Politics · Religion

Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day

Harris Zafar, a public speaker, writer and national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, visited Rice University hours before Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office. Speaking in front of thirty-five students in “Sociology of Religion,” a course which I guide, Zafar immediately noted the symbolic timing of his visit. There he stood,…… Continue reading Religious Pluralism and Common Sense on Trump’s Inauguration Day

Interfaith · Politics

Trump’s Benediction Incomplete Without Islam

Like many of you, I watched the Inauguration. The one thing that stood out most to me is the benediction, or blessing, after President Trump took the oath of office. A rabbi spoke first, followed by a reverend and then a bishop. Judaism was represented and Christianity too. These religious leaders talked about God, a…… Continue reading Trump’s Benediction Incomplete Without Islam

Islamophobia · Politics

Islamophobia and Catholicophobia – Everything Old is New Again

100 years ago, Americans talked about Catholics the way they talk about Muslims today. That is the title of a new article by German Lopez of Vox. Time and time again, polls and surveys have found that the majority of Americans have unfavorable views of Islam. Consider the following: 1) Muslims are viewed by the…… Continue reading Islamophobia and Catholicophobia – Everything Old is New Again

Politics

The Burqa – To Ban or Not to Ban?

How much of a threat can fully veiled Muslim women pose? Yasmeen Aftab Ali poses this question at the beginning of her new article in Pakistan Today. In recent years, countries such as France, Bulgaria, Egypt, Chad and Morocco have banned the burqa on the grounds that it poses a “security concern” or that the…… Continue reading The Burqa – To Ban or Not to Ban?

Politics

Prominent Organization Lists Trump as Threat To Human Rights

Human Rights Watch, a prominent American-founded international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, has recently published an article on the threat that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration poses to human rights. The organization said in a 687-page report: “Donald Trump’s election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence…… Continue reading Prominent Organization Lists Trump as Threat To Human Rights

Outreach

9 People Who Defended The Rights Of Muslims In 2016

I am honored to be among the individuals and communities recognized by Mvslim for taking a stand against Islamophobia in 2016. Mvslim is an ambitious forum created by millennials that are transforming our world today. They inspire the next generation to aim for the extraordinary. Tamim Mobayed, a Mvslim contributer, wrote: Irish American Dr Craig obtained his…… Continue reading 9 People Who Defended The Rights Of Muslims In 2016

Quoted

Tolerance Is a Vital Part of the Islamic Faith

An important article in The News International was published today. It touches on whether Muslims should greet Christians with Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The author of the piece, Aijaz Zaka Syed, was taken aback by the convoluted logic that Muslims are “aping the West” by sending warm greetings to Christians. Syed claims that the…… Continue reading Tolerance Is a Vital Part of the Islamic Faith

Interfaith

Christians and Muslims Gather at the Table of Coexistence, Friendship, and Fellowship

“Treat others how you would like to be treated.” That is the Golden Rule. As I have discussed in the Huffington Post, Jesus and Muhammad lived by this Rule. The legacy of Christ and the Prophet teach Christians and Muslims to overcome animosity and bigotry in favor of generosity and coexistence. It is in this spirit that…… Continue reading Christians and Muslims Gather at the Table of Coexistence, Friendship, and Fellowship

Interfaith

Faith Leaders in Berlin Protect the “Grey Zone” After Christmas Market Attack

“The world is falling apart.” A lot of people have used these words over the last few days. The attack in Germany and the utter destruction of Aleppo are just two examples that we see on a daily basis. Amidst the darkness, let me send you some words of encouragement. Do not let the misery and fear corrupt your mind,…… Continue reading Faith Leaders in Berlin Protect the “Grey Zone” After Christmas Market Attack

Outreach

A Letter After the Christmas Market Attack in Berlin

I received this message on Instagram after the Christmas Market attack in Berlin, Germany. [Dear Dr. Considine], I do not know if you read messages/reply to them. I just want to talk to someone who is educated enough (and obviously you are) on what I am going to say. I am a Muslim living in Berlin…… Continue reading A Letter After the Christmas Market Attack in Berlin

