FLOTUS alone

Why I’m not mad Michelle Obama didn’t wear a veil in Saudi Arabia

A quick look at social and traditional media over the last 24 hours and you wouldn't be faulted for thinking that one of the most important events that occurred this week wasn't the Ukrainian war intensifying with a deadly attack on civilians in a government-held city, but that Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, visited Saudi Arabia with her husband. And while she was there, FLOTUS did not cover her head. The First Couple cut their trip to India (which focused on nuclear talks, … [Read More...]


Linksies: Muslim Leadership Initiative

For American Muslim twitterati, 2014 was, in many ways, defined by major social media conflicts. Muslims quarreled online about the Abu Easa controversy, Alice in Arabia, the movement to boycott the White House Iftar, the "Happy" music videos, and the conversations about race in privilege around community inattention to anti-black police brutality. But arguably the deepest cleavages emerged around the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), a project by the Shalom Hartman Institute.MLI invites … [Read More...]

Charlie Hebdo and Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

As France, and indeed Europe, is left to unpack the horrific murders of nearly a dozen cartoonists and policemen at the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and 4 Jewish shoppers at a Kosher grocery store, I find myself across the pond thinking about the relationship between … [Read More...]

Mawlid Praise Songs 2015

These early days of the new year also mark the season of Mawlid during which Muslims around the world celebrate the birthday of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muslims celebrate our Prophet’s birthday by fasting, learning more about his character and life, and often attending communal g … [Read More...]

Medical Warriors and the Torture Report

It's been a tough week for people of conscience. Americans are still reeling and protesting over the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York - decisions that have laid bare the truth about ugly racial fault lines that still scar the collective national soul. On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence … [Read More...]

Africa Weeps

She wails, bitter and sore Souls lost forevermore Souls missing from her western shoreBell tolls, muezzin calls, shaman sways For you, sister For you, brother She praysShe does not offer her children To till the soil of a land stolen To be sacrificed for a civilizing … [Read More...]

1001 Notifications and the Art of Storytelling

I only realized the irony of consistently being asked to explain why my name was funny and why we spoke a different language at home to my fellow students at Robina Lyle Elementary School, who, while white and nominally Christian and had names like David and Lisa, nonetheless also owned … [Read More...]

Remosquing in Ramadan

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the  Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Muslim community here. Earlier this year, ISNA, a national Muslim umbrella group has identified addressing challenges to mosque inclusion and the promo … [Read More...]

7 Questions to Ask Before Asking if Muslims Condemn Terrorism

In the last few days, several people have put their two cents in about whether Muslims are condemning ISIS, why these condemnations aren't reaching those who need to hear it, and what Muslims can do to reach the media. A tumblr page has been created documenting instances of Muslims condemning … [Read More...]

The Challenge of Being Unmosqued in Ramadan

Even though I'm Unmosqued*, Ramadan is the time of year when I wholeheartedly immerse myself in a constant Muslim community. Sometimes, that community is not mosque-based, like when I experienced Ramadan and Eid with Chicago's convert community 2 years ago. But typically, I will visit the same … [Read More...]

Are Millennial Muslims Doomed To Become Unmosqued?

Unique among Western and industrialized nations, the US boasts a high rate of people who say they believe in God. Not all of these people regularly go to church, synagogue , mosque or temple, but over 90% of adult Americans say they believe in a Divine Being. The US is the most religiously diverse … [Read More...]

Digital Duas and Real World Action #BringBackOurGirls

This week has seen an uptick in activism - social and on the ground - and awareness raising of the situation of nearly 300 school girls who were abducted by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram last month. Protests have been planned in capitols around the world, a hashtag campaign … [Read More...]

Remosquing: Imams, Our Expectations and Their Salaries

I came across this article (2012) which is about the salaries American imams receive as compared to their Jewish and Christian counterparts and read it with eyes that had recently watched the new documentary Unmosqued*. The film dives into the deeply discomforting question of why Millennials, … [Read More...]

A Smile is Charity: Happy Muslims & All That Jazz

Last week, an anonymous British Muslim group, The Honesty Policy, released a video of diverse Muslims in London clapping, dancing, shimmying, laughing and smiling in their own version of Pharrell's viral hit, Happy. Unsurprisingly, there was a social media backlash to the video (which has since … [Read More...]