Living the Disability/Autism Life: Are We Really Being Seen?

This is Day Three of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 3, 2017. Dear Friends,Today D and I stopped off at an ethnic grocery store that we frequent on our way home. When this store opened several years ago, I was excited because it was close to our home and stocked halal meat. As I got to know the owners, about a year later they told me (after seeing D with me) about their adult son, for whom the store is named.Their son has several different disabilities, one of which I think is au … [Read more...]

An Autism Prayer: Am I Doing the Right Thing? Show Me the Way

This is Day Two of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 2, 2017 - World Autism Day.Dear D,When you were three, they gave you an Official Diagnosis of Autism, said a bunch of things to your Baba and I, put some literature in our hands and sent us on our way. You were our darling son, beautiful and so far away from us. Yet to call us Mamma or Baba with any purpose, barely paying attention to the newborn baby of a little sister who cried beside you.I had no clue. None. Nada. Zip. Autism … [Read more...]

What is this Autism Living?

This is Day One of the Ali Family #AutismTruths – April 1, 2017. This month I'll be writing a series of letters.Dear Friends,Have a seat and get comfortable. Or, what’s more likely – slow down what you’re doing as you scroll this post on your phone. Lend me your attention for a few moments. It’s that time of year again, and while I’d like to just go about our family’s regular living (which is autism living 365 days of the year and not just one month), I can’t let this occasion go by unrec … [Read more...]

UPDATE How will Autistic Travelers be Affected by the Banning of iPads, etc, on Flights from Several Muslim-Majority Countries?

UPDATE: The day I was writing and publishing this piece, Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Washington, D.C., contacted me to ask if autistic individuals use iPads to help communicate and mitigate their challenges, and if so, what are the ways in which they use iPads. He was working with a client whose child had autism, and they were getting set to travel when word came of President Trump's new electronics ban on certain airlines in … [Read more...]

Neutrality & Acceptance – European Court of Justice’s Upholding of Workplace Bans on Headscarves

It's interesting, to me at least, that early this week I sat on a panel on "Fueling Hate: The News Media, Bias and Islam" at the University of Missouri's College of Journalism and declared that there are stories that many Muslims (journalists and otherwise) feel they are done, done, done with - one of which includes articles on hijab, headscarves, burkas and other types of modest Muslim dressing.And yet here we are, because the legislation and policing of "religious clothing" -- often … [Read more...]

Reza Aslan’s “Believer” – Seeking Truths & Understandings in an Increasingly Divided World

How do people personally experience religion and faith? Why do they believe what they believe, and is there any way for us to find a connection with people who have vastly different belief systems from our own? Author, scholar and Muslim American Reza Aslan immerses himself into different faiths and faith rituals around the world to explore these and other questions in “Believer,” a new CNN series debuting March 5 at 10 p.m.In this spiritual adventure series, Aslan dives deep into faiths aro … [Read more...]

Muslims (Depending on Who You Ask) at Oscars 2017

To save one life is to save all of humanity. – Quran, 5:32Do we talk about Iranian director Asghari Farhadi’s winning his second Academy Award for his film, “The Salesman,” but boycotting the event because Iran is one of the seven countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s #MuslimBan?Do we talk about how Khaled Khateeb, a 21-year-old cinematographer and Syrian national who filmed “The White Helmets” was denied entry to the U.S. to attend the 2017 Oscars because of aforementioned #Musl … [Read more...]