Islam

Praise of Prophet Muhammad Among Noteable Non-Muslims

If you follow my social media you know that I post regularly on the life of Prophet Muhammad. I have published a peer-reviewed journal article on his relations with Christians, and I have published extensively on his legacy in outlets like Huffington Post, Middle East Eye and Mvslim (also see the search results of “Prophet…… Continue reading Praise of Prophet Muhammad Among Noteable Non-Muslims

Islam · Islamic State

Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, as I wrote on Monday, has key lessons for our time. In the Sermon the Prophet of Islam provides an anti-racist stance that echoes Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Muhammad, like King, left humanity with a message of peace and goodwill. While history bears witness that Islamic…… Continue reading Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Islam

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon Has Key Lessons For Our Time

Writing for the Daily O, Moin Qazi claims that Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, delivered on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the tenth year of hijrah (632 AC), has key lessons for our time. In the sermon, the prophet of Islam stressed universal human values such as sacredness of life and property, equality, justice,…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon Has Key Lessons For Our Time

Islamophobia

What If “Moderate” Trump Fans Were Asked To Condemn Islamophobia?

Before you read any further, note this: I understand that not all Trump fans condone Islamophobia, understood broadly as a set of assumptions by which an individual or group holds and promotes anti-Islam or anti-Muslim sentiments. Here is a case in point – some of my friends voted for Trump. Do I think they are…… Continue reading What If “Moderate” Trump Fans Were Asked To Condemn Islamophobia?

Islamic State · Islamophobia · Politics

Trump’s Win is a Victory For ISIS

Yesterday, an Uber driver named Maurice dropped me off at Rice University, where I teach a course called “Muslims in American Society.” “Everyone should take that class,” Maurice told me, “It’s more important now than ever.” Maurice said that Muslims are good people, “just like you and I.” We proceeded to talk about the victory…… Continue reading Trump’s Win is a Victory For ISIS

Work

Islam in the 2016 Presidential Election

“Even before the beginning of the current election campaign cycle, the rhetoric that has been espoused by presidential candidates, at least in contemporary times, has been relatively unabashed in regards to the way that Muslims are spoken about on the campaign trail. Muslims have often been used as political pawns in a struggle for politicians…… Continue reading Islam in the 2016 Presidential Election

Interfaith

When People of Faith Meet Around Their Scriptures

You know I’m a proponent of interfaith studies. I’ve studied Islam as a Catholic for over 12 years now. One thing I’ve realized is the importance of studying together – like actually sitting down with someone outside of your specific tradition. Go over the texts together. Interpret together. Dissect controversial passages together. Break bread together.…… Continue reading When People of Faith Meet Around Their Scriptures

Islam · Music

Hip-Hop’s Muslim American Influence

Here is another excellent blog post by four students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University. “Learning about the influence of Islam in hip-hop is important for a multitude reasons that impact both people in and out of the Muslim American community. Firstly, it highlights the contributions that Muslims have made to…… Continue reading Hip-Hop’s Muslim American Influence

Islam

Muslim Women at Rice University Explain Why They Do – And Do Not – Cover

Three students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University wanted to learn more about why young Muslim women do – and do not – cover. To explore this issue of covering the students interviewed four of their peers. Here is a passage from one of the four interviews: When I come to…… Continue reading Muslim Women at Rice University Explain Why They Do – And Do Not – Cover

Islam · Islamic State

Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islamic teaching does not justify the Islamic State’s (ISIS) persecution of Christians, based on a study on Prophet Mohammed’s previously untranslated writing. Rice University professor Dr. Craig Considine, who authored a study on Prophet Mohammed’s writings from 622 to 632 AD, says the writings indicate that Christians who lived in Arabic communities were protected. Considine says…… Continue reading Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islam · Sociology

Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

The “monolith” of Muslim identity is a dangerous misconception when applied to Muslim women. By suggesting that all Muslims experience their identity in similar ways, the unique experiences of Muslim women are erased from the conversations regarding identity. Instead, their experiences and identity formation should be appreciated through the “double disadvantage” they hold as their…… Continue reading Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

Sociology

Race is a Social Construct, Not a Biological Reality

You’ve seen it on my page before – “race is a social construct and not a biological reality.” Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah of NYU is a leading thinker on this subject, and he concurs: “The way we talk about race today is just incoherent. The thing about race is that it is a form of…… Continue reading Race is a Social Construct, Not a Biological Reality

Islam · Islamophobia

The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

By John Smelcer and Craig Considine Sometime between 622 and 632 A.D., during what is called “The Medina Years,” the Prophet Muhammad decreed a series of covenants specifically addressing Christians in the region… For the most part, these covenants have been neglected or forgotten in the Western world, although religious scholars have been aware of their…… Continue reading The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

Quoted

Quoted in “Two Cases of Terrorism”

A new Barbados Today article by Suleiman Bulbulia of the Barbados Muslim Association discusses my blog post titled “Why Celebrating Columbus Day Is like Celebrating ISIS.” He wrote the following. Terrorism in all its forms must be condemned. Whether by a group of radicals, fanatics or fundamentalists or by a group of men and women in uniforms.…… Continue reading Quoted in “Two Cases of Terrorism”

Publications · Quoted

From Islamic History, Lessons on Religious Freedom

Rice Magazine (Summer, 2016: p. 19) wrote a short piece on my research paper on Prophet Muhammad’s covenants with Christians. Author Amy McCaig wrote: “Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a ‘Muslim nation,’ according to a new analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians. Research by Rice…… Continue reading From Islamic History, Lessons on Religious Freedom

Islam · Islamic State · Islamophobia

Jihad: Striving for Peace

Students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University have produced some excellent material to counter the Islamophobia industry. Here is the latest peace on dismantling the idea that “jihad means violence.” I highly recommend that you read the entire blog. A few passages to get you started… “I think all of us recognize…… Continue reading Jihad: Striving for Peace

Islamophobia

Unpacking Islamophobia: History, Politics and Industry

Students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University are writing blog posts over the course of the semester. Small groups have been assigned on students’ areas of interest including Islamophobia, jihad, Christian-Muslim relations, Islam and hip-hop, and Muslims in the 2016 presidential election. Here is the first blog post titled “Unpacking Islamophobia:…… Continue reading Unpacking Islamophobia: History, Politics and Industry

Islam · Video

Video: The Legacy of Imam WD Mohammed

Imam Wazir Ali and Imam Qasim Ahmed came to guest lecture in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University. Earlier in the week, I covered the rise of the Nation of Islam and the life of Elijah Mohammed as well as Malcolm X. Naturally we had to move on to the legacy of Imam…… Continue reading Video: The Legacy of Imam WD Mohammed

Personal

This Christian Is Unfazed By Islamophobes

  My social media accounts have received more nasty comments than usual. I am not sure what has sparked this development, as I have been relatively quiet due to teaching obligations. I want to take a second to reflect on some things that have been on my mind. These nasty comments directed towards me certainly…… Continue reading This Christian Is Unfazed By Islamophobes

Outreach · Quoted

Panel Addresses Misconceptions of Islamic Faith

The Religion and Public Life Program held a panel in an effort to address common misconceptions about the Islamic faith on Thursday. The panel consisted of three guests: Imam Wazir Ali, the imam of two mosques in Houston; Craig Considine, lecturer of sociology at Rice University and M. Hasna Maznavi, founder and president of the…… Continue reading Panel Addresses Misconceptions of Islamic Faith

Politics

Trump’s “Bowl of Skittles” Linked to Nazi Propaganda

By now, you have probably heard about Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet comparing a bowl of Skittles to Syrian refugees. As The Intercept has pointed out, this kind of rhetoric has deep roots in anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda. The Intercept writes: The concept dates back at least to 1938 and a children’s book called Der Giftpilz, or…… Continue reading Trump’s “Bowl of Skittles” Linked to Nazi Propaganda

