Are we clinging today to metaphors and allegories of our ancestors as they clung to their idols? What are some of the metaphors from scriptures that no longer serve us, no longer bring us closer to God, yet we insist on clinging to them?
Author Archives: Omid Safi
About Omid Safi
Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion.
In 2009, he was recognized by the University of North Carolina for mentoring minority students in 2009, and won the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.
Omid is the editor of the volume "Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism," which offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious and ethnic pluralism. His works "Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam," dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, and "Voices of Islam: Voices of Change" were published 2006.
His last book, "Memories of Muhammad," deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. He has forthcoming volumes on the famed mystic Rumi, contemporary Islamic debates in Iran, and American Islam.
Omid has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN and other international media.
He leads an educational tour every summer to Turkey, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trip is open to everyone, from every country. More information here: http://www.illuminatedtours.com
By accurately labeling the terrorism associated with 9/11 as “Al-Qaeda terrorism”, we avoid the dangers of legitimizing the terrorist organizations or demonizing an entire religious or ethnic block of humanity.
Call the Kansas City Jewish Community Center attack what it is. This is a hate crime. This is politically motivated, domestic terrorism. If this is not terrorism, then indeed the term terrorism has no meaning.
In rescinding the honorary award for Hirsi Ali, Brandeis did the right thing. Eventually. But perhaps we should be asking another question: how could Brandeis have chosen such a hateful person whose views are easily exposed through a simple Google search in the first place? And would such views be tolerated, and rewarded, had they been made about other ethnic and religious communities?
For the 9/11 Memorial Museum to use the language of “Islamic terrorism” is to bestow upon Bin Laden and al-Qaeda the religious legitimacy that they desperately craved—and do not deserve.
Whether we are alone in this universe, or whether there are billions of other beings on gazillions of other planets,
we are not alone. We have each other, and one way or another, we gotta learn to live with one another. May it start in Jerusalem.
Richard N. Frye’s final request has been to be buried to his beloved city of Isfahan. Even the noted conservative president Ahmadinejad agreed to this honor. Frye’s hope has been that his burial in Isfahan would help unite the two countries he loved so.
There is the temptation to keep running “there”, to Muslim majority contexts, to tap into the “wells” there to gain spiritual wisdom. It is also important for us to dig deep, dig deeper right here in America, till we hit the water of life here.