Islam

In D.C., a call for restaurants to give fasting Muslims an alternative to IHOP in Ramadan

April 29, 2019
When it comes time for Muslims to break their Ramadan fast at sundown during Islam’s holy month, they traditionally start with a few dried dates. For their last full meal before a full day of fasting, many American Muslim families down a plate of pancakes at IHOP. It’s not because Muslims like pancakes more than other Americans. It’s because the 24-hour pancake house chain is often the only local restaurant open at suhoor, the meal eaten just before the ritual fast begins at daybreak. A new initiative cal

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Philly’s Muslim cabbies’ ingenuity and community build a mosque at the airport 

April 25, 2019
The words of the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, are identical wherever it is sung, in every country where Muslims worship. "Hayya 'alas salah" is sung around the globe five times a day, including outside a construction trailer parked in a remote lot at Philadelphia International Airport by a city taxi driver, Sylla Salif. "Hayya 'alas salah." "Come to prayer. Come to prayer." As Salif sang recently, men washed their hands in streams of water from spigots, as is the Muslim custom to prepare for prayer

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A Jewish-Muslim legal duo is turning heads in New York City 

April 15, 2019
In a world plagued by polarization and xenophobia, this Brooklyn judge and his law clerk rule in favor of peaceful coexistence.Judge Noach Dear, an Orthodox Jew, and his court attorney Deema Azizi, a Syrian Muslim refugee, have been turning heads at the New York Supreme Court since they began working together two years ago.“When people see Deema for the first time, they always do a double take,” he said. “With the response, ‘What a combination, an Orthodox Jew with a Syrian Muslim woman — it’s unbelieva

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How Hind Makki is changing the conversation around women's inclusion in mosques 

April 8, 2019
When Hind Makki leads workshops on inclusive mosques, she asks attendees what they do when they’re praying at the mosque and something goes wrong. What happens, for example, when the imam’s mic inevitably suddenly stops working? For men, the answer is usually simple. The imam speaks a bit louder, and those who still can’t hear the imam take their cues on when to stand, bend and bow from the row in front of them. “But for the women, they’re like, ‘It’s pandemonium,'” said Makki, a Chicago-based interfaith

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How new role models are inspiring young Muslim women to reimagine their lives 

April 1, 2019
When 23-year-old Rabia Khan was a student at Princeton University, she felt safe within the confines of its ivy-covered walls. That changed when she graduated. “I am hyperaware of whether someone will attack me or say racist things to me because I am hijabi,” Khan said. She is right to be concerned. A 2017 survey found that more than half of Muslim women living in the U.S. say they had experienced at least one incident of anti-Muslim discrimination in the last year. Women like Khan are watching closely as

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In Chicago, one mosque charts its own path 

March 28, 2019
On Friday afternoons, the tech startup staffers and other daily occupants of a downtown co-working space here are learning to coexist with a new neighbor down the hall: A small conference room on the third floor has been transformed into a Muslim prayer room. It’s not the most conventional setting for a mosque, but then little about Masjid al-Rabia is typical. Here, congregational prayer is typically led by a woman, as is the call to prayer. In fact, there’s no gender segregation of any sort: Men and wome

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We the (faithful) People: A coalition of religious groups is pushing to redefine faith in Colorado politics 

March 11, 2019
coalition of faith groups is showing up at the state capitol every Tuesday and taking on two big tasks: Pushing legislators for policy that reflects their values and trying to redefine the political voice of the faithful in Colorado. At the launch of Faithful Tuesdays in February, prayers from a Reform rabbi and a Unitarian pastor caused the heads of those gathered to bow, and short sermon-style speeches from a Catholic priest and an African Methodist Episcopal layperson echoed around the grand halls on th

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'This is about equality': Muslim couple produces braille Quran in English 

March 11, 2019
When Yadira Thabatah converted to Islam 13 years ago from Catholicism, she was eager to learn everything she could about her new religion. The only thing slowing Yadira down was that the 34-year-old mother of three living in Fort Worth, Tex., was born blind. When she and her husband, 33-year-old Nadir Thabatah, who is legally blind but has partial vision, looked for high-quality, English-language resources that she could read, they found nothing. So in 2017, she and Nadir decided it was time for some DIY

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Oklahoma governor welcomes Muslims to 'Day at the Capitol'

March 6, 2019
Oklahoma Muslims were surprised by an unexpected visitor on Monday at an annual advocacy gathering at the state Capitol. Gov. Kevin Stitt made an unscheduled visit to the 2019 "Muslim Day at the Capitol," becoming the first Oklahoma governor to greet Muslim participants in the event's five-year history. The day is designed to bring Muslims to the Capitol to...
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Muslim inmates sue over combined faith services in Arkansas prisons

March 6, 2019
Muslim prisoners in Arkansas have sued the state’s prison system for requiring them to attend a combined Friday prayer service with members of the Nation of Islam and Nation of Gods and Earths. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group, filed the lawsuit Mar. 1 against the Arkansas Department of Correction on behalf of Tucker Maximum Security Unit inmates Gregory Houston Holt, Rodney Martin and Wayde Stewart. Though the three groups, which overlap in their histories a

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Massachusetts Gets Its First Hair Salon Designed For Muslim Women

February 27, 2019
For most people, going to a beauty salon and getting a haircut is routine. But for Muslim women in Massachusetts who cover their hair for religious reasons, it can be a real challenge. At a traditional hair salon, they risk men seeing them without their headscarves on. But that is now changing. Massachusetts’ first salon and spa established specifically for Muslim women opened on Monday. Shamso Ahmed is the woman behind the new business. She says she’s been dreaming about this since she was a young girl. At the age of 10, Shamso Ahmed fled the civil war in Somalia and arrived in Boston... Read more about Massachusetts Gets Its First Hair Salon Designed For Muslim Women

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