Islam

Antisemitic and anti-Muslim content is flourishing on TikTok, report finds

August 27, 2021

Researchers analyzing TikTok for extremist content have discovered videos that portray Muslims as supporters of terrorism, clips supporting Holocaust denial and users glorifying the mass shooters behind the Christchurch mosque and Tree of Life Synagogue attacks.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based nonprofit that tracks extremism online, released a report on Tuesday (Aug. 24) that found TikTok “operates as a new arena for...

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Two decades after 9/11, Muslim Americans still fighting bias

August 27, 2021

A car passed, the driver’s window rolled down and the man spat an epithet at two little girls wearing their hijabs: “Terrorist!”

It was 2001, mere weeks after the twin towers at the World Trade Center fell, and 10-year-old Shahana Hanif and her younger sister were walking to the local mosque from their Brooklyn home.

Unsure, afraid, the girls ran.

Source:...

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New podcast finds 'work-life-faith balance' for modern Muslim parents

August 24, 2021

alking to kids about sex is just one of the traditional taboos addressed in a new podcast focused on modern Muslim parenting. One clue to how the podcast approaches such thorny topics comes in its title, with apologies to the DC Comics universe: “ Muslim Superdad & Wondermom.”

The podcast’s host, Amin Aaser, regards Muslim parenting as a journey that requires a balance of traditional and modern values...

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A man was charged with hate crimes for attacks on Muslims in New York City

July 29, 2021

A man accused of anti-Muslim attacks in New York City was charged Wednesday with hate crimes by the Queens District Attorney's Office.

Naved Durrni, 30, faces charges of assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon in the recent physical and verbal attacks on Muslims in Queens, New York, according to a news release from the...

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American Muslims Are 2 Times More Likely To Have Attempted Suicide Than Other Groups

August 10, 2021

For an entire year that involved emergency room visits, legal proceedings, involuntary unemployment and the death of loved ones, Mehran Nazir struggled with a depressive episode. He would find his mind flooded with self-destructive thoughts. He'd faintly hope his plane from Newark to San Francisco would crash or that he would doze off at the wheel of his car and end up in a fatal accident.

The normally extroverted Nazir would lie paralyzed in bed for hours doing nothing, not wanting to speak with family and canceling plans with friends.

It came to a head when Nazir...

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Sanctions on Iran block mosque from claiming religious tiles

August 10, 2021

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia mosque is asking the Biden administration to release a set of religious tiles that were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were deemed to violate sanctions on Iran.

At a news conference Tuesday at the Manassas Mosque, Imam Abolfazl Nahidian said the custom-made tiles were shipped in June from the Iranian city of Qom, to be used in construction of a new mosque a few miles away.

He said the tiles were a gift and he paid no money for them, but a Customs and Border Protection officer at the airport blocked the...

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Toms River mosque adjusts prayer schedule as the delta COVID variant takes a toll

August 12, 2021

TOMS RIVER - The highly contagious delta variant is forcing Masjid Bilal mosque off Route 9 to swiftly reimplement COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

A week ago, the Toms River mosque hosted more than 100 Muslims for an hour-long Friday prayer service, where many congregants stood maskless and shoulder to shoulder. Now things have changed.

“We’re going back to two prayers,” said Walaaeldin Elsayed, board president of Masjid Bilal, explaining that two services rather than one will reduce crowding. “There is no social distancing requirement or mask requirement, but it is...

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Utah man says he was fired for converting to Islam, lawsuit alleges

August 4, 2021

A mechanic in southern Utah alleges he was harassed and later fired from his job at a car dealership because he converted to Islam.

Allan Goodson is suing Bradshaw Chevrolet in Cedar City for religious discrimination after he says his supervisor mocked him, calling him a “terrorist” and saying he betrayed other white people by becoming a Muslim.

He’s seeking a judge’s order barring the business from discriminating based on religion, requiring the dealership to create a policy allowing prayer breaks and mandating yearly trainings on religion for managers. Goodson is...

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Legislation Offers Relief To Delaware Students Observing Religious Holidays

August 2, 2021

A few days before the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims observe daytime fasting, Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton received a phone call from one of her constituents asking her about the school’s attendance policies for religious holidays. 

“I was like, that is a good question, let me ask,” she said. 

After several phone calls to various departments, Wilson-Anton discovered that there was no universal policy for students regarding religious holidays. 

Source: ...

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White House announces new religious affairs leaders, first Muslim religious freedom ambassador

July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON (RNS) — The White House announced Friday (July 30) a slate of nominations and appointments for top religious affairs roles, including the first Muslim American nominated to be the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom.

President Biden will select Rashad Hussain as his nominee for that post, filling a State Department slot vacant since former Kansas governor and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback left at the close of the Trump administration. Hussain, who would need to be confirmed by the Senate, currently works as director for Partnerships and Global...

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The high cost of becoming a none for American Muslims

July 7, 2021

(RNS) — One of the most interesting developments of the social media age is that people are able to find like-minded individuals easily and anonymously. While that anonymity is not without its downsides, one of its real benefits is that people can express who they really are and what they really think about a variety of issues.

Particularly interesting to those who study American religion are the social media communities that have cropped up among those who have left their religious traditions to convert to a new religion or left faith behind entirely. Former evangelical...

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Houston imams and rabbis unite for a common goal – peace

June 10, 2021

As clashes continue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, Houston imams and rabbis unite for a common goal — peace.

Together, these faith leaders recently issued a statement, signed by 23 imams and 28 rabbis.

The statement began: “For the past decade, we Imams and Rabbis in the Greater Houston area have found common ground on several issues that have impacted our respective communities and the Houston community at large.

Source: ...

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There Are 11,073 Muslims In Federal Prisons But Just 13 Chaplains To Minister To Them

July 12, 2021

Abdul Muhaymin al-Salim converted to Islam during his incarceration on drug charges at a federal prison in South Carolina from 2004 to 2014. In his first year there, the 49-year-old remembers a Muslim volunteer coming to the prison a couple of times a month to lead religious services.

Then, in the second year, during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, the volunteer was no longer allowed in the prison. Al-Salim never found out why.

Source: ...

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Muslim activists seek probe into new police chief’s comments

July 6, 2021

Muslim activists in Massachusetts are calling for an investigation into an alleged anti-Muslim statement made by the recently appointed police chief in a Boston suburb.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' on Tuesday cited a recently filed lawsuit alleging a pattern of racist and discriminatory treatment in the Sharon Police Department.

Source: Muslim activists seek...

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For some US Muslims, raw talk on suicide, mental health

June 27, 2021

Dr. Rania Awaad was attending a virtual religion program this Ramadan when discussion turned to an unexpected question: Is it religiously acceptable to say a prayer for someone who died by suicide?

Suicide is a complex and delicate topic that Awaad, as director of the Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab at Stanford University, knows much about — but one she says isn’t discussed nearly enough in U.S. Muslim communities. When it is, she said, it’s often poorly understood and shrouded in misconceptions.

Awaad and other mental health professionals are...

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