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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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