April 1, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month – Day One of Ali Family Autism Truths D is sitting downstairs right now picking through his dinner, while one of his therapists, who is playing the care giver role, sits with him. I’ve kicked the rest of the family out for dinner, and I’m sitting upstairs keeping an ear out for any issues that may come up. Call this a dry run. Call this part of my hypervigilance in making sure he… Read more

When we first were officially told that D’s diagnosis was autism, we were devastated. This may be insulting to some on the spectrum, but I’m keeping it real. There has been so much heartache mixed in with joy these past 11 years since that day that it all seems inexplicably intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. As much as I’ve tried to lessen and alleviate D of the excruciating hard parts of autism, it’s still there, perhaps to… Read more

The words seem too paltry, too weak, to insufficient to fully express the depths of what I am seeing him do. I want to share it with you. But every time I let the words flow, it feels unsatisfactory — like whatever I write will not do justice to the truly astounding things I see my son doing. Because when I turn my attention outward, I see everything amplified – big, noisy, loud, glaring. And I don’t want to lose… Read more

“We no longer have to choose between our education and our faith!” — tweet I woke up today to see that #EidInNYC was trending in Twitter? Why? Because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the addition of the two Muslim Eid holidays to the public school schedule. Says this CBS local article: Schools will now close for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, making New York City the largest school district in the nation to recognize the two holidays on… Read more

There are the articles, posts, op-eds and stories that the important ones. The BIG ones. The ones to affect change, get you thinking, expose a problem, right a wrong, grow awareness for a cause or situation, promote activism or convey a story that needs to be heard. Then there are the ones that are seemingly nothing – the sharing of a thought, an experience, a feeling. Take what you want from it. Maybe sharing it is just an exercise for… Read more

This poem is a guest post by Tahera Rahman. If I Die  If I die, would you ask why? If I were beaten to a pulp on the side of the road? If I were choked to death? If I were shot in my home, would you pursue justice in my name? Would you picket in the streets, march to beats, Would you treat my life like more than just a game? If I die, would you ask why? Would… Read more

Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. Surely we belong to God and to Him we return. Sometimes you need time to process a tragedy. Sometimes no time is enough time to find the words to articulate all that is tumbling in your mind. Sometimes there is nothing left to do but grieve, be angry, let go of the anger, pray and continue to work for understanding and change. Even when the latter seems so hard to achieve. Why? Why did… Read more

The car line at my son’s autism school can be an emotional roller coaster. I see kids who I’ve known years, and it touches me to see them grow into gangly limbs and teenage faces with downy hair and budding self-confidence. Some clutch favorite teddy bears or finger pieces of string – stims or habits that I’ve seen persist from childhood into the teenage years, long past when others deem them appropriate behaviors or interests. But this is autism. Appropriate… Read more

You know, those darn Muslims. Making trouble when they should be quiet, asking for stuff they shouldn’t be asking for – them and their creeping shariah! Ok, that is sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it. I’m thinking that much more R-rated versions of what I just wrote is what some folks must be thinking today in wake of the Supreme Court’s decision favor of Gregory Holt in Holt v. Hobbes (or officially Gregory Houston Holt, AKA Abdul Maalik Muhammad, petitioner… Read more

Scroll below for additional information and photos Congratulations Franklin Graham. Guess you’ve succeeded. In about 24 hours since I first started seeing the article that Duke University made the decision to allow Muslim students to give the adhan (call to prayer) on Fridays from the bell tower of its chapel, that decision has been rescinded. According to this ABC News article: In a release Thursday, the university said Muslims will instead gather on the quadrangle before heading into a room… Read more

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