Politics

Politics of Grieving – Do Nigerian Muslim Lives Matter?

A suicide attack at a mosque in Mubi, northeastern Nigeria, has killed at least 50 people, Al Jazeera has said. The explosion occurred during morning prayers. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram carries out regular attacks in the region. Some 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram’s eight-year insurgency. The BBC…… Continue reading Politics of Grieving – Do Nigerian Muslim Lives Matter?

Politics

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Says Rohingya Face Genocide

Wake up, people. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, D.C.) and Fortify Rights, an NGO that investigates human rights violations in Southeast Asia, said in a recent report that Myanmar’s state security forces appear to have “targeted the Rohingya group with several of the enumerated acts in the law of genocide.” Genocide. In 2017. The…… Continue reading U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Says Rohingya Face Genocide

Interfaith

Peacekeeping Vs. Peacemaking: What’s the Difference?

Back in 2008, I had the opportunity to meet with Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl. Following the murder of his son, Judea reached out to people across the United States hoping to counter religious extremism and build bridges of understanding between people of different faith communities. I asked Judea if he could tell…… Continue reading Peacekeeping Vs. Peacemaking: What’s the Difference?

History · Interfaith

Why a Muslim Holds the Key to the Holiest Church in Christendom

During the Caliphate of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, Muslims started to expand northwards into the lands of the Byzantine Empire. The majority of the Christians in the region were Monophysites, who had a more monotheistic view of God that was similar to what the new Muslims were preaching, as Lost Islamic History notes. “They welcomed Muslim…… Continue reading Why a Muslim Holds the Key to the Holiest Church in Christendom

Politics · Religion

The Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence

Imagine…. Imagine if people blamed Christianity for this act of violence. Imagine if people searched frantically through the Bible in the hope of digging up verses which could have justified this action (which is entirely possible). Imagine if people used this attack to pass legislation banning all Christians from entering the country. Imagine if people…… Continue reading The Christian Double Standard on Religious Violence

Work

Islam and the People of The Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet

I am  excited to share the new book of John Andrew Morrow (editor), Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. My own chapter in the book focuses on how the Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time embodied the spirit of religious pluralism. Islam…… Continue reading Islam and the People of The Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet

History

Viking and Muslim Interactions: The Untold Stories

The History channel’s original drama television series – Vikings – is one of my favorite programs. The world of the Vikings is brought to life through the journey of Ragnar Lodbrok, the first Viking to emerge from Norse legend, and his family members. The television series transports viewers to the mysterious world of Viking farmers…… Continue reading Viking and Muslim Interactions: The Untold Stories

Politics

The Muslim Nation as a Civic Nation

Scholars have dedicated much time and effort to unpack the various kinds of nation-building projects, but the distinction between “civic nation” versus “ethnic nation” is perhaps the most widely-employed conceptual building block in the study of nationhood and national identity. While these types of nations share common elements like historical territory and common culture, they…… Continue reading The Muslim Nation as a Civic Nation

Work

The Latest Wave of Islamophobia: Hate Crimes Against Non-Muslims

The USA Today reports a Delaware man threatened his neighbors who he believed to be Muslims. The man – Gerard Medvec (63 years old) – alluded to firebombing their house – or “taking the fight to them” – and said he “seriously thought about throwing some Molotov cocktails” at his neighbors’ house, according to court…… Continue reading The Latest Wave of Islamophobia: Hate Crimes Against Non-Muslims

Book Reviews

Book Review | Craig Considine’s “Islam, Race and Pluralism” Provides a Path to Unity

By Damir Rafi An Irish Muslim willing to sacrifice his life for his new country; A second-generation Pakistani in diaspora embodying the American Dream; an Ahmadi emigrating to America due to violent persecution in his previous homeland; a doctor working abroad to provide for his family thousands of miles away. Craig Considine’s new book, Islam, Race…… Continue reading Book Review | Craig Considine’s “Islam, Race and Pluralism” Provides a Path to Unity

