Ramadan and the Purity of Pork

My closest friends have heard me say it before, "I'm counting on pork to get me to heaven." Irreverent though that sentiment may seem, this is because refraining from eating pork is about the only thing I do purely for the pleasure of God. I don't expect any health benefits from my abstinence and it certainly doesn't give me a lot of social cache, it doesn't bolster my ego or make me feel like a super pious person; it's just there, a simple and pure act of "I hear and obey."Beneath nearly … [Read more...]

Women’s Leadership in Islam

Editors' Note: This article is part of a Public Square conversation Women in Religious Leadership. Read other perspectives here.The American Muslim community is eager to promote the notion that Islam is favorable to women's leadership. We talk about the Prophet and how he encouraged women's education, and praised his female companions for bravery in times of war. We quote verses from the Qur'an that demonstrate equality between the sexes. We point to Aisha and how she was respected as a s … [Read more...]

Standing Against the GLBT Witch Hunt

A Ugandan newspaper has published a list of what it called the country's 200 top homosexuals, outing some who previously had not identified themselves as gay, just one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law calling for life imprisonment for gays and lesbians. The Red Pepper tabloid published the names and some pictures in a front-page story under the headline: "EXPOSED!"In 2011, a Ugandan gay activist was killed after his name appeared in a similar list published by the … [Read more...]

Syria

Duma. Irbin. Hammurah. Siqbah. Jisrayn. Zamalka. Ayn Tarma. Jawbar. Mulayha. Kafr Batna. Mu'addamiyah. Darayya.They sound foreign, biblical to American ears, but they stand beside other, more familiar names. Troy. Cyprus. Wounded Knee. NanJing. Odessa. Warsaw. Dresden.  Kent State. Sabra and Shatilla. Tian An Men.All places where people were slaughtered for the sake of land, power, and politics.For the past three weeks, the world has been asking itself, as we must do all too … [Read more...]

The Politics of Fear

The George Zimmerman trial and acquittal raises important questions that we as a society must address. The most pressing of these is whether all fears are equally justified, along with it's corollary: whether one's belief that one might be seriously harmed should be taken as face value by a jury or should it be evaluated for plausibility.As a woman, I appreciate a law that says if a man accosts me in a dark parking lot and grabs my wrist I don't have to scream for help while he drags me into … [Read more...]


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