by Saleem Ahmed, Ph.D.
President, Pacific Institute for Islamic Studies, Honolulu
Some Muslims become radicalized because they follow superseded Qur'anic verses instead of the superseding verses. If this can be corrected, most of the confusion and the resulting radicalization could end quickly. This needs understanding the chronology of Qur'anic revelations and contextualizing their meanings where necessary.
Many more Qur’anic verses promote violence than peace. Thus, non-Muslims cannot be faulted for concluding that Islam is not a religion of peace, especially when the actions of some extremist Muslims continue to confirm this perception. Starting as a spiritual movement when Muhammad lived in Medina (610-622 CE), Islam evolved into a ...
by Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Baltimore Sun.
Since 9/11, we have seen efforts by ISIS, al-Qaida and other violent extremists to recruit African American Muslims to their cause, preying on a collective sense of injustice and feelings of deprivation and social alienation from historic inequities. In 2008, for example, al-Qaida's then second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri sought to interlace domestic African American racial grievances with the global jihad movement, targeting and recruiting African American and Somali youth. A 51-minute recruitment video presented motifs of Malcolm X, attempting to exploit historical African American Muslim activism as a potential means for future radicalization.
In a few cases, such efforts have been successful: Edward Archer attacked a Phil...
Saleem Ahmed, PhD. President, Pacific Institute for Islamic Studies, Honolulu.
The centuries-old lawlessness rampant in pre-Islamic Arabia, which compelled
terrified women to veil themselves as protection against potential rapists, was
transformed into a lawful society during the 23 years of Muhammad’s prophethood.
Women could then move around freely, dressed modestly, without the need to
"protect" themselves by wearing a veil. However, since the Qur’an’s non-
chronological arrangement precludes the possibility of tracing this transformation,
some Muslim women continue to veil themselves in the belief it is required. This
suggests the need for Muslims to understand the chronology of the evolving guidance
on various subjects. Th...
by Sarah Lyons-Padilla and Michele J. Gelfand, New York Times
There were many reasons to oppose President Trump’s travel ban on refugees and visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, which is now blocked by a federal court’s temporary restraining order. Unfortunately, those same objections are also likely to apply to the revised version of the executive order that Mr. Trump promised on Thursday, which will share with its predecessor the goal of “immediately protecting the country” — presumably by keeping out people from countries he deems to be a threat.
One objection to such policies is that there is no good evidence that citizens of the countries the president has singled out so far present a significant threat to the United States. Another is t...
By Latin Times
Happy New Year's Day!
A new year is upon us which means it's time to look back on our accomplishments and think about how we can continue growing as individuals on the year ahead. Sometimes life can be hard and stressful and we forget about all the small strides we make because negativity overpowers us.
We might have taken a step back, but the idea is to take two steps ahead and confront the challenges life presents us and overcome it with a positive attitude and having hope that everything will turn out all right. We have rounded up quotes of inspiration that will surely give you hope for the year ahead. Good luck!
1. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” (Brad Paisley)
by Ruby Amatalla,
Executive Director, Muslims for Peace, Justice, and Progress, Huffington Post
In spite of Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and, subsequently, his victory, Muslims in America should remain optimistic. His use of the growing anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States of America (America) were for a political gain during the election is reminiscent of vicious McCarthyism in the 1950s. However, Senator McCarthy’s ruthless drive in hate and fear mongering against the Communists for political purposes was brought to an end by the discourse with the American public initiated by courageous people like Edward R. Murrow, a broadcast journalist. His words were simple and straight forward: he said “We will not walk in fear, one of another. We wi...
“The poll is a clear indication that fear can sadly be more influential than fact.”
by Christopher Mathias, Huffington Post
Americans and Europeans drastically overestimate their Muslim populations, a new international survey shows, a misperception many say is driven by Islamophobia and growing anti-Muslim sentiment.
Americans think 17 out of every 100 people in the U.S. are Muslim, according to the survey from Ipsos Mori, a U.K. research company. But, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, Muslims account for only 1 out of every 100 people in the U.S.
That works out to Americans thinking there are about 54 million Muslims in the U.S., when in fact the Muslim population is about 3 million.
This wide disparity betwe...
by Rhonda Roumani, Los Angeles Times
Rhonda Roumani is a contributing fellow at USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture.
In mid-September, my 6-year-old daughter ran into our living room and literally started jumping for joy. “Baba, it’s a miracle!” she told her father with delight. “‘Peg + Cat’ has an ‘Eid Mubarak’ show. They’re talking about ‘Eid Mubarak’ on TV!”
My husband texted my daughter’s reaction to family members and Muslim friends. When I got the message at work, I felt a moment of happiness and just as quickly a moment of sadness that such a simple event was a novelty for her, and that, at 6, she understood its rarity.
That evening our friends came over and we all watched “Peg + Cat” together — thirty- and...
by Saleem Ahmed, Ph.D.
Fifty percent of Muslim marriages are reportedly among first cousins, rising to about 70% in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Cousin_Marriage_in_Islam). The unfortunate effect of such consanguineous marriages is probably manifested most strikingly in a Pakistani village where descendants of two tribes have been inbreeding since over 40 years. A report in Karachi’s newspaper Dawn (October 15, 2015) highlighted that every third home in this village of 350 households has children suffering from blindness, physical deformities, and/or learning problems. And while individuals from this village interviewed acknowledged cousin marriage was a major problem, they lamented they were tradition-bound to honor that practice.
by Craig Considine
Although they are typically seen to represent overwhelming opposites, the Prophet Muhammad and America’s founding fathers shared many common characteristics and beliefs, which can be seen in historical documents. By comparing the speeches and texts that they left behind, we can learn of the similar viewpoints that Muhammad and the founding fathers held on issues pertaining to equal rights and religious liberty.
Prophet Muhammad and the American founding fathers shared an interest in protecting people regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. Muhammad, for example, received revelations from God, who directed him to celebrate diversity and cherish it as a staple of Muslim society. Muhammad’s encounter with God would later be recorded...