The 2012 Annual ISNA Convention Reviewed

At the beginning of September, I attended the annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Washington, D.C.  The event brings many well-known speakers, a bazaar, art exhibits, the always popular “speed marriage interviews a.k.a. the matrimonials,” and various entertainment acts from across the ISNA, Muslim Students Association (MSA), and Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) organizations. The convention brings several thousand attendees.Going into the weekend-long conference, … [Read more...]

Rebels By Accident: Telling Muslim Girls’ Stories in Young Adult Fiction

“I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life when I wanted to pray. My mom always made me think that as Muslims, we should. But as soon as I stopped caring about what Mom thought, I stopped praying altogether. But today—right now—I really want to pray.” (Rebels by Accident, p. 150) Rebels by Accident introduces us to Mariam, a 15-year-old Arab-American teenager who finds herself in jail after police raid a party she had crashed with her best friend, Deanna.  Her horrified parents punish he … [Read more...]

Book Review: More Than a Prayer

The title of Juliane Hammer’s new book American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer, refers to the much-publicised Friday prayer led by Amina Wadud in March 2005. As Hammer explains in the introduction to her book,“The 2005 prayer, itself part of a larger trajectory of events, debates, and developments, focused and changed existing intra-Muslim discussions and reflections on issues ranging from women’s interpretation of the Qur’an, leadership, mosque space, a … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Crescent Directive

The Crescent Directive was, for me, a fun but perplexing read.  The concept is simple and noble: it gives guidelines for American Muslims on how to lay a groundwork for action in our communities in order to improve our image in America.Written by Khurram Dara, the book starts out with looking at how Islam and Muslims have evolved in American discourse since 9/11. He then explains the current situation of the American Muslim community and talks about why certain efforts at understanding … [Read more...]

All-American Muslim: A Preview

On Sunday, November 13th, TLC is set to premier a new 8-episode series: All-American Muslim in the United States. As this comes from the same channel that brings American viewers Sister Wives and the Kate+8 debacle, I’ll admit my immediate thoughts surrounding the show are wary, to say the least, when it comes to its ability to portray “what is it like to be Muslim in America.”As I watched clips of video provided by TLC, I realized that the show’s entire cast hails from Dearborn, Michigan and … [Read more...]

Mooz-lum: A Muslim Man’s Portrayal of Strong Muslim Women

This post was written by W.B. Abdullah.I remember when I first heard the title of the movie, Mooz-lum. It made me cringe, mispronounced by non-Muslims to the point of putting a muzzle on it.  I wouldn’t see it--why were my trusted Facebook friends suggesting a movie to me whose name had prejudice written all over it? Shouldn’t they be cringing, too?But then I found out that it’s the premier work of a Muslim director, Qasim “Q” Basir, so I gave in and watched the trailers. I was seduced, and h … [Read more...]

CNN and the Muslim Women Next Door

Coming on the heels of a seemingly endless surge of anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S., CNN picked the most opportune moment to air its special on Muslims, titled “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” with reporter Soledad O’Brien.After having been glued to the news in the last couple of weeks, following Rep. Peter King's hearings on Muslim extremism in the United States and the recent display of anti-Muslim bigotry to hit the community of Southern California, I cringed at the title of this docum … [Read more...]