The following article was first published on Newsweek.com. Here is an excerpt: Perhaps most importantly, [Prophet Muhammad] knew when to balance faith with reason. In recent weeks, some have gone so far as to suggest that prayer would be better at keeping you from the coronavirus than adhering to basic rules of social distancing and…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad and Coronavirus: Prayer is Not Enough
Freedom of religion in Islamic history is not merely a theory or a figment of our imagination. It is a historical reality. Consider the following examples: When the Christians of Najran visited Muhammad’s mosque in Medina When the Abyssinian King welcomed Muslim refugees during the first hijra When the Jews and Muslims came together and…… Continue reading Jews, Christians, and Muslims See Eye to Eye
Published on Loon Watch Robert Spencer, the administrator of the blog JihadWatch, is known for painting all Muslims as extremists. In a recent post titled “Akbar Ahmed, advocate of ‘dialogue,’ claims ‘Islamophobes’ are ‘linking Islam to violence, terrorism and intolerance,” Spencer argues that Professor Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University…… Continue reading A Refutation of Robert Spencer’s Post on Professor Akbar Ahmed
Nelson Mandela, the South African liberator of hearts and minds, has passed away to his Creator. What inspires me most about his life is his capacity to forgive: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your…… Continue reading Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness
The writings of Jalalud’din Rumi, the 13th century Sufi Muslim philosopher from modern-day Afghanistan, and the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century Christian transcendentalist from Boston, Massachusetts, are filled with lessons that enrich every human soul. Rumi’s and Emerson’s similar thoughts on religious tolerance, love, and care for the soul can help bridge…… Continue reading Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World
About two weeks ago I finished an article that compared the concept of “jihad,” which literally means “to struggle” in Arabic, through the lens of Christianity and Islam. The article, which the Huffington Post Religion published, caused uproar in the “Islamophobia industry” for its attempt to build bridges between Christians and Muslims. Unfortunately, interfaith dialogue…… Continue reading How to Respond to the “Islamophobia Industry”
I think you would be surprised at how much anti-American backlash I have to entertain when I’m not in the U.S., my country of birth. Just the other night, I had an earful from two young and intelligent Irish women who bashed America for everything under the sun. Nothing I could say or do would…… Continue reading Zimmerman not guilty: Another reason for the world to hate Americans
Dear Pope Francis, I have had the utmost admiration for you. Your new leadership in terms of interfaith relations, especially with Muslims, is such a breath of fresh air. You are such a welcoming leader. We can see it in your beautiful smile. We can see it in your everyday actions. You have made us…… Continue reading Letter to Pope Francis on Child Sex Abuse Scandal
John Zawahri has been identified as the killer who went on the terrible rampage in Santa Monica, California. Reports at the moment suggest that Zawahri’s parents were going through a divorce and that the parental split might have been the reason he killed his brother and father. Reports also suggest that he had problems in…… Continue reading John Zawahri: The Latest “Muslim Sounding Name”
In a recent article for Yahoo Contributors Network, Maryam Khan Ansari wrote about how internet postings with anti-Muslim hate messages may soon be subject to federal criminal laws. In her article, Ansari discussed how Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, has plans to use federal civil rights laws to curb hate speech,…… Continue reading How George Washington and Prophet Muhammad Would React to Hate Speech
In seventh century Arabia, a middle-aged man had a vision to create a new religious and social order for a largely pagan and tribal society. The man, Muhammad, told his band of followers to behave wisely and civilly. “The best among you,” he said, “are those who have the best manners and character.” More than…… Continue reading An Unlikely Connection Between the Prophet Muhammad and George Washington
Although they are typically seen to represent overwhelming opposites, the Prophet Muhammad and America’s founding fathers shared many common characteristics and beliefs, which can be seen in historical documents. By comparing the speeches and texts that they left behind, we can learn of the similar viewpoints that Muhammad and the founding fathers held on issues…… Continue reading Documents Show Prophet Muhammad and US Founding Fathers Were Kindred Spirits
Here’s another interesting response to yesterday’s post. I’m interested in hearing how people would answer the question in the title. I don’t believe extremism, like ignorance, can be reasoned with. It comes from such a deep place inside someone, a place of fear. I think even Jesus recognized some people were not able to be…… Continue reading Can we reason with religious extremists?
