March 24, 2018

We can argue whether Mark Anthony Conditt is a terrorist or not. Certainly his 3 week bombing spree across Austin terrorized the city. But so did Charles Manson’s killing spree and Jack the Ripper’s. Serial murder is not necessarily an act of terrorism, though it obviously can be. The US Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit… Read more

March 20, 2018

Six months ago, I began driving for Lyft. It didn’t take me long to learn that if you hope to make a decent hourly rate, you need to drive smart. That means driving during peak hours prioritized by Lyft — commute times and Friday and Saturday night – when there were also likely to be rate surges due to higher demand. It also meant maintaining a 90% acceptance rate and meeting Lyft rides-per-week goals to earn bonuses. Even so, it… Read more

March 16, 2018

Several years ago I stopped wearing a headscarf after some 25 years of observing hijab. Recently, I have been thinking I may need to start wearing it again. Not because of religious belief — I long ago decided that the scholars who maintain the Qur’an mandates a headscarf for all women are wrong — but because wearing one is not only a gesture of solidarity with my sisters, it also provides me with the means to challenge anti-Muslim bigotry in… Read more

February 27, 2018

I picked up “Toward a Qur’anic Understanding of the Divine,” authored by Abdur Rab, Farouk A. Peru, and Siraj Islam and sponsored by Muslims for Progressive Values, with great expectations. I looked forward to a comprehensive discussion of what the Qur’an has to say about the nature of God. And I hoped to discover something I’d never heard before, garner some new insights, and gain a deeper understanding about familiar concepts. Food for Thought There are certainly spots that are thought… Read more

February 13, 2018

We hear a lot about female genital mutilation, and the challenges of eradicating it from various North African Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Male genital mutilation is also widely practiced in these societies and across the Muslim world. But rather than campaigns to end the practice of circumcision, we hear over and over how it is an Islamic requirement that must be carried out on every male infant born to Muslim parents. In fact, circumcision is never mentioned in the Qur’an,… Read more

February 7, 2018

So there you are, standing in front of the Ka’bah for the first time in your life. Tears well in your eyes. You get all choked up. You feel deeply connected to the other pilgrims, to the Prophet, to the entire timeline of humanity, and the love of God as never before. And then you feel something else…. someone’s hand on your butt, groping and pinching. Unbelievable! There can be no doubt that groping another person without consent is completely… Read more

January 23, 2018

Today, I bring you a story of arrogance and sin: Your Lord said to the angels, ‘Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay! And when I have shaped him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then bow down before him in prostration.’  The angels all bowed down together, but not Iblis, who gloried in his arrogance, and thus became a rebel. God said, ‘Iblis, what prevents you from bowing down to that which I have made with… Read more

January 15, 2018

I have been feeling I should post something profound today in honor of MLK, in objection to the President’s “shithole countries” remarks, and in support of human and civil rights for all. These are things I care deeply about. As a white woman, I have learned that the one of the most profound things I can do is listen and promote the voices of those who are not heard enough. So today, I invite you to read some of the… Read more

January 5, 2018

I have one rule of thumb for unfriending folks on facebook. If you make a threat of physical harm to me or someone on my friends list, you’re gone. Otherwise, I’ll put up with almost anything. Apparently, this is far from the norm, as I’m regularly asked why I keep x, y or z person in my list when they express opinions that someone else on my list considers hateful or dismissive. And that’s something that happens pretty often, given… Read more

December 22, 2017

Ok, let’s all be honest with each other. There is no war on Christmas. And we all know it. In fact, Christmas lays siege to our country for three whole months every year, and that includes all levels of society. The White House is awash in Christmas decorations, and Melania is hosting 20 receptions and 100 open houses to celebrate. Cities and towns across the nation light giant Christmas trees and decorate their streets in commemoration. In fact, dozens of towns… Read more

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