Talks

Dialogue Matters: Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

On December 1st, 2017 I will be speaking at the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in Dallas, Texas. The event starts at 7:00PM. The title of the talk is “Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam.” I will be engaging mainly with the concept of religious pluralism and how it relates to the…… Continue reading Dialogue Matters: Christian Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

Politics

The Rohingya Are the New Palestinians

The systematic persecution of Palestinians has long occupied a place in the consciousness of the ummah, the global community of Muslims. Muslims worldwide have watched for decades as Palestinians have been repeatedly displaced, subjected to disproportionate collective punishment, and denied statehood. While the Israeli occupation continues to stir up feelings of anger and powerlessness, another ethnic…… Continue reading The Rohingya Are the New Palestinians

Islamophobia · Racialization and Racism · Racism

Islamophobia Represents a Form of Racism Mixed with Cultural Intolerance

Published by Amy McCaig at Rice University News and Media Islamophobia represents a form of racism mixed with cultural intolerance as a whole, rather than simply intolerance of Muslims and Islam, according to a new paper from a Rice University sociologist. “The Racialization of Islam in the United States: Islamophobia, Hate Crimes and ‘Flying While…… Continue reading Islamophobia Represents a Form of Racism Mixed with Cultural Intolerance

Irish identity · Islam

The Fusion of Sufism and Irish Identity

An excerpt from Chapter 5: “The ‘good Muslim’/’bad Muslim’ dichotomy” in Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora (Routledge, 2017) by Craig Considine What do we know of Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and its links to Irish mysticism? To put it simply, not much. ‘Mysticism’ is a type of spirituality aimed at union with the…… Continue reading The Fusion of Sufism and Irish Identity

Racialization and Racism

Sharia, Sikhs and the Racialization of Islam

Jagmeet (Jimmy) Singh Dhaliwal (pictured) is a Canadian politician who represents the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Matlon in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. From 2015-2017 Jagmeet served as deputy leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. He is also the first turban-wearing Sikh to sit as a provincial legislator in Ontaria. Jagmeet made headlines in a Huff Post…… Continue reading Sharia, Sikhs and the Racialization of Islam

Politics

Catholic Bishop in CAR Gives Refuge to 2,000 Muslims Fleeing Christian Militias

Juan José Aguirre Munoz, a Spanish-born Catholic bishop in the Central African Republic (CAR), has given refuge to 2,000 Muslims who are living in fear of attacks from a mainly Christian militia. Munoz’s church compound is based in the south-eastern city of Bangassou. CAR has been experiencing sectarian violence since 2013, when the largely Muslim…… Continue reading Catholic Bishop in CAR Gives Refuge to 2,000 Muslims Fleeing Christian Militias

News · Personal

Gulf News Interview: “The Making of a More Cohesive Society”

Syed Hamad Ali of Gulf News carried out an interview on my new book, Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora. In addition to diving into the book, Ali’s article sheds light on Pakphobia, a term I introduce in the book, Islamophobia, Muslim Diasporas, American/Irish identities, white nationalism and racial profiling. You can read…… Continue reading Gulf News Interview: “The Making of a More Cohesive Society”

Politics

It’s Time for World Leaders to Finally Stop the Slow Genocide of Rohingya Muslims

Speaking recently to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Francis called for an end to the violent persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Pope, who has promoted the “dialogue of civilizations” and the “culture of encounters,” continues to be a vocal advocate of religious freedom and critic of…… Continue reading It’s Time for World Leaders to Finally Stop the Slow Genocide of Rohingya Muslims

Books

Library Availability for Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

Last updated November 13, 2017 Thank you for showing interest in Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora. If you are reading this post, you are likely to be interested in reading the book. Below is a list of library locations where the book can be accessed. It is available in either hardcover or…… Continue reading Library Availability for Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

Islamophobia · Publications · Racism

The Racialization of Islam in the United States

My new peer-reviewed journal article is now published by Religions. Here is the abstract: This paper explores the intersectionality of race and Islamophobia by using a set of empirical data relating to the experiences of American Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States. Through a multi-tiered methodology, the paper reveals how racialization processes interact with…… Continue reading The Racialization of Islam in the United States

