Ali Family Autism Truths #9 – The Best Muslim, the Innocence of Humanity

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April 9, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #9I’ve noticed a trend during the past few years of families performing Umrah during their kids’ spring breaks. I think it’s great – a wonderful way for families to come together for a moving, spiritual pilgrimage and introduce their children to some of what is most special, most beauteous, most humbling and true about Islam.Year after year, right before spring break rolls around, I get at least five or six messages/emails, or read on s … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #5 – How Inclusive was Your Easter or Passover Service?

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April 5, 2015 – Autism Awareness Month, Ali Family Autism Truths #5 In private conversations with friends today, friends celebrating Easter or having celebrated Passover, we shared some of our frustrations in trying to participate in religious ceremonies and attend services at Houses of Worship with our autistic children. While many churches, synagogues (and even some mosques) and other Houses of Worship have made great strides in tailoring services for all in their congregation, or at the very … [Read more...]

An Autism Unbound from the Rituals of Ramadan

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In no way is he part of any of our Ramadan rituals.He does not get up for suhoor, the pre-dawn, pre-fast meal, because he is not obligated to fast nor can he tolerate fasting. And, to disrupt his sleep so that he could just join us at that early part of the morning would be asking for major trouble.He does not read the Quran (But we read it to him. He is nonverbal and can’t read English, let alone Arabic, but he can repeat an approximation of the shahada). He does not stand with his s … [Read more...]

Lessons from the Pope’s Resignation – None of Us are Indispensable

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Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation today. And I immediately thought two things – how busy and emotional a time this is going to be for Elizabeth Scalia, a fellow managing editor of the Catholic Channel at Patheos (and all the columnists, writers and bloggers on that channel), and is it even possible for a Pope to resign?Apparently it is, but it hasn’t been done in more than 600 years. As the news unfolds, opinions are voiced, speculations are made and jokes go viral about the Pope’s … [Read more...]

Rituals of Religion to Break Autism’s Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

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In my post last week about the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of autism, I wrote how Mr Hyde has been my son's persona for several weeks, if not months now, and of how I continue to struggle in my faith, in my ability to put full trust in Allah that somehow He will help my son and me. Although I know I should pursue a course of faith and worldly, practical actions (therapies, medical treatments, education, schooling), the scales have been tipped of late towards the latter.I know this, really, I … [Read more...]

TLC’s All-American Muslim is Surprisingly Really Watchable

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It’s tough, and never a good idea for a single person, or a few families, or even a specific community to be considered the representation of an entire faith group. Growing up as one of the only Muslims families in a small university town in North Dakota, inevitably my brothers and I became the poster children for “This is what Muslims are like!” I think, for the most part, it was a good thing because we walked that delicate line of practicing our faith (Ramadans spent hanging out in the coun … [Read more...]

A Muslim Changes His Mind About Halloween

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This is a guest post from Hesham Hassaballa, who will soon be joining the Patheos family as a columnist.My entire life has been an evolution of belief, opinion and thought. A big part of that has been my religious interpretation. My committment to my Islamic faith has never waivered. Indeed, I did have a crisis of faith during my university years, but my devotion to the Lord has never weakened. But, I have changed considerably over the past decade.   In 2002, I penned a piece for Beliefnet … [Read more...]


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