Chronicling Islamophobia at Georgetown

The Bridge initiative at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding chronicles public instances of Islamopohobia. It's website defines Islamophobia and publishes infographics about it. For example, you can see one here that maps attacks on Muslims.But the accounts of Islmamophobia in the 2016 presidential campaign are the most interesting part of Bridge's website. The authors compile public statements that exhibit some form of anti-Muslim rh … [Read more...]

“Shockingly Common Misconceptions about Islam”

This short clip from Business Insider addresses some of the common misconceptions many of us have about Muslims.For example, Muslim women are not required to cover up. And in France, only 367 women wore burqas before they were banned!Did you know most of these misconceptions? … [Read more...]

What should we teach about Islam?

What should we teach about Islam?  by Waqar Ahmedi Waqar Ahmedi is head of Religious Education at one of the leading comprehensive schools in Birmingham, UK.He is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and has served his community in a number of capacities including regional youth leader and chair of education in the Midlands.In the essay below,  Ahmedi explains what we should teach about Islam in the politically charged climate today. What a roller coaster of … [Read more...]

World Religions Through Scriptures: New Harvard EDX Course

Harvard University is offering  a series of  free edX courses about World Religions through their Scriptures starting March 1st.The fist introductory course, Religious Literacy: Traditions and Scriptures, will explore the diversity of religion and the ways in which religions change and evolve as living traditions.Diane Moore, a senior lecturer on religious studies and education, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, and director of the Religious Literacy Project … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day is Coming: Do You Know Rumi?

If you're studying Islam, this week might be a good time to study Rumi, the Sufi mystic and poet. That's because Valentine's Day is coming and much of Rumi's popular poetry is about love. Rumi lived in the 13th century and wrote a "massive collection of verse called the mathnawi, an Arabic term referring to a rhymed verse couplet." Coleman Barks translated much of Rumi's work into a book called The Essential Rumi. Today, Rumi is the best selling poet in the United States and Amazon sells over a 1 … [Read more...]

Funeral Practices Around the World

What do funeral practices around the world tell us about religion and culture?Lavish cremation ceremonies characterize funerals in Bali, where people believe that cremation releases the soul so it can be reincarnated.In Madagascar, Malagasy people exhume family members and dance with the bodies as a band plays.In an interesting review of these practices, Kate Torgovnick May, writing for TED, reviews the different funeral practices and notes that they are "hugely varied" and "might … [Read more...]

The Many Meanings of Dharma

What does dharma mean?  When we study Hinduism in World History, we define dharma as a Hindu's religious duty.But Robert E. Buswell, Professor of Buddhist Studies in the UCLA Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan, in this 2014 essay for Tricycle Magazine, note that dharma has many meanings, especially as it applies to Buddhism.For example, Buswell and Lopez note that dharma was im … [Read more...]