The Public Religion Research Institute’s 2017 American Values Atlas, published last week, revealed that for the first time a majority of American Muslims support the legalization of gay marriage. It is a slim majority: 51% favor legalization while 34% reject it and 15% are undecided. But it’s a significant reversal from just three years ago when a Pew Research Center study found that 52% of the community rejected the legalization of gay marriage, 42% supported it, and 6% were undecided. The… Read more

By now you’ve probably heard about the two black men who were arrested while waiting for a business associate at a Philadelphia area Starbucks and the ensuing protests. The Qur’an tells us, “You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly- if… Read more

We can argue whether Mark Anthony Conditt is a terrorist or not. Certainly his 3 week bombing spree across Austin terrorized the city. But so did Charles Manson’s killing spree and Jack the Ripper’s. Serial murder is not necessarily an act of terrorism, though it obviously can be. The US Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit… Read more

Six months ago, I began driving for Lyft. It didn’t take me long to learn that if you hope to make a decent hourly rate, you need to drive smart. That means driving during peak hours prioritized by Lyft — commute times and Friday and Saturday night – when there were also likely to be rate surges due to higher demand. It also meant maintaining a 90% acceptance rate and meeting Lyft rides-per-week goals to earn bonuses. Even so, it… Read more

Several years ago I stopped wearing a headscarf after some 25 years of observing hijab. Recently, I have been thinking I may need to start wearing it again. Not because of religious belief — I long ago decided that the scholars who maintain the Qur’an mandates a headscarf for all women are wrong — but because wearing one is not only a gesture of solidarity with my sisters, it also provides me with the means to challenge anti-Muslim bigotry in… Read more

I picked up “Toward a Qur’anic Understanding of the Divine,” authored by Abdur Rab, Farouk A. Peru, and Siraj Islam and sponsored by Muslims for Progressive Values, with great expectations. I looked forward to a comprehensive discussion of what the Qur’an has to say about the nature of God. And I hoped to discover something I’d never heard before, garner some new insights, and gain a deeper understanding about familiar concepts. Food for Thought There are certainly spots that are thought… Read more

We hear a lot about female genital mutilation, and the challenges of eradicating it from various North African Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Male genital mutilation is also widely practiced in these societies and across the Muslim world. But rather than campaigns to end the practice of circumcision, we hear over and over how it is an Islamic requirement that must be carried out on every male infant born to Muslim parents. In fact, circumcision is never mentioned in the Qur’an,… Read more

So there you are, standing in front of the Ka’bah for the first time in your life. Tears well in your eyes. You get all choked up. You feel deeply connected to the other pilgrims, to the Prophet, to the entire timeline of humanity, and the love of God as never before. And then you feel something else…. someone’s hand on your butt, groping and pinching. Unbelievable! There can be no doubt that groping another person without consent is completely… Read more

Today, I bring you a story of arrogance and sin: Your Lord said to the angels, ‘Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay! And when I have shaped him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then bow down before him in prostration.’  The angels all bowed down together, but not Iblis, who gloried in his arrogance, and thus became a rebel. God said, ‘Iblis, what prevents you from bowing down to that which I have made with… Read more

I have been feeling I should post something profound today in honor of MLK, in objection to the President’s “shithole countries” remarks, and in support of human and civil rights for all. These are things I care deeply about. As a white woman, I have learned that the one of the most profound things I can do is listen and promote the voices of those who are not heard enough. So today, I invite you to read some of the… Read more

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