Islam

An immigrant Muslim finds his model of empowerment in Black American Islam

May 10, 2022

Rami Nashashibi, who founded the Inner-City Muslim Action Network on Chicago’s South Side 25 years ago, is a community builder, a teacher and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award. Georgetown University has called him one of the world’s 500 most-influential Muslims.

What he is not is an imam. He is part of a rising generation of lay leaders blending ancient tradition with modern activism to mobilize their faith communities. Leaders such as Nashashibi are not replacing traditional institutions or houses of worship, but they bring an immediacy to their faith-based...

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Buddhist Chaplains on the Rise in US, Offering Broad Appeal

May 15, 2022

Wedged into a recliner in the corner of her assisted living apartment in Portland, Skylar Freimann, who has a terminal heart condition and pulmonary illness, anxiously eyed her newly arrived hospital bed on a recent day and worried over how she would maintain independence as she further loses mobility.

There to guide her along the journey was the Rev. Jo Laurence, a hospice and palliative care chaplain. But rather than invoking God or a Christian prayer, she talked of meditation, chanting and other Eastern spiritual traditions: “The body can weigh us down sometimes,” she...

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How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in US

April 28, 2022

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of those refugees have now arrived at the southern border of the United States seeking asylum, after flying to Mexico on tourist visas.

At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies meant to keep...

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Jewish, Muslim groups voice concerns over Musk Twitter takeover

April 28, 2022

Muslim and Jewish organizations are expressing concern about billionaire Elon Musk’s impending ownership of Twitter, warning that the aerospace tycoon could roll back moderation policies and unleash a new wave of harassment against religious minorities often targeted on the platform.

“It strikes me as deeply troubling and potentially dangerous that two people — Musk and (Facebook co-founder) Mark Zuckerberg — essentially control the public square,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “That seems like a sad day for democracy.”

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Islamophobic bullying rampant in US schools: report

April 17, 2022

Muslim students have been victims of high levels of Islamophobic sentiment, and Islamophobia in U.S. public schools is a prevalent and ongoing problem, according to a recent report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Interviews with 700 Muslim students in schools in the state of California found high levels of Islamophobic bullying, harassment and discrimination by peers and adults, including teachers.

"Muslim students of all ages have been ostracized and mistreated in the past because of their faith and perceived, yet clearly false, association...

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Piscataway's Muslim Center of Middlesex County Marks Ramadan with Interfaith Iftar Dinner

April 18, 2022

Ramadan Mubarak! The Muslim greeting meaning “blessed Ramadan” is often heard throughout the month-long religious celebration.

As Muslims around the world break their daily fast during the holiest of holidays for the faithful, members of the Muslim Center of Middlesex County (MCMC) in Piscataway hosted an interfaith Iftar Dinner on April 11, bringing together hundreds in the community in prayer, learning, and understanding of Islam and the meaning of Ramadan.

Observance of Ramadan, which this year runs from Saturday, April 2 through Sunday, May 1 is one of the...

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Centro Islámico, a hub for Latino Muslims near and far, breaks ground on expansion during Ramadan

April 15, 2022

Jessica Disla committed to Islam in May 2020 through a livestream from her home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was the last week of Ramadan, just two months after the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Mosques and houses of worship shut down as Disla — a Latina raised Catholic in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City — sought to better understand the Islamic faith. That’s when she learned about ...

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With start of Ramadan, Muslim students in Louisiana want better accommodations in schools

April 14, 2022

For Muslims, Ramadan is the holiest month of the year. It is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. However, some practicing Muslim students in Louisiana feel ignored by their public school community.  

Ramadan, which begins April 2 and ends May 2 this year, also falls during the last stretch of the school year for many school districts in the state.  The timing presents an uncomfortable situation for parents with...

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Interfaith Ramadan Iftar event is a celebration of traditions, Frisco's cultural diversity

April 12, 2022

It was a celebration of Ramadan Iftar traditions and Frisco's cultural diversity at Monday evening's Interfaith Ramadan Iftar program at Frisco Hall.

The Islamic Center of Frisco played host to the event, along with partners whyislam.org and the Frisco Inclusion Committee.

Close to 200 guests attended the program, which included a question and answer session on the Ramadan Iftar traditions and the Islamic faith, and also recognition of various city and civic leaders and organizations who have supported the Islamic Center...

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Kids are balancing fasting and school during Ramadan. How to support them.

April 13, 2022

Muslim children typically aren't expected to fast during Ramadan until they reach puberty. But often kids will want to start earlier because they see everyone else abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset — followed by their community gathering to break their fast together — and they want to participate.

"I really wanted to get in on the fun," said Raahim Sattar, who started fasting when he was around 7. He's an 18-year-old Danville, California, native currently learning Arabic at the Qalam seminary in Dallas. He has older twin brothers — and a competitive streak...

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Virginia Community Iftar Educates Public on Ramadan

April 11, 2022

The Islamic Society of Central Virginia has teamed up with Welcoming Greater Charlottesville for a community iftar gathering to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.

The event, held on Sunday, April 10, was organized to demonstrate support for the Muslim community as well as educate the public on the holy month of fasting.

“Having it in a public space is really...

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Muslim chaplains forge a new way of thinking about Islam in secular places

April 4, 2022

Years before he became Yale’s first full-time Muslim chaplain, Imam Omer Bajwa was a graduate student and aspiring journalist who had little idea of what a chaplain does.

Then came September 2001.

“Our phones started ringing off the hook,” said Bajwa, who was involved with Cornell’s Muslim Student Association at the time. “We’re in Ithaca. There’s no mosque, no local Muslim leadership. All these high schools and public libraries and radio stations and college campuses are calling for panels on Islam and understanding 9/11… that was a pivotal moment.”

...

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Afghan evacuees mark first US Ramadan with gratitude, agony

April 5, 2022

Sitting cross-legged on the floor as his wife and six children laid plates of fruit on a red cloth in front of him, Wolayat Khan Samadzoi watched through the open balcony door for the sliver of new moon to appear in the cloudless New Mexico sky, where the sun had set beyond a desert mountain.

Then, munching on a date, the bushy-bearded former Afghan soldier broke his first Ramadan fast in the United States – far from the Taliban threat, but also the three dozen relatives he would be marking the start of the Muslim holy month with if he was still home in Khost, Afghanistan....

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