Islamophobia

After NYC Bombs, We Need to Talk About Islamo-racism

In the aftermath of the NYC bombs, Donald Trump called for increased racial profiling of Muslims. “Our local police – they know who a lot of these [Muslims] are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of profiling,” Trump said on Fox News on Monday. Trump pointed to how…… Continue reading After NYC Bombs, We Need to Talk About Islamo-racism

Islamophobia

Muslim Woman in NYC Lit on Fire – This is Why We Say “Islamophobia is Racism”

This is why we say “Islamophobia is racism.” A Muslim woman walking on the streets of NYC was literally lit on fire by a “stranger.” She was targeted based on her “traditional clothing,” or her physical appearance. Her body was used as a “text” of sort to categorize, label, and demonize. Her article of clothing…… Continue reading Muslim Woman in NYC Lit on Fire – This is Why We Say “Islamophobia is Racism”

Quoted

9/11 Made Me Hate Prophet Muhammad, But Now He’s My Role Model, Says a Catholic

A big thank you to the Muslim Council of Hong Kong for shedding more light on my research and spiritual/intellectual growth. Here is what they have to say: Dr. Craig Considine, a Catholic Irish, is a well-known sociologist at Rice University in Houston, USA. Last year, he tweeted about 9/11 and Prophet Muhammad. A tweet…… Continue reading 9/11 Made Me Hate Prophet Muhammad, But Now He’s My Role Model, Says a Catholic

Outreach

Rice University Discussion to Break Stereotypes of Muslim Americans

One word – Islamophobia – captures Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the American political scene. Over the course of the last year, Trump has called for the following: a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States; closure of mosques; possibly putting Muslims in internment camps; and “absolutely” requiring Muslims to…… Continue reading Rice University Discussion to Break Stereotypes of Muslim Americans

Personal

What I Will Never Forget About 9/11

Here is a slightly different perspective of what I will #NeverForget about 9/11. Before I do that, I want to say that I grieve the loss of all souls that passed away on that day, and every other day where humanity crumbles because of outrageous acts of mass murder. My heart goes out to the…… Continue reading What I Will Never Forget About 9/11

Work

Rabwah Times Interview on Islam and Religious Freedom

It was an honor to talk to Dr. Kashif Chaudhry of Rabwah Times, an excellent news source which I hope everyone will follow via social media. Dr. Chaudhry and I covered a range of topics including: 1) my trip to Jalsa USA 2016; 2) Islamophobia as racism; 3) “true Islam” and religious freedom; 4) motivation…… Continue reading Rabwah Times Interview on Islam and Religious Freedom

Islam · Islamophobia · Outreach

Teaching “Muslim Americans” in Texas, the Hotbed of Islamophobia

“Armed and Vigilant: In Fear of a Muslim Uprising in Texas.” That is that title of a recent Al Jazeera mini-documentary on YouTube. The clip delves into the inflammatory anti-Muslim sentiment bubbling up in Texas. In the video, Tania Rashid, an Al Jazeera reporter, talks to David Wright, a member of the Bureau on American-Islamic…… Continue reading Teaching “Muslim Americans” in Texas, the Hotbed of Islamophobia

Islamophobia

Definitions of “Islamophobe”

For the last several months on Twitter, I have responded to Islamophobic comments by coming up with different definitions of an “Islamophobe.” Here is a compilation of my definitions. Leave your own definitions in the comment section. Perhaps in the future I can put together another post with all of your contributions. ****** Islamophobe (noun)…… Continue reading Definitions of “Islamophobe”

Islamic State

Research Shows ISIS and Boko Haram Don’t Know Anything About Islam

ISIS and Boko Haram are two of the world’s most notorious “radical Islamic groups.” You’ll rarely – if ever – hear about these groups without also seeing terms like Islam, Muslim, radical, jihad, Quran, extremism, and so on. ISIS and Boko Haram, we are told, represent “Islamic values” intertwined with a political dimension. New documents,…… Continue reading Research Shows ISIS and Boko Haram Don’t Know Anything About Islam

