February 2, 2019

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is facing calls to resign from both the right and the left after an offensive photo from his medical school year book surfaced Friday.  Presumably, he not only posed for the photo, but also selected the picture for inclusion in the yearbook, though he is now disputing that. Gov. Northam has apologized, saying, “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused... Read more

January 24, 2019

When does a person become a person? There are a lot of different answers to that question floating around: At conception. When the genetic combining/programming, the creation of a new genome has occurred, about 30 hours after conception. When the heart starts beating, about 22 days. When brainwaves are first recorded, around 42 days. When the baby “quickens” and first movements from within the womb can be felt, around 16 weeks. When it can first survive outside the womb, though... Read more

January 16, 2019

Our country is mired in the grips of obdurate ideological warfare. The ongoing government shut down. Polarized political parties whose main goal seems to be stopping anything the opposite party puts forward. Different ideological groups — left and right, woke and unwoke, the religious right vs progressives vs atheists — who view opposite groups as dangerous, criminal and downright evil. Fellow citizens viewed not only with hostility but the conviction that should their beliefs and ideals be realized it would... Read more

August 13, 2018

I embraced Islam in China some 30 years ago. The Chinese Muslim community embraced me with open arms, laying a foundation of fond memories, and a life long interest in the Chinese Muslim community. More important, I learned from them three invaluable lessons. The Many Ways of Being Muslim The first was that there is not just one way to be Muslim. I learned this from a soccer team from XinJiang who I met in a hole-in-the-wall halal restaurant in... Read more

July 18, 2018

The Qur’an (as always) has a verse for the Trump-Putin situation. Loosely translated it says:  Don’t make friends and protectors of those who fight you because of your beliefs (Surah 60, verse 9).  Now, to be sure, this verse is talking about people who fight you over matters of religion, but it applies equally here. Russia has not been an ally of the US since World War II, and we were only allies then because Germany made the titanic mistake... Read more

June 6, 2018

The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Jack Philips, the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple who had been long time clients of his bakery because he felt to do so was a violation of his Christian morals. It’s not the first time in recent years that I’ve disagreed with the Supreme Court. My thoughts about the issue remain unchanged. Creating classes of people you can discriminate against because of your religious convictions... Read more

June 6, 2018

The story of the Qur’an begins in Ramadan, 610 AD. Muhammad, who was not yet the Prophet Muhammad, was in the habit of meditating in a cave high on the hillsides surrounding Mecca. On one such occasion, the angel Gabriel came to him and told him to read. Muhammad replied that he could not read. Gabriel pressed him tightly and then commanded him again to Read, and Muhammad again said that he could not read. Gabriel pressed him against, and... Read more

May 22, 2018

“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong. So any one of you who is present that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for... Read more

May 10, 2018

The Public Religion Research Institute’s 2017 American Values Atlas, published last week, revealed that for the first time a majority of American Muslims support the legalization of gay marriage. It is a slim majority: 51% favor legalization while 34% reject it and 15% are undecided. But it’s a significant reversal from just three years ago when a Pew Research Center study found that 52% of the community rejected the legalization of gay marriage, 42% supported it, and 6% were undecided. The... Read more

April 18, 2018

By now you’ve probably heard about the two black men who were arrested while waiting for a business associate at a Philadelphia area Starbucks and the ensuing protests. The Qur’an tells us, “You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly- if... Read more

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