From Ibrahim to Khalil:   Healing through the flames, American Islam and Palestine/Israel

The recent visit of some American Muslim leaders to Jerusalem to engage in interfaith dialogue with the Jewish leaders has yet again opened deep wounds for the American Muslim community. It is Ramadan, and it is Gaza. It is a sacred time, and it is a time of profound sorrow and outrage as we see Baraka and pain mingling. Let us hope that these words may help usher some healing for our community.

Miss America, sexism, and “American Values”

So when we hear bigoted online voices stating their disappointment that “An Arab”, a “sand nigger”, or a “Muslim” has won the Ms. America prize, the correct response is not to merely point that Ms. Davuluri is in fact both American and Hindu. The conversation is also about America, and American identity. It is not about who Ms. Davuluri is not. It’s about who we as Americans are, who we wish to become.

NYPD: Muslims are terrorists

This hideous practice not only tramples on the rights of American Muslims, it also makes a mockery of the very rights and freedoms that are at the heart of the American experiment. If America is great, if America wants to be great, its greatness is to be measured not in the size of the flags we fly, but the extent to which we recognize the innate rights of all of our citizens, starting with the most marginalized amongst us.

Miley Cyrus, VMAs, and “We the people.”

Most of all, this is not about Miley Cyrus. It’s about the patriarchal (and racist) culture that we all participate in, and about our own diseased hearts. The great Muslim sages were right: this “music” is simply bringing out what is in our own hearts. And it is we, we the people, not just Miley Cyrus, who are profoundly sick and diseased. It is not just Ms. Cyrus that needs a spiritual (and intellectual) awakening. It is us, we the people.

Beyond #WhiteHouseIftar: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity

Here are six concrete points and strategies to help us continue a principled and constructive conversation about #whitehouseiftars. In the last thirty years, we as Muslims have had intense conversations about our multiple and overlapping identities as Americans and as Muslims. What kind of America we want to belong to? An America that is an Empire, or a land of liberty and rights? If it is the latter, words will not suffice. We need to be participants in making that a reality.