Why We Share – The Power of Our Disability/Different-Ability Narratives

This past weekend I had the honor of moderating what I thought was the most important panel at the 52nd Annual Islamic Society of North American convention. Our panel was title "Finding Our Voice: Sharing our Disability Experiences to Seek Empowerment and Affect Change," and featured Inshirah Aleem, an author and woman living with bipolar disorder, Safiyyah Amina Muhammad, a mom to five and fierce autism advocate/community leader, Sara Minkara, founder of Empowerment Through Integration, an … [Read more...]

ISNA Disability Narratives – Being a Voice for Advocacy and Change

This post is part of a short series of disability narratives shared by the speakers and moderator (me!), who will be part of a panel discussion on “Finding Our Voice: Sharing our Disability Experiences to Seek Empowerment and Affect Change” this Saturday at the Islamic Society of North America convention. We’re hoping to show how sharing our stories is a way to build community and change perceptions.By Safiyyah Amina MuhammadI feel that my story is a compelling share because, out of the f … [Read more...]

ISNA Disability Narratives: A Purpose to Why God Created You As You Are

This post is part of a short series of disability narratives shared by the speakers and moderator (me!), who will be part of a panel discussion on "Finding Our Voice: Sharing our Disability Experiences to Seek Empowerment and Affect Change" this Saturday at the Islamic Society of North America convention. We're hoping to show how sharing our stories is a way to build community and change perceptions.By Sara MinkaraRed. Yellow. Green. Orange—all the colors of fall that many of us look fo … [Read more...]

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...]