December 12, 2017

This month the writers of the Patheos Muslim Channel are opening up about their feelings on the hot take, a quick response to a current event, political debate or issues of the moment. I have to say, I love ’em! The Pros Most bloggers and opinion writers thrive on the hot take. Weighing in on issues that are important, timely and have captured the interest of the general public not only gives your writing more relevance, but also allows you… Read more

December 5, 2017

Tuesday the Supreme Court heard the case of a Jack Philips, a baker from Denver who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple claiming that it violated his religious beliefs and moral sensibilities.  In a op-ed in USA Today, Jack writes, “Designing a wedding cake is a very different thing from, say, baking a brownie.” And he’s not talking about the number of eggs or types of frosting. Rather, he says, “what I design is not just a tower of… Read more

November 30, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders would like us to believe that it doesn’t matter whether the anti-Muslim videos retweeted by President Donald Trump are real or not because, she says, when it comes to Muslims “the threat is real.” Excuse me? Did the White House Press Secretary really claim that truth, reality, and accuracy in reporting are unimportant? That it’s ok for the President to stir up bigotry, hatred, and fear by spreading lies about the “Muslim Threat” and so-called… Read more

November 24, 2017

Last Thursday, along with millions of other Americans my Muslim family sat down to a big family dinner. We had turkey and mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, all foods native to this land. My family has ancestors who came to America on the Mayflower. We also have ancestors who survived the Trail of Tears. At Thanksgiving, we take time to honor both histories. Every year, on facebook, twitter, and in the news, we see anger and acrimony over the competing… Read more

November 16, 2017

Roy Moore. What a guy. One with some really creepy habits. In the late 70’s when he was in his 30’s, he pursued teenage girls. He plied them with liquor even though they were underage. In one case he is accused of sexual assault and in another, his alleged sexual advances broke statutory rape laws. Nonetheless, he is the darling of Alabama evangelicals for defending “Christian morality.” Indeed, recent polls show that after the accusations surfaced evangelicals are even more likely to support Moore’s candidacy. Some believe the accusers are liars… Read more

December 16, 2015

When my kids were young, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her parents’ home and held captive for nine months. People in my neighborhood starting keeping their kids inside rather than letting them play in their back yards. The probability of their kids being abducted was minuscule, but fear won out over statistics. I was even upbraided about continuing to let my kids play outside by people in my neighborhood, because I refused to let their young lives be shaped by fear,… Read more

June 26, 2015

Today the Supreme Court struck down state bans on marriage between partners of the same sex, effectively making marriage equality the law of the land. As a Muslim, I rejoice at their affirmation that the choice of marriage partner is a decision to be made between two adults, without interference from the state or anyone else. According to recent polls, over 40% of my fellow American Muslims are rejoicing with me. I rejoice because the Supreme Court has stood firm for religious freedom, and the… Read more

July 7, 2014

My closest friends have heard me say it before, “I’m counting on pork to get me to heaven.” Irreverent though that sentiment may seem, this is because refraining from eating pork is about the only thing I do purely for the pleasure of God. I don’t expect any health benefits from my abstinence and it certainly doesn’t give me a lot of social cache, it doesn’t bolster my ego or make me feel like a super pious person; it’s just… Read more

July 6, 2014

We often hear that fasting in Ramadan makes us understand the plight of the poor better as going hungry for a month gives us an insight into what it is like to go hungry. And indeed, the experience of hunger day after day over the course of a month does spur many Muslims to action, whether it be sending charity to neighborhoods or countries where poverty runs deep, volunteering in a soup kitchen here in the States, or contributing to… Read more

June 30, 2014

I wrote a version of this poem some time ago; this revision seems appropriate to the declaration of “the Islamic State” in what used to be parts of Iraq (and may yet again be parts of Iraq). When Prophet Muhammad came to rule in Medina, he established a multi-religious state where Christian, Jew and Muslim were free to follow their religious beliefs.  We are told over and over in the Qur’an that the sins of our brothers, neighbors, co-religionists, and… Read more

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