Hot Button Issues in Islam – What’s the Truth?

As Salaamu Alaikum (peace be upon you) and howdy all. Since Islam is front and center in the news nowadays, I thought I would touch on some of the hot-button issues and misconceptions that people have about Islam.  I'm going to make a list here, then break it down one issue at a time.  This set of posts will be helpful to non-Muslims, but hopefully helpful to my brothers and sisters in Islam as well.  Seriously, if you as a Muslim cannot answer when a non-Muslim asks "Does Islam oppress wo … [Read more...]

From Feeling the Heat, To Basking in the Warmth

On November 17, members of the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg held a public meeting to discuss plans for building a new mosque in a somewhat rural area of Spotsylvania County. Trustee Samer Shalaby, an engineer as well as the mosque representative, presented designs to a packed house and tried to deal with traffic concerns. Partway through the meeting, a man interrupted and spewed vitriolic Islamophobic rhetoric. He drew some approving applause from some in the crowd, sadly, and due to the … [Read more...]

We belong to Allah and to Him is Our Return

Alhamdulillah, my husband returned safely from his emergency trip to Egypt.  If you are connected to his or my Facebook, you know that his brother passed away over the weekend.  As Muslims, when we hear of a death, we say "Inna lilahi wa inna ilahi rajiuun",  which translates as "Indeed, we belong to God and to Him is our return".  It is a reminder that our time here in this world is borrowed time.  Our loved ones do not belong to us; they are a trust for us.  Every person is born and dies accor … [Read more...]

Securing the Faithful – A Session I Attended in Spotsylvania County to Learn How to Make our Houses of Worship Safer

As Salaamu Alaikum – Peace be upon you – and hello to all my fellow human beings. Last night my husband and I attended a training session called “Securing the Faithful”. This session was sponsored by the Spotsylvania County Virginia Sheriff's Department and Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg Virginia. This course was immensely informative, and before I get into the details, I would like to thank First Sergeant Shaun D. Jones, Senior Deputy William E. Lee, and Germanna Chief of Police … [Read more...]

What Lessons Can Muslims Take from the Ahmed Mohamed Story?

Yesterday a teenager was arrested for bringing a clock to school. If you just this minute discovered social media, here is a link to the story. Take your time; I'll wait: "They Thought it was a Bomb; 9th Grader Arrested After Bringing Homemade Clock to School" And no, that headline did not come from The Onion. Today was a different story. Today young Ahmed Mohamed broke the internet and garnered support from Muslim organizations, The Jet Propulsion Lab, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and our … [Read more...]

When the Brown & Black Ones Get to High School

I have five kids at home. They range in age from fifteen to five. I just sent the youngest off to kindergarten this year. My teenage son takes after me, his pasty mom of European extraction. Medium-brown hair, eyes that shade from gray to green depending on the weather and his mood, totally not-Arab skin tone that is everything a WASP could dream for. He tans nicely. He is a proud nerd / geek. He works on computers and is part of an anti-hacking cyber team. He is learning how to fly a plane. … [Read more...]

A Couple of Periscope Broadcasts (Videos)

As Salaamu Alaikum and hello all.  I hope you are having / have had a blessed Jumuah.  I am posting here a couple of videos I'd like you to take a look at.  One I did yesterday afternoon.  It was a short Q&A about Islam.  A young lady from Turkey asked some pointed questions about Islam and her attitude is that she wants Islam to be eliminated from Turkey.  She said that she herself is Muslim so of course you can see that she is confused.  I engaged her in the first video, then I did another … [Read more...]

My Bid to Take Over All Social Media – Periscope

As Salaamu Alaikum and hello all!  Well, just when I thought I was all caught up with my social media presence, the Interwebs goes ahead and invents something new!  About four months ago, Twitter created a new app called Periscope.  It is a live-streaming app that allows you to just say hello to the world on the spur of the moment.  'Scopes can range from the trivial - "I'm Bored, Ask Me Anything" - to the educational.  And of course you have to be careful not to stumble upon anything inap … [Read more...]

A Primer on All Those Funny-Sounding Arabic Words

A primer for everyone who wants to know: What are all those doggone foreign-sounding words Nancy keeps using? Even non-Arab Muslims tend to sprinkle their conversations with Arabic words. It's easier to say "iftaar" rather than "that meal we break our fast with when the sun goes down". After a while, we do it unconsciously and may accidentally use the Arabic words around our non-Muslim family, friends, or co-workers. "Hey, Sally, InshaAllah (God willing) I'm going to the beach this weekend, … [Read more...]

Restarting in Safe Mode

That's me, right there. You know how sometimes your computer goes on the fritz (okay, maybe not you Mac people), and then when it reboots it will tell you, “Computer did not shut down normally”. It will give you the option of restarting in normal mode or in “safe” mode. Safe mode is where you run essential services until you can figure out what is wrong. Well, I think I've been running in safe mode for most of the last three decades. And I'm 48. Yeah. My parents divorced when I was around fourte … [Read more...]