Islam

Black Muslim life honored in new online portrait exhibit

February 11, 2022

A new online exhibit featuring portraits of Black Muslims was launched by Sapelo Square, a Black Muslim education and media collective, on Feb. 2. Captured in dramatic lighting and paired with audio clips of the subjects speaking, the portraits aim to highlight the beauty and diversity within the Black Muslim experience.

“It’s really important that we hear the voices and see those who come from this strong and important lineage that doesn’t seem to be...

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Are today's seminarians tomorrow's corporate leaders?

February 10, 2022

Some corporate culture experts point to Black Lives Matter. Others say it is the soul-wringing work-life decisions forced on CEOs during the pandemic. Still others date large companies’ engagement with social justice issues back to the early days of the #MeToo movement.

Jeff Stoner, an executive coach in Minneapolis, said he has been fielding deeper questions from his corporate clients for years about purpose and priorities. “I was finding in so many of my coaching engagements that we were talking about things that could be defined as spiritual or faith-centered,” said Stoner...

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First rabbi chosen to lead Essex County social justice group

February 3, 2022

For much of the past two decades, Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin has worked on the front lines of campaigns to secure fairer treatment and greater opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Now, the veteran activist has a new opportunity to put those organizing skills to work as the next leader of the Essex County Community Organization.

ECCO, a faith-based grass-roots organization that fights for racial and social justice, named Ronkin its new executive director effective Jan. 15. The Jamaica...

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Halal food's evolving flavors and fusions

February 1, 2022

Halal simply means “allowed” or “permissible” to millions of religiously observant people around the globe. In American foodservice, halal often means Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Lately, halal is changing and expanding in forms of fusion that introduce elements of modern American fast-casual.

College dining is a good place to begin keeping tabs on halal’s latest moves. R&DE Stanford Dining is “intentional about offering a variety of culturally diverse food options to reflect and celebrate the diversity of our campus,” says Jackie Bertoldo, MPH, RDN, associate...

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Court says inmate can sue over confiscation of music, religious texts

January 25, 2022

A federal appeals court said Monday that an Arizona inmate’s lawsuit can proceed against corrections officials who confiscated his hip-hop CDs and Nation of Islam books as banned materials.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a district court ruling that had tossed out Edward Lee Jones Jr.’s claim that the confiscations violated his rights to free speech and worship.

The appeals court said the...

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US Muslim advocates weigh in on abortion rights battle

January 26, 2022

Forty-nine years ago, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling that changed the lives of American women, formally legalising the right to abortion across the United States.

Now, as Roe v Wade faces its most serious threat in decades, Muslim Americans, like many others across the US, have been contemplating what overturning that decision could mean for women’s reproductive rights and access to safe abortions.

Aliza Kazmi, co-executive director of...

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Biden's latest picks include 1st Muslim woman nominated to serve as a federal judge

January 19, 2022

President Biden on Wednesday announced eight judicial nominees, including Nusrat Choudhury, who would be the first Muslim woman to serve as a federal judge.

Choudhury, currently the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, has been tapped to be a U.S. judge in the Eastern District of New York.

"Nusrat Choudhury's nomination to the federal bench is historic — as the first Bangladeshi American...

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Muslims in interfaith bonds are proliferating. Imams willing to marry them are not.

January 10, 2022

When Faiqa Cheema and Jeff Beale were planning their September 2021 wedding, it was important to Cheema that it include elements of the traditional ceremony of her Muslim faith, while also being meaningful for her husband, who was raised Baptist.

The couple’s path to their dream interfaith wedding turned out to be more complicated than they expected. While such unions are increasingly common, Muslim clergy have long frowned on marrying outside Islam, and Cheema and Beale struggled to find an imam who would officiate, much less adapt the Islamic ceremony, known as a nikah, to...

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US state senator faces backlash over anti-Muslim argument for ending mask mandates

January 11, 2022

A Virginia state senator is facing a wave of backlash from American Muslim and Jewish groups after she criticised the Muslim face veil when making an argument against mask mandates.

Amanda Chase, who has been a member of the Virginia Senate since 2016, has faced several accusations by Democrats of downplaying the coronavirus pandemic since the Biden administration introduced mask mandates last year.

In a Facebook post on her personal page, Chase...

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Christian nationalism has deep roots in America, faith leaders say

January 6, 2022

Shannon Rivers believes that Indigenous people are the moral compass of this country.

A member of the Native American Akimel O’otham, or River People, of the southwestern United States, Rivers points to historical accounts of the northeastern Wampanoag, who in the 1600s taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops and weather harsh winters.

“We were the ones who had that initial moral understanding of how you take care of one another, and we still maintain that today, despite every wrong...

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CAIR releases 'Islamophobia in the Mainstream' report

January 11, 2022

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a report Tuesday called "Islamophobia in the Mainstream, and in it they detail funding for groups they've determined are anti-Muslim in America.

The report says more than $105-million has been funneled to 26 anti-Muslim groups between 2017 and 2019.

One Michigan mention for an anti-Muslim incident was regarding vandalism at a mosque in Warren in July of 2020.

Source:...

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A cryptic email, then a confession: How a Muslim group uncovered moles

January 12, 2022

It started with a cryptic August 2019 email with no name and the subject line: “Info you may want.” It took more than a year for the emailer to reappear with something more specific: There is a mole inside your organization.

For many U.S. Muslim organizations, surveillance by government and other informants became a regular feature of life in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s biggest Muslim civil rights group, said the most...

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'Reach the Nones wherever they are': How religious leaders are trying to stem the tide

December 22, 2021

It's a Sunday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas, and a flock of young people wander into a bar to kick back a few beers, sway to live music and mingle.

And then, they recite the Lord's Prayer.

It's quite a departure from traditional services, which have driven so many away from church in recent years. There's no confession, no fire and brimstone, and nobody's wearing their Sunday best.

Source:...

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How the effect of anti-Muslim bias on campus harms students' education

December 28, 2021

For Amna Omar, who recently graduated from San Diego State University, the worst moment came in her freshman year, when a classroom discussion about religion turned to Islam. One student singled out Omar, telling her she was “oppressed” because of her jilbab, or full-body covering. Far from being concerned about her oppression, the student told Omar, she said, to “go back home” because her attire was not mainstream.

No one else objected to her treatment, she recalled. “The professor did not say anything. Nor did any students get involved. It was as if nothing happened,” Omar...

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