Linksies: Woolwich Attack Edition

A round-up of news, views, and videos of last week’s brutal, fatal attack on British soldier Lee Rigby in the London neighborhood of Woolwich and the subsequent public conversation on national identity, security and the roles that government and the British Muslim communities should play in preventing violent extremism. What Happened Soldier hacked to death [Read More...]

Your pal, Itedal

Last night I attended an engaging discussion on intercultural collaboration by Maria Pesqueira, the President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Accion. MLEA is dedicated to empowering Latina women by providing direct services, addressing the  needs of Latina women and their families, and supporting policies that affect them through research and political advocacy. Ms. Pesqueira [Read More...]

Linksies: Boston Bombings Edition

Time has afforded us some emotional distance from the terror attacks and subsequent manhunt in Boston earlier this month. I’ve collected some of the most interesting and insightful articles and analyses in this special Boston edition of Linksies. Please submit any pieces you think I should have included in the comments section. Muslims Talking to [Read More...]

Oh my Lord, undo the knot in my tongue

“My Lord, I ask you to expand my breast, make my task easy, undo the knot in my tongue so that they will comprehend my speech.” In the Quran, this is the prayer that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) uttered when he was tasked to preach to Pharoah the oneness of God. The Arabic [Read More...]

On tragedy, human nature and hope

Last week was a difficult one for America. There was the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon, where 3 were killed and hundreds injured. The President and some members of Congress were mailed ricin-letters. A fertilizer plant in Texas exploded, killing dozens and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. And my home state was battered [Read More...]

Of hijab, stereotypes and popular culture

This weekend, I gave a talk at a local church, on the misconceptions people have of Muslim women. The other two panelists dedicated part of their time to discuss hijab; why some Muslim women wear it, and why others don’t. They shared their personal experiences with it – one of the speakers doesn’t wear hijab; [Read More...]

I am a Muslim Because…

  Patheos has asked it’s writers to finish this sentence Why I Am A… in 200 words, and here is my response. As a child, I once asked a Sunday school teacher where God is. She said, “Allah is in the sky; you can’t see Him!” A silly, convenient answer. God isn’t seen, but known. [Read More...]

Millennial Muslims and Social Media Activism

Trawling through the Muslim internets in recent days, I noticed a lot of heavy issues rising to the fore. How patriarchy and misogyny in American Muslim communities affect healthy spiritual practices for both genders. Emotional discussions on Tumblr on how internal racism promotes a hierarchy of superiority among American Muslims based on skin color and economic [Read More...]

Blackface in Amsterdam

A few years ago, I came across David Sedaris’s essay 6 to 8 Black Men, a  light-hearted look at how the Dutch celebrate the Christmas season holiday of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and his servant Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Sinterklaas is similar to Santa Claus; he rewards good children with presents for their good behavior. The [Read More...]

An American Hijabi in Europe

  I first visited The Netherlands in 2008, when I was part of a delegation of American Muslims who were invited to learn about the integration of Muslim immigrants there. My most vivid memories of that trip are of conversations I had with young Muslims about their relationship with Dutch national identity. When a young [Read More...]