April 2, 2016 – Ali Family Truths #2 The irony is not lost on me. Two years ago today, on World Autism Awareness Day, D was dealt such a blow to his health that my heart was irrevocably broken. We sat, waiting for him to wake from his anesthesia, waiting for the doctor to come out and tell us what he had found. The news was not good. Later that day, as I sat on our deck and watched D,… Read more

April 1, 2016 – Ali Family Truths #1 D came up from the basement earlier today, hungry for dinner. Or rather, hangry – losing it in a way I know so well. Mood was restored after dinner was consumed, but that was when I noticed his right forefinger. Bloodied. Whoa, whoa, whoa – wait a minute, I said. Let’s take care of that. And so he willingly allowed me to wash and clean the finger and bandage it. But I… Read more

A writer and peace seeker recently said to me (paraphrasing), “There should be a 48 hour period of mourning after any tragedy. No commenting, no posting opinions to social media, no rush to judgment or condemnation, no rush to defend or castigate. Forty-eight hours where we mourn and attend to our collective sadness.” Seems I’m stepping away from his astute advice by the very act of writing this. But, at times like this — when Belgians are reeling in Brussels,… Read more

Let’s pause. Let’s pause in a time of frenzied information and sharing of videos, news, quotes, facts and opinions, in a time of seemingly endless what-the-hell moments in listening to the dumbfounding and hateful rhetoric and thoughts spewing from the mouth of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (and other candidates too – I see you Ted Cruz and your hiring of noted Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as a foreign policy advisor) — and let’s slow it down. Slow it waaaaaaay down… Read more

I’ll not sugar coat it – it’s been a difficult month. I’d like to press forward, figure things out and move on. But it’s not always that easy. Sometimes we are made to remember, to note it, to mark it down and to remember that which we’d rather not talk about. Case in point: the fight to get a medicaid waiver. I had our monthly visit with D’s caseworker for his ID (intellectual disability) waiver today – he is on… Read more

Say their names: 23-year-old Mohamedtaha Omar, 20-year-old Adam Mekki and 17-year-old Muhannad Tairab. Shot, execution style, last week in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Is this another horrible by-product of the growing anti-Muslim hate and rhetoric being pumped by presidential candidate Donald Trump and others? Is it a hate crime? Are Muslims being targeted? (Omar and Tairab were Muslim. Mekki was Christian, according to news reports.) Is it random, but tragic, violence? Or, is this another example of the rampant gun violence… Read more

Several years ago, Dalia Mogahed , then Gallup’s executive director of Muslim studies, co-authored a seminal book with Georgetown University Professor John Eposito – Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. Based upon the largest Gallup study of global Muslims of its time, the book presented fascinating and sobering findings, addressing (among many other things) what the actual views of the Muslim publics were in contrast to this question: “Are the growing violence and negative perceptions on all… Read more

It was a quintessential New York corner diner – the hustle of waitresses bringing sandwiches, soups and other lunch and breakfast fair to mostly regular customers. Booths, tables with chairs and a diner counter where you could get what I thought was the best milkshake in New York City. Olympic Flame Diner, on W. 60th Street kitty-corner from then-Roosevelt Hospital – where D was born, where A would be born several months later. Back when D was a little over… Read more

There have been too many times in the last 17 years that I thought, we thought, Adnan thought that everything would work out. That the system would get it right, that a judge would get it right. And every time, up until the past year, we were wrong. That’s why every step of this case now is full of hopeful trepidation for us. A balance of hope and fear, which, ironically, is the Islamic attitude towards God. The hopeful expectation… Read more

Brace yourselves – you conspiracy theorists and birther-lingering-on’ers – President Barack Hussein Obama for the first time in his presidency will be visiting a U.S. mosque on Wednesday, when he plans to spend time at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a “sprawling community center in the city’s western suburbs, that serves thousands of people with a place of worship, a housing complex and schools, according to the center’s website. The ISB, a place I’ve visited myself, is an impressive mosque and… Read more

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