood in my veins, crushing the place where I could have sworn my heart used to be. It was like a living entity slithering along my body, injecting its venom into my body until all I could hear in my head was the word repeating like an evil mantra. Worthless. When failure took a break, worthless took its place. It was softer in its… Read more

This is Day 29 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. What does community care look like for us during a time when our communities are being tried with loss, injustice, separation from families and communities? How are we showing up and caring for one another in the Prophetic tradition of mercy, compassion, love and firmness? O you who covers himself [with a garment], Arise and warn [74:1-2] This Ramadan, I am reflecting on the recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain, Kate… Read more

This is Day 28 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. “How’s your Ramadan going?” These four words form the question of the month that can be heard within most Muslim homes and community spaces. It’s an innocuous question, perhaps even seen as compassionate and empathetic. However, along with this question there comes an acceptable set of responses which can be categorized into the following themes: “The days seem so long this year. “It’s the fatigue that does it for me.”… Read more

This is Day 27 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers #Ramadan series. This Ramadan, I am consumed. Consumed by the need I see all across the world. Consumed by my responsibility to ensure that critical relief and assistance is delivered to the vulnerable and poverty-stricken individuals both at home and abroad. And, consumed by the personal challenges I face on a daily basis.   Severe floods in East Africa have devastated a part of the world that has been so used to… Read more

This is Day 26 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers #Ramadan series. (TRIGGER WARNING – sexual abuse, child abuse) I sat on my bed, my hand cupped over my mouth trying to stifle my sobbing; hush it up just a bit so that my kids across the hall wouldn’t hear me crying. I stopped scrolling through my Facebook feed and sat there as my nerves increasingly frayed. The  comments defending alleged sexual abusers — the name calling and victim blaming — tore… Read more

The first time I fasted in Ramadan I wasn’t a Muslim; I was a curious young woman who had recently experienced a very short but very impactful trip to Morocco during the blessed month a few years earlier. I learned that the Islamic way of fasting was quite different — detailed and comprehensive — in comparison to my Catholic upbringing, where my experience with fasting was to diligently refrain from one particularly favored item during Lent (for me it was… Read more

This is day 24 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. Assalamu’Allaykum, Ramadan is a time of reflection and connecting with Allah (swt). However, through fasting we are not just connecting with Allah (swt); we are also linked to everyone that has fasted before us. In the Quran, Allah (swt) tells us “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn God-consciousness.” (2:183). As fasting helps us to remember… Read more

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