August 15, 2019

Israel’s unprecedented banning of the entry of two Democratic US congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar is a slap in the face of America in general, and the US congress in particular. This is even more remarkable as it followed the unprecedented move by a sitting American president when Donald Trump urged Israel to do so. As recently as last month, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said Tlaib and Omar would be allowed to visit Israel “out of respect for the… Read more

August 15, 2019

As India celebrates its freedom from the British rule in 1947, Modi’s extreme right wing Hindu nationalist party fulfilled a campaign promise by annexing Kashmir and essentially depriving the Kashmiris from its right to freedom, by revoking article 370 of Indian constitution. Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution had promised Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making powers outside the areas of foreign affairs, communications and defense. They also barred Indians from outside the state from buying land… Read more

August 11, 2019

Eid (Al Adha) Mubarak. As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al Adha, let’s pause for a minute and ponder the lessons we can draw from the Hajj rituals. On my own Hajj experience two years ago, my observations were not much different than those of Malcolm X, as noted here. Two years ago, throughout my Hajj pilgrimage, we had meetings led by our Imam practically every day to go over the religious lessons, the rituals and what’s to come… Read more

August 9, 2019

 Muslim pilgrims from around the world are currently gathered in a desert plain called Arafat near Mecca. It brings back memories when two years ago, we spent a day there as an essential part of Hajj pilgrimage. This is the beginning of the 5-day Hajj period that starts in Arafat, (for many it starts in Mina), leading to Muzdalifah where we would spend the night under the sky, before heading to the tent city of Mina, and will culminate in… Read more

August 8, 2019

As Pilgrims flock for the Friday prayer at Ka’aba today, before they move on to perform the rites of the Hajj at Mina and the plains of Arafat, it reminds me of my own transformative journey to perform Hajj two years ago and the unforgettable experience of offering Friday prayers at Ka’aba. Congregational Friday prayer at Ka’aba is considered a pinnacle for the pilgrims and a dream for all Muslims. I left my hotel room around 9 AM for the… Read more

August 7, 2019

Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton have rightly triggered the conversation around gun violence and gun safety, like the one we had at a local Unitarian church sponsored in part by interfaith council. To be clear, there are two separate issues we are dealing with: Hate and threat of violence from rising white supremacy, and gun safety/gun violence. Both issues need to be addressed by more than just “sending our thoughts”. These issues require us to act- now. This post is a… Read more

August 4, 2019

Within a week, 32 innocent people died across America in a week-targets of hate crimes committed by known or suspected White supremacists. FBI is now calling El Paso a case of domestic terrorism, yet Trump has yet to call these as terror attacks, or bring up the two underlying problems- white supremacism and gun safety. 3 people were killed on July 3rd at the Gilroy garlic festival. Yesterday 29 people, mostly immigrants, were killed in the border city of Gilroy… Read more

August 2, 2019

The Islamic Hajj season is upon us once again. Widely viewed as Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (Ka’aba), a careful review of the Hebrew Scripture would reveal that Islamic Hajj may have more in common  with  khagg(or chagg) mentioned in Torah than we may realize. As millions of Muslims from around the world start to gather in the holy city of Mecca, I am once again reliving my own pilgrimage two years ago. I had posted a series of articles around… Read more

July 19, 2019

There is a prevalent myth among Non-Muslims that the Qur’an promotes hatred of the Jews and Christians, as well as being anti-Semitic. To be frank, this myth is equally prevalent among the Muslims. Both groups are flat out wrong, as I will explain here. They often quote the following verse. O You who have believed! Do not take the Jews and Christians as your friends (Auliya). They are friends of one another. … The Qur’an 5:51 The word translated as… Read more

July 13, 2019

My prior post focused on the myths surrounding sharia. If there is no one pushing the sharia to replace American civil law, why do we have so many states banning the sharia law? This article will shed light on the well-organized, well-funded Islamophobia network. American Muslims get criticized for following the sharia. Once again, following the sharia is a private matter for American Muslims and does not affect anyone else, just like following of Halakhah is a private matter for… Read more

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