Does Religion Still Matter?

Last month I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion among Haroon Moghul, Wajahat Ali and Imam William Suhaib Webb – who are, in my estimation, three of America’s most engaging Muslim public intellectuals. The panel, which was hosted by Northwestern University’s Muslim Students Cultural Association, asked each of the speakers to address the [Read More...]

Living at the Intersection of Race, Religion & the Remote Control

Those of us who find ourselves living at the intersection of race and popular culture have long known that diverse audiences are eager to consume diversity in media and the arts. The massive popularity of ABC’s hit show Scandal can be measured not only by Nielsen ratings, but also by how it dominates Twitter, with [Read More...]

Immigration, Interfaith and the Autobahn

I recently participated in an interfaith panel with some of Chicago’s most distinguished religious leaders. We discussed the local context of religious diversity in America, especially as it relates to fighting crime and strengthening communities. Our audience was a small group of visiting Germans: a couple of law enforcement types, three Muslim leaders, and a [Read More...]

Femen Unveiled

A recent documentary has outed the breast-baring, Ukrainian “sextremist” group Femen as being founded and controlled by a man, Victor  Svyatski, who hand picks “the prettiest girls because they sell more papers.” Femen gained notoriety earlier this year for their Topless Jihad Day, in support of Tunisian feminist Amina Sboui, who had been arrested for [Read More...]

Building Bridges:Telling the American Muslim Story

Orland Park is a well-to-do suburb of Chicago that is coming to terms with its diversity. The local library boasts manicured lawns, high-tech facilities and a robust community engagement credo. There have books and resources in Spanish, Polish and Arabic and capitalize on  “history” months as teaching moment for their diverse patrons. Diversity was not [Read More...]

Glamjabis in Paris – religion and haute couture in hypersecular France

Earlier this summer, riots broke out in suburban Paris, sparked by a police check on a Muslim couple. The woman was wearing niqab, which is illegal in France, and the confrontation between the police officers and the couple escalated violently. Unsurprisingly, the government supported the police officers; Interior Minister Manuel Valls said,”Police did their job [Read More...]

On Side Entrances and the Adab of Clicktivism

We slip the note in under the imam’s closed door and run away from his office like our lives depend on it. Our hearts thunder in our ears and we gasp for breath, silently sprinting through the lobby, down the stairs and out the doors into the now-gone playground adjacent to the mosque. A few [Read More...]

Ramadan Roundup

Some Muslims are fasting from social media this Ramadan, but many others are not. Here’s a roundup of the news and views that Muslims have been talking about: US Muslims and Trayvon Martin In the days after the Zimmerman verdict, many US Muslim commentators lamented the lack of a loud public response from national Muslim [Read More...]

Muslim Devotional Music From Around the World

Muslims around the world sing songs of devotion to God and celebrate our Prophet (PBUH) through song and music. While there are many people who believe that musical instruments are sinful, devotional singing is an unnecessary innovation, and that women’s voices should not be heard in public, I am not one of those people. I’ve [Read More...]

“Joining our hearts in love” – Building Sunni-Shia Unity this Ramadan

The authors of this piece, Shereen Yousuf and Hind Makki, first met in 2007 while we were working at an interfaith organization. We became friends and quickly developed a mutual respect for our respective practice of Islam; our friendship, you might say, was post-denominational. Through the years, we asked each other Shia-specific and Sunni-specific questions, [Read More...]