The whole week’s been a rather downward spiral, starting with the horrible attacks in Paris and Beirut. The continued violence in Syria, Iraq, Myanmar and so many places around the world. The evil known as Daesh, or ISIS. And the ensuing, predictable yet scary, Islamophobia that has followed. All on top of a huge backlash against Syrian refugees. But that’s another post. But life keeps on moving, and the things we commit to — our families, jobs, children, activities, volunteer… Read more

There really is nothing one can write that will adequately express what we are feeling. Everything is wrong. Everything. Nothing is right in this moment. As the details pour out and the reactions and analysis flow forth in a steady stream, we start with anguish, sorrow, hurt and prayers (if you are the praying sort) or strong thoughts for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris. We condemn wholeheartedly these terrorist acts committed by Daesh (ISIS) and their horrific… Read more

Over in the great state of Virginia where I live, I was angered to read this news today about the ruckus being raised by old Virginians over Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to build a wheelchair ramp at the Virginia Executive Mansion. When people say that installing a wheelchair ramp is tantamount to defacing a historical building, when former first ladies argue that a ramp will “needlessly threaten” the historical look of a mansion – well that’s a major problem. Since… Read more

Almost a year ago to the day, the “Grinch” decided to remove Chrismas, Easter and Rosh Hashanah from the Montgomery County Public Schools calendar (still leaving it as a holiday, but not designating it by its religious name) instead of adding the Muslim holidays of Eid ul Adha and Eid ul Fitr to the calendar and giving students those days off. Now, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted 6-2 in support of a measure to schedule a professional work… Read more

I think that noise you heard was the collective mic being dropped. Adnan Syed, who’s case became world-famous as the first featured story on the podcast Serial, is officially getting the second chance his team has been fighting for. First his friend and arguably his most vocal and dedicated advocate, Rabia Chaudry, teased us by saying on Facebook, “Big news in Adnan’s case about to drop! Alhamdulillah!” And minutes later the news begin filling up all our social media feeds: A Baltimore… Read more

So how is he doing? I pause at the question, put forth to me by D’s case worker. She and I meet four times a year to chat about D’s wellbeing, our challenges, what he needs, what he is struggling with, and what kind of supports he (and all of us) could use. Yeah, he’s fine, I say. Then I pause. He’s fine is my stock response – my saying everything is ok, when in fact “ok” becomes such a… Read more

So get this – many of Halloween’s cultural practices stem from Christianity, not Paganism. And, while some Atheists are anti-theists, a great many others are not and struggle to find a way to criticize religion without being bigots. Some Evangelical Christians feel that if they weren’t Evangelical, they’d be Buddhist. And, argues one Jewish writer, the collective Jewish communal theology of victimhood and defensiveness is a “poor substitute for a brilliant galvanizing and inspiring religious vision.” These were some of… Read more

Here’s how today went thus far: Got up, overslept. Bleary-eyed, stumbled into the bathroom, then went to wake the kids. As usual, eight-year-old H fought me on getting up. With the usual mantra of hurry, hurry! Come on! You’re going to miss the bus! – I nagged H into getting himself ready, clothes on, teeth brushed. Breakfast for the kiddos, lunches packed, sent H off on the bus and A off in her carpool to middle school. Upstairs, D was… Read more

There is this: “It is He who produces gardens with trellises and without, and dates and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates similar and different. Eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. And waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters. (Quran, 6:141)” I have a friend in California who is extremely worried about the ongoing drought, what affect it… Read more

Don’t ever take your family for granted. Ever. ********** The alarm on my phone beeped to wake me to get ready for Eid prayers. I swiped it to turn it off and noticed litany of messages, as usual. One stuck out at me – my sister in law messaging a group of us to tell us there had been a stampede in the Mina camps, and hundreds of Hajjis had died. Innal lilahi wa inna lilayhi raji’oon. From God we… Read more

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