#IStandWithAhmed – Parenting Black Kids, Parenting Brown Kids, Parenting Muslim Kids

Counting to ten isn’t going to help today. Maybe counting to ten thousand. I’m not sure about that either. We are affected by that which is close to us. That which we identify with. That in which we see ourselves. It’s just the way it is, which is why I struggle to get more people to care about autism and the needs and rights of those living with special needs and disabilities. We know this life inside and out. And… Read more

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 international non-profit that integrates blind… 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 Muhammad I feel that my story is a compelling share because,… 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 Minkara Red. Yellow. Green. Orange—all the colors of fall that many of… 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 affect change?… 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… 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… 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… 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 Show That’s kind of it right there, Jon Stewart’s evolution of “fake newsman”… 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,… Read more

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