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

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… Read more

From Access to Belonging – On the ADA and the Muslim Special Needs and Disability Community’s Journey

This weekend I was honored to participate and speak at an event organized by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition — “From Access to Belonging: An Interfaith Service Celebrating the Progress and Promise of the ADA.” It is part of several events happening in Washington D.C. and around the country to honor the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, a landmark piece of legislation. It’s interesting that the ADA, which holds most of our public life accountable… Read more

The Srebrenica Genocide and the Bosnian War – Never Forget

To God we belong and to God we return. Please take the time to say a prayer, for these men and boys, and also for the survivors. So many lives cut short (in the span of 3 days). It’s especially breathtaking (as in, I can’t breathe) when I see DOBs so close to my own. While I was taking exams and learning how to drive, they were murdered in cold blood, a deliberate genocide. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon…. Read more

How Young is Too Young to Fast?

She sat on the sofa and refused. I tried everything I could to convince her, but she kept refusing and refusing and refusing. You’re not ready, I told her. You’re too young. It’s too long a day. I love that you want to, but not today. Next year! And that’s when she started to cry. Why are you making me stop when I really want to? And then she said the words that I have said to her so many… Read more

His Theatrical Debut – On Inclusion and Plays in Autism Land

In flipping through his yellow binder, where his teachers and I do our daily communication, I found it. A simple flyer with a simple announcement. But it was everything to me. Everything. We are putting on a play! ********** In our parental autism journey, there came a point when I learned that the so-called “normal” experiences and rites of passages of childhood are not always meant to be — and that was ok. I didn’t feel it so much in the early years… Read more

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