Politics · Quoted

New Documentary to Shed Light on Muslims in the U.S. Military

Antonia Bloomberg, who writes for The Huffington Post, cited an article I wrote last year in her new piece titled “Documentary To Shed Light On Untold Stories Of Muslims In The U.S. Military.” She wrote:

Video

Video: Speech at Annual Ahmadiyya Convention

Here is the 8 minute speech I gave this past weekend – I talk about religious pluralism, Prophet Muhammad and DEUCE.

Video

Interview at the Ahmadiyya Convention (USA) With Rabwah Times

Rabwah Times is an online news publication which started off from the town of Rabwah, Pakistan as a community project back in 2006. Rabwah is a small town in Pakistan’s Punjab province and is home to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Pakistan. The mainstream media frequently ignored the pleas of the minority muslim sect as it’s residents were pushed to the wall by extremists who illegally…… Continue reading Interview at the Ahmadiyya Convention (USA) With Rabwah Times

News · Quoted

Quoted in “Slain French Priest Was Attack on ‘All of Us'”

Father Jacques Hamel’s gruesome murder in northern France July 26 – by men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State – prompted sorrow and outrage from Muslim leaders around the world. Carol Zimmerman of Catholic News Service called me shortly after the murder to gain insight on how a Catholic like myself views Hamel’s murder. Here…… Continue reading Quoted in “Slain French Priest Was Attack on ‘All of Us'”

Video

Video: Islamophobia and ISIS – Two Sides of the Same Coin

Quoted

Cited in “These Facebook Posts Reveal a Depressing Reality About What We Do When Terror Attacks Occur”

A Independent Journal Review piece by Conor Swanberg cites my recent Tweet on how social media profiles interpret so-called “terrorist” attacks. Swanberg writes: Dr. Craig Considine, a sociologist at Rice University, has noticed some trends in how people use social media to respond to tragedy. He notes four predictable stages that the average Facebook user goes through surrounding a…… Continue reading Cited in “These Facebook Posts Reveal a Depressing Reality About What We Do When Terror Attacks Occur”

Politics

Would Trump Allow the Call To Prayer in the White House?

Qasim Rashid, an Ahmadi American, is my good friend. Years ago, his family fled Pakistan, a country that deems Ahmadis as “non-Muslim”. Ahmadis in Pakistan are persecuted to the point where they are openly murdered without any ramifications for the murderers. Ahmadis cannot refer to their places of worship as “mosques”. They also cannot use the term assalamalaikum,…… Continue reading Would Trump Allow the Call To Prayer in the White House?

Islamophobia · Quoted

Cited in “Pauline Hanson’s Claims on Islam, Broken Down”

A new News.com.au piece by Emma Reynolds cites my article “Muslims Aren’t A Race, So I Can’t Be Racist, Right? Wrong”. Reynolds wrote the following: Sociologist Craig Considine points out in the Huffington Post that White and Black, Asian and Indigenous Americans are not races either. He says race is not a biological reality but…… Continue reading Cited in “Pauline Hanson’s Claims on Islam, Broken Down”

Interfaith · Islam

Why This Christian Is An “Islamic Apologist”

Leftist. Liberal. Progressive. Communist. People hurl these terms at me on an hourly basis via social media. They are overused and misused so much that they no longer have any meaning to me. I do not self-identify myself with any of these labels. Placing me into these categories is nonsense. I am none of these things,…… Continue reading Why This Christian Is An “Islamic Apologist”

Islam · Islamic State

Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It

Here is one of my favourite stories about Prophet Muhammad. It is noted in a hadith that he and several of his companions were sitting down along a street in Medina. Suddenly, a companion spotted a funeral procession approaching the group. In respect of the dead human body, Muhammad stood up as the procession crossed…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It