Engaging v. Disengaging: When Working With ISNA Means the Push for Women-Friendly Mosques

It’s a debate I’ve watched from the sidelines for several years within the American Muslim community.When organizations (or the government agencies or administrations) are making missteps, deliberately harming or are simply and woefully behind the times when it comes to positive engagement and necessary progress, is better to disengage (even boycott), or is it better to constructively criticize and work from within the system – and thereby risk being lumped with some of those missteps – to af … [Read more...]

Standing Up for Victims: the Institute for Islamic Ed. Sex Abuse Case

Why I chose to share our story:I want to tell our community that we have a religious obligation to stand up for the truth, to bring justice to the victims, to get our facts straight before we pass judgments. I want every parent who is questioning this to look at their child's innocent face and ask themselves the question: if they would have reacted in the same way if it was their child. I want them to remember that while you carry on with your life, some victim somewhere is struggling to … [Read more...]

Strength of Conviction – A Dynamic Future for Islam

This post is part of Patheos' Future of Religion Summer Series, focusing this week on the Future of Islam. Click here to read more perspectives.One of the biggest lessons I've learned in 15 years of covering Muslims in America is this - we are surer of ourselves, stronger in our agreements and disagreements and proud and protective of our place as Muslims on a national and global stage.At a kitchen table, though I own a desk set up in a study converted from a dining room, I sit and … [Read more...]

All Haste to the Wedding

The bags are packed, the plans have been made and the caregiver has been hired.We are breaking our own rules, for better or for worse.We are taking D to a Big Fat Indian-Muslim Family Wedding.If I could get out of it on his behalf, I would. As we draw closer and closer to departure (tomorrow for me and the younger kiddos, and Friday for his dad, grandparents and D to join us), I keep thinking – why are we doing this? Why are we subjecting D to this?Six summers ago, after a … [Read more...]

Thanks Jon Stewart, from an Autism Mom

Now the good news is this: Bullsh*tters have gotten pretty lazy. And their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time. Like an "I Spy" of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends, the best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance.If you smell something, say something. -- Jon Stewart, on his last episode of The Daily ShowThat's kind of it right there, Jon Stewart's evolution of "fake newsman" to "newsman-pointer-out-of-the-bullsh*t." No one was … [Read more...]

Fifteen

In passing by the bathroom where D was showering, my niece remarks, he sure sings a lot in the shower. Yes, he does. D sings, he hums, he makes sounds and gets up in your face with a loud, fast cacophony of babbles when he is trying so hard to convey something to you. His face comes close to yours as if to say – don’t you get what I’m trying to say? Understand me.We, his closest loved ones, know the lilt, strength, cadence, tone, melody and volume of his sounds so well. The satisfactory noise … [Read more...]

Islam, Therapy Dogs and Autism – In Search of a Constant Companion

It started, as I usually does, with the yearning for something better for D – something that would provide him comfort, security and companionship, something or someone who would be allowed in to his physical space when the rest of us were pushed out.With my nieces spending the weekend with us at the house, D had spent most of the day in and out of the family picture -- sometimes venturing to be in the same room with and interact with his cousins, and sometimes retreating to the safe space o … [Read more...]


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