Interfaith

Top Allies of Pope Francis Denounce Islamophobic Views of Some U.S. Christians

The Independent published an important piece on Pope Francis’ effort to combat Islamophobia and promote the dialogue of civilizations between Muslims and Christians. Two people close to Pope Francis – Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa (a Protestant) – wrote a joint article in La Civiltà Cattolica, a journal published by Jesuit priests in Rome and…… Continue reading Top Allies of Pope Francis Denounce Islamophobic Views of Some U.S. Christians

Politics

Presidential Silence is Complicity

Mark Dayton, the governor of Minnesota, denounced the recent bomb attack on a mosque in Minnesota as a “terrible, dastardly, cowardly” act of terrorism. The explosion at the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington was caused by an improvised explosive device as congregants began to gather for prayers. The FBI has taken the lead on the…… Continue reading Presidential Silence is Complicity

Books · Video

Video: Endorsements of “Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora”

Books

Islam, Race, and Pluralism in Diaspora: Experiences of Young Pakistani Men in Boston and Dublin

One afternoon in the summer of 2013, I sat down with a young Ahmadi American Muslim of Pakistani descent. He told me an unsettling story, one that touches on some of the most pressing issues of the post-9/11 era. The young man, henceforth “Muhammad,” was traveling on an Amtrak train along the East Coast. Sitting…… Continue reading Islam, Race, and Pluralism in Diaspora: Experiences of Young Pakistani Men in Boston and Dublin

News · Outreach

Appearance on The Comedy Cellar’s “Live From America Podcast”

The video below shows me speaking about Islamophobia on the Live From America Podcast of The Comedy Cellar in New York City. Noam Dworman and Hatem Gaber invited me on the program alongside NBC star analyst and former FBI agent Clint Watts. This is only a clip of the full interview which was recorded following…… Continue reading Appearance on The Comedy Cellar’s “Live From America Podcast”

Interfaith

Muslims and Catholics Are More Alike Than You Think

Since he took his position as the Holy Father in 2013, Pope Francis has consistently encouraged Catholics to engage with Muslims as a means to build bridges of interfaith understanding. His call, however, appears to have fallen on deaf ears. According to a 2016 study by The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University, only 14% of…… Continue reading Muslims and Catholics Are More Alike Than You Think

Books

New Book Explores the Pakistani Diaspora in Boston and Dublin

In March 2009, President Barack Obama made a startling comment about Pakistan and its links to the so-called “War on Terror.” The President referred to a part of the country as “the most dangerous place in the world.” In other words, Pakistan was a threatening “Islamic state” that had turned “anti-American” due largely to the efforts of…… Continue reading New Book Explores the Pakistani Diaspora in Boston and Dublin

Islam

A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Note: Linda Sarsour, the American Muslim activist, is under attack because she made a reference to the term jihad in a speech at ISNA. Here is an article which explains the concept of jihad to a Christian audience. The article was first published at The Huffington Post. Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences…… Continue reading A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Politics

“The Wrong Kind of Christians” Face Deportation in America

The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance is one of my favorite books of all time. Its author, Qasim Rashid, a friend and brother of mine, journeys into the heart of terrorism to unearth the untold story of those silence by Islamic militants. Rashid uncovers the inspiring untold story of…… Continue reading “The Wrong Kind of Christians” Face Deportation in America

Politics

These Anti-Sharia Protests Are Based on Lies and Conspiracy Theories

A brief word about these anti-sharia protests happening tomorrow across 28 cities in the U.S.. In short, these protests are totally bogus. The facts show that so-called infiltration of sharia in the American legal system is a non-existent problem or threat. To date, there is not a single Muslim organization calling for sharia to trump the…… Continue reading These Anti-Sharia Protests Are Based on Lies and Conspiracy Theories

Islam · Sociology

Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

I had the pleasure last Saturday of breaking the fast with the Clear Lake Islamic Center, the Muslim American Society, and other members of their communities at an annual Ramadan gathering in Seabrook, Texas. I was invited by my friend Dr. Mohamed Shalaby, who asked me to speak on Prophet Muhammad’s model of integration and how…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

Book Reviews

Muslim Marine Reviews: Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

By Tayyib Rashid Dr. Craig Considine should be applauded for his effort to learn, understand and educate the public about Pakistanis in diaspora and advancing his relentless pursuit to build bridges of understanding, and tolerance. In doing so Dr. Considine adds another brick to the foundations of inter-racial peace in American society. Islam, Race, and…… Continue reading Muslim Marine Reviews: Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

Philosophy · Poems · Work

Words For Our Wounded World – “Where Epics Fail”

Yahia Lababidi is an Egyptian immigrant and Muslim in Trump’s America. His new book – Where Epics Fail – is a work of hope, peace and healing for our wounded world. Where Epics Fail, to be published by Unbound (UK), is a collection of 800 aphorisms composed over the last ten years. Unbound is the world’s first crowd-funding…… Continue reading Words For Our Wounded World – “Where Epics Fail”

Interfaith · Islam

The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Forbes just published an article by Melik Kaylan which caught my attention and the attention of some of my colleagues. Kaylan refers to The Covenants Initiative, a body of scholars in the West which is spearheading a movement to promote Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians of his time. These Covenants have been well documented…… Continue reading The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Interfaith · Islamic State

Faith in Humanity Restored: Muslims Rebuild Church Destroyed by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq

Here is a heartwarming story published by Charles White for metro.co.uk. Muslims have rebuilt a church that ISIS destroyed in Mosul, Iraq. The Chaldean church was left in ruins after Kurdish and allied forces pushed ISIS out of al-Arabi in Mosul. The church, which was attacked on many occasions by ISIS, is in full communion…… Continue reading Faith in Humanity Restored: Muslims Rebuild Church Destroyed by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq

Interfaith · Islam

The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

Ramadan is almost here. In preparation for my talk on Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians at The Islamic Institute/Blue Mosque in Houston on Friday, I prepared this short post on how people can understand the true spirit of Ramadan. Last year, a young Protestant man in college sent me an e-mail with some questions about Christian-Muslim…… Continue reading The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

History · Interfaith · Islam

When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians is a topic that I have dedicated a lot of time to researching. I have focused on two primary issues: 1) the Covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of his time, showing how these Covenants stand for religious pluralism and civic national principles, and 2) the visit of the Christians of Najran…… Continue reading When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

News

Rice University News and Media Introduces “Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora”

Rice University News and Media has written the first news article about Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora. This book is due to be published on July 11, 2017. Many of the young Pakistani men that I interviewed in Boston and Dublin see Pakistan, their country of origin, as being alien to them, but at the…… Continue reading Rice University News and Media Introduces “Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora”

Interfaith

Pope Francis Calls on Christians to “Cross Over to the Other Side” to Meet Muslims

How do Christians engage with Muslims? For some Christians, there is no engagement at all. Polls have actually found a correlation between a lack of engagement with Muslims and Islamophobia among Christian Americans. Other Christians in the United States and around the world engage with Islam in an energetic way. Pope Francis is one such…… Continue reading Pope Francis Calls on Christians to “Cross Over to the Other Side” to Meet Muslims

History · Islam

Sapelo Island, Georgia – The First Muslim Community in the United States?

“Islam is a new religion to the United States.” You might hear some citizens utter this statement while trying to push the idea that Muslims do not belong in American society. History, however, tell us that Muslims may have reached modern-day America as far back as the 12th century. Other, more concrete evidence reveals that small Muslim communities emerged around…… Continue reading Sapelo Island, Georgia – The First Muslim Community in the United States?

History · Islam · Work

One Picture Alone Shatters the Myth that Islam Is a New Religion in America

One picture alone shtters the myth that Islam is a new religion in American society. This is the short story of Yarrow Marmood (pictured). He was allegedly born in the late 17th century in West Africa, but other estimates put his birth in the