Islam

GOP stalls pick who'd be government's highest-ranking Muslim

October 13, 2021

The nomination of a Pakistani-born businessman who would be the highest-ranking Muslim in the U.S. government is in jeopardy because Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked his confirmation. The stalemate has led to Democratic charges of anti-Muslim bias and galvanized some Muslim and Jewish organizations to condemn the delay.

President Biden is so far standing behind his selection of ...

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American Girl releases doll outfits for Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah celebrations

October 5, 2021

This holiday season, American Girl characters Samantha, Addy and Josefina can celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah or Diwali, the festival of lights observed by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Next year, they’ll be ready for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, too.

The religious holidays are part of a capsule collection of doll clothes and accessories for six cultural celebrations and were released last week by American Girl, the popular line of dolls and books telling the stories of American girls throughout history to the...

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Muslims recall questionable detentions that followed 9/11

October 4, 2021

Around New York City in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, as an eerie quiet settled over ground zero, South Asian and Arab men started vanishing.

Soon, more than 1,000 were arrested in sweeps across the metropolitan area and nationwide.

Most were charged only with overstaying visas and deported back to their home countries. But before that happened, many were held in detention for months, with little outside contact, especially with their families. Others would live with a different anxiety, forced to sign what was effectively a Muslim registry with no idea what...

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Sailors, Marines seek religious accommodation to wear beards

October 1, 2021

Shave or be Shaved. Aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sailor Edmund Di Liscia faced a stark choice. According to his lawyers, he was told to either shave his beard voluntarily or be held down by his bunk mate and forcibly shaved. For Di Liscia, a practicing Hasidic Jew who had not shaved for more than two years, it was a choice between his loyalty to the U.S. Navy and his religious faith.

Di Liscia is one of several sailors and marines who are seeking religious accommodation to wear beards while in uniform.  

Earlier this year, Di Liscia, along with three...

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Survey: 76% of U.S. Muslim women have experienced Islamophobia

September 30, 2021

More than two-thirds of U.S. Muslims report having experienced Islamophobia in their lifetimes, with women being significantly more likely than men to say so, a new survey has found.

The report by University California Berkeley’s “Othering & Belonging Institute,” reveals that 67.5% of respondents said they had personally experienced Islamophobia in their lifetimes, including 76.7% of women and 58.6% of men.

And an overwhelming 93.7% of respondents said that...

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Illinois law will allow athletes to modify uniforms for cultural, religious reasons

September 27, 2021

Illinois is the first state to adopt a new law providing students flexibility to modify their sports uniforms.

The Inclusive Athletic Attire Act allows student athletes, male or female, the freedom to modify sports uniforms according to their cultural, religious, physical comfort and modesty preferences without the need for a waiver or a penalty.

"I started running cross country in my freshman year of high school. That was the year I started wearing hijab (Islamic head covering)," said Ayah Aldadah, 21, a student athlete...

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Black Muslims: Finding Community and Faith in South L.A.

September 17, 2021

Beneath the glinting green dome of a mosque off Malcolm X Way in South Los Angeles, a spiritual leader in his late 80s is hammering home a vital message: African American Muslims must be engaged in their community and not let others make decisions for them.

Imam Abdul Karim Hasan embraced Islam more than 60 years ago after hearing Malcolm X. He recalls listening, mesmerized, as the fiery Muslim minister and civil rights leader recounted the history of slavery in America — and that many of the Black captives were Muslim.

The inspiration that...

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Muslim Americans Bring the Fight Against Surveillance to the Supreme Court

September 16, 2021

Imam Yassir Fazaga remembers the panic he felt. He remembers opening up the electrical sockets in his office and searching behind his computer monitor, looking for recording devices. In conversations with congregants, especially unfamiliar ones, he had doubts. “Who else is an informant? Who else is spying on me?” he recalls thinking.

It was the mid-2000s, and Fazaga had just learned that in the years after 9/11, the FBI had sent a man to spy on the community at his mosque in Mission Viejo, Calif., where Fazaga was the religious leader. The informant, a man with a criminal...

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Crusaders No More: What Arab Christians and Muslims Think of Mascot Changes

September 9, 2021

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Evangel University will no longer evoke the Middle East—or the Middle Ages.

Since 1955, the flagship Assemblies of God institution has cheered on its Crusaders, replete with helmeted knight and steed.

This semester, the university will soon announce its new mascot after considering almost 300 submitted suggestions—including 77 animal names, 69 military names, and 38 biblical names. The change was made in light of the school’s 55,000 alumni...

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Religious organizations prepare for 'potential onslaught' of evictions

September 9, 2021

The Supreme Court’s Aug. 26 decision to end the federal eviction moratorium brings new challenges for religious leaders and organizations working to aid those at risk for homelessness. More than 3.6 million Americans say they could face eviction in the next two months, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We’re very, very nervous,” said Sarah Abramson, vice president of strategy and impact at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. “There is already a tremendous housing shortage in Boston. And we know from our data, and from the experience of our partners...

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Muslim Americans Reflect On Experience Growing Up In A Post 9/11 World

September 7, 2021

Following 9/11, millions of Muslim Americans faced significant challenges in their lives. The attacks led to a swell of Islamophobia and bigotry in the U.S. that many Muslims had to live under.

Now, 20 years later, that day still affects the community.

Wardah Khalid was around 15 years old and in high school when the attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2001. She remembers being confused in the immediate aftermath.

Source:...

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"Those people are not me:" US Muslims reflect on how 9/11 changed their lives and what the future holds for them

September 7, 2021

Many Muslims in the United States point to September 11, 2001 as the day their relationship with the country changed.

Islamophobia had always existed, but the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia seemingly made it worse -- much worse.

Muslims of all stripes -- citizens, immigrants and refugees -- faced backlash. Many were ostracized and harassed, some physically assaulted and even killed. Charged rhetoric, successive wars and attacks further inflamed the situation.

Source:...

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Since 9/11, US Muslims Have Gained Unprecedented Political, Cultural Influence

September 1, 2021

It's been an impressive 2021 so far for Muslim Americans. The U.S. Senate, that bastion of partisan gridlock, overwhelmingly confirmed the nation's first Muslims as a federal district court judge and to chair the Federal Trade Commission. Legislatures in five states swore in their first Muslim members, including a nonbinary, queer hijab-wearing representative in, of all places, Oklahoma. Three Detroit suburbs are poised this fall to elect their first Muslim mayors. The New York Jets tapped Robert Saleh as the first...

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Wisconsin Muslim organizations devise plan to help Afghan refugees

August 30, 2021

Several Mosques and Muslim organizations from across Wisconsin met Sunday to create a plan of action for Afghan refugee aid.

They referred to the refugees at Fort McCoy as guests.

Sunday there are nearly 3,000 guests at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. But with the US troop withdrawal deadline two days away, the fort expects 10,000.

Source:...

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