Yesterday I posted a response to a recent poem about my own religious beliefs. Here is a lovely and important message in response to the post and poem: Hey Craig! That was a simple poem with a lovely sentiment. Thanks for that. As a Muslim, I would’ve been outraged before. But I’m beginning to see that…… Continue reading I Call His God “Allah,” He Calls My Allah “God”
In the face of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, or whatever you call hate in modern America, I am still optimistic about the future of the United States. From day one, the mission of America has been progress, progress, progress. We need thoughtful writers and bridge builders to keep it going. There are thousands and thousands of…… Continue reading Reflecting on the state and future of American exceptionalism
Note: My fellow Needhamite Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal Ph.D. wrote a powerful response in Wicked Local Needham to the Boston marathon bombings. Dr. Asmal previously served as president of the Islamic Center of Boston and the Islamic Council of New England. He is a retired physician and is also a current member of Needham Clergy Association…… Continue reading Seeing our humanity and fragile existence through the Boston bombings
By Qasim Rashid for Huffington Post Religion Muslims condemned 9/11, we condemned 7/7, we condemned the Fort Hood tragedy, we condemned the underwear bomber, we condemned the Times Square bomber, and now yet again we find ourselves condemning the Boston Bombers on the mere suspicion that they were “motivated by Islam.” And this is why…… Continue reading America is under threat from radical ignorance, not radical Islam
The recent article titled White Power to the Rescue by the intellectual Chris Hedges explored the reasons for the current rise of ethnic nationalism in the American South. In the second to last paragraph, Hedges described the mental and emotional state of those behind this ethnic nationalist movement. This paragraph struck me as symbolic because of…… Continue reading The Anti-Muslim Mind-Frame and How it Operates
Huffington Post Religion In seventh century Arabia, a middle-aged man had a vision to create a new religious and social order for a largely pagan and tribal society. The man, Muhammad, told his band of followers to behave wisely and civilly. “The best among you,” he said, “are those who have the best manners and…… Continue reading New article in Huffington Post on the Prophet Muhammad and George Washington
Many Americans around the United States are making a fuss about Al Jazeera’s purchase of Current TV, which will allow the Arab based channel to air its content in the United States. Some Americans have called Al Jazeera a threat to national security, while others have even suggested that Al Jazeera spreads anti-Semitic propaganda. The Fox News commentator,…… Continue reading The similarities between Al Jazeera and Fox News
This morning I picked up Jacob Needleman’s The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders in the hope of finding some useful material on my dissertation on pluralism and the founding fathers. But early in my reading, I was distracted by Needleman’s discussion of materialism and its impact on our health as Americans, and…… Continue reading Is materialism destroying us?
I’ve watched the news. I’ve read all kinds of news sources. I’m disgusted, upset, and frustrated. I can’t even stomach the hate and ignorance I see in people. It’s not easy to bite my tongue, but I do it anyways. On several occasions, I’ve written entire posts on how I feel about the situation, but every…… Continue reading My Few Words on the :atest Crisis in Gaza
The United States is not and never has been a ‘Christian nation’. America’s Founding Fathers explicitly designed the country on pluralist grounds and encouraged Americans to accept people of all religious backgrounds. This is why the actions of a junior high school teacher named Linda White of Mississippi are so anti-American. White told her students…… Continue reading Commentary: It’s anti-American to care about the President’s religion
I added this comment to the heated debate surrounding Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s article, 5 Things Americans Need to Know About Pakistan, in The Huffington Post: THE POINT OF THE ARTICLE is to highlight some of the more positive things about Pakistan and Pakistanis which are often neglected in the U.S. and beyond. It appears that…… Continue reading Commentary: Defending the peacemaker and bridge-builder
So the E.U. at large has received the 2012 Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize. I’ve put Peace in quotes because it seems the Nobel committee has lost sight of what that word means. Obama won it a few years ago even as he escalated several wars around the world, violated human rights, and blatantly ignored international law.…… Continue reading Commentary: The meaning of ‘Peace’ in the Nobel Peace Prize
Columbus Day. A day where many Americans celebrate the ‘discovery’ of America. Why do we glorify it? For us thinking people, we realize that Columbus didn’t discover anything. In fact, he stumbled across a civilization, which he wrote about in his famous diary: They… brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many…… Continue reading The Stupidity of Celebrating Columbus’s ‘Discovery’
The BBC writes: The French president has promised the Jewish community a major increase in security after police shot dead a man suspected of targeting a kosher shop. Francois Hollande said there would be ‘total mobilisation of the state to fight all terrorist threats’. What Hollande is doing for the French Jewish community – providing…… Continue reading Commentary: France boosts synagogue security while the U.S. ignores mosque security
The biggest problem facing the world today is APATHY. People either don’t care at all about our common plight, or don’t care about the right things. People want to indulge in their pleasures, take part only in things that make them happy, and ignore the complicated issues just because they have lazy minds, or because…… Continue reading Personal: Apathy and Fear vs. Caring and Courage
The arsonist attack at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo adds to the growing concern that the constitutional right to worship freely is not safeguarded when it comes American Muslims. In the summer of 2012, 8 mosques were attacked in just eleven days (Salon.com). In Joplin, Missouri, a mosque was destroyed by an arsonist; the same…… Continue reading Commentary: Time for Obama to say something about mosque attacks across U.S.
I’m off to the Garda office on the Quays to become a ‘legal’ immigrant in Ireland. The last time I was there an immigration officer called me an ‘illegal’ immigrant, a popular term used to describe undocumented people in the U.S. The term ‘illegal’, however, is misleading. In the U.S., for example, it’s not a…… Continue reading Commentary: On being the ‘illegal’ immigrant
Today is August 30, 2012. It’s 9:00 am. Like on every other morning, I have taken a very quick glimpse at the homepage of Fox News, the ‘Fair and Balanced’ ‘news outlet’, to gage where the right and far right are basing their political arguments. Like on every other morning, I am pretty appalled. Look at…… Continue reading Commentary: Fox ‘News’ homepage reads as a tabloid, not the most ‘trusted name in news’
Ibn Percy just blogged about Muslim Graves Defaced With Words of Hate. Whoever was behind this crime should visit Arlington National Cemetery so they can see that Muslim Americans have died in some of the US’s wars. Would these criminals deface those tombstones or are they off-limits? I have blogged about my visit to Arlington…… Continue reading Attacks on Muslim gravestones
An article Reflections of a Concerned Young American for Pakistan Link when I was a senior at American University, Washington, DC. Unfortunately one sentence from the article still rings true today. Some have already begun the fight against ignorance and misunderstanding surrounding Islam, but citizens who continue to malign Islam without truly understanding the religion…… Continue reading Article from 2007: Reflections of a Concerned Young American
Dear my Israeli donor friends, I have some ideas. Don’t tell ANYONE what I’m about to propose. Donate $10 million to my campaign and the US will strike Iranian nuclear sites with missiles by February 2013. Of course that’s if I’m elected President. Donate $40 million to my campaign and the US will invade Iran…… Continue reading Politics: What Romney said behind closed doors in Jerusalem
I just had a Twitter conversation with a presumably white, southern man who had argued that the real definition of the Confederate flag is pride in the confederacy and states rights and only these two things. I told him that he needs to be careful with such bold definitions because this was his subjective interpretation. He proceeded…… Continue reading What Does the Confederate Flag Mean?
Mr. Harris, I want to challenge your comment that Americans need to be concerned about the loyalty of Muslim Americans. I want to do so through a story of my own experience. Throughout 2008 and 2009, I was conducting research under Professor Akbar Ahmed of American University with the hope of better understanding American identity…… Continue reading Response to Founder and Chairman of Original North Phoenix Tea Party
To suggest otherwise and insist that acts of terrorism must be premised on an established ideology or discernible beliefs would be to place subjective motivation above objective action. It would be to posit, in effect, that the “terrorism” definition applies without question to those who claim some allegiance to radical Islam, regardless of their psychological…… Continue reading Politics: Call James Holmes what he is – a TERRORIST
I have an issue with the Vatican stripping Pontifical Catholic University of Peru of its right to call itself Catholic or Pontifical. This stripping is bothersome for several reasons. The first reason is that it only further amplifies the reputation of the Catholic Church as an archaic, authoritative, and out-of-touch institution which tries to conform…… Continue reading My spat with the Vatican
I woke up to this comment on my blog ‘Why the “Free” in Murfreesboro bugs me’: The author of this blog is a naive, at best. Islam is a totalitarian ideology like Communism or, more closely related, Nazi-fascism. It controls every aspect of a Muslim’s life with Shari’ah Law. Ask Europe, the Mideast, Asia, Australia,…… Continue reading Commentary: What the standard American bigot says about ‘the Jihad’
Texas Representative Louie Gohmert is one of several members of Congress who decided (stupidly) to sign the now infamous ‘Bachmann letter’, which accused Huma Abedin’s PARENTS for being the reason the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ has ‘infiltrated’ the US State Department. Yes, you read that correctly. Abdein’s PARENTS have successfully infiltrated the US State Department.
Have you heard about the ‘European problem’? To your likely surprise, the problem has nothing to do with debt, sovereignty, Brussels, or the devaluing euro. As George Weigel posits in The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God, the ‘European problem’ is atheistic humanism or, as he often calls it in more academic…… Continue reading Religion: Atheistic humanism in The Cube and the Cathedral
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, amongst these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’. – Thomas Jefferson I’m proud to be an American if we adhere to this framework both on the domestic front and…… Continue reading Personal: My declaration on the 4th of July
The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is, amazingly, telling the people of Galway to not erect a Che Guevara Memorial statue. Florida, I should note, is roughly 4,000 miles away from Galway. And Che, if you aren’t aware, has Irish roots with the Lynch family (of Galway). Now,…… Continue reading My point on the Che Guevara statue in Galway
I just finished reading an interesting article given to me by Ronit Lentin titled ‘Islamophobia: a very (Post)modern fear?’. It was written by Pnina Werbner as a presented paper at the Closing Conference of Cost A2 in Brussels, December 7-9, 1995. One particular point of Werbner’s stuck out from the rest, which is, the concept…… Continue reading The “Fundamentalist” Folk Devil
One thing that I find puzzling is the notion that Obama ‘isn’t as bad as Bush’ when it comes to death, destruction, and the illegality of US foreign policy. For me, when I indulge in such conversations to prove why Obama is actually quite similar to Bush in these regards, I tend to use the not so…… Continue reading Who’s the Master of the Drone?
According to the BBC, a US drone strike has killed at least eight people in a volatile tribal area of north-west Pakistan. This is the second strike in the area in 24 hours. At least four suspected militants were killed on Wednesday. US drone strikes in Pakistan are highly controversial. Are they legal? What about the…… Continue reading Drones over the ‘suspected militants’ in Pakistan
Ross Caputi, a Marine who served in the American occupation of Fallujah, Iraq, recently published in article in the Guardian which I found extremely powerful. Caputi was writing on the recent conviction of Tarek Mehanna, a Muslim American who was found guilty of conspiracy and giving material support for terrorism. He was sentenced to 17…… Continue reading Marine stands by Muslim American convicted of ‘terrorism’
In case you haven’t noticed, I run another blog for an Introduction to Sociology course for first year students here at Trinity College Dublin. I try to post something 4 or 5 times per week to keep students engaged in current events and other academic insights. My latest post explores the question ‘Can President Obama…… Continue reading Questions about President Obama’s St Patrick’s Day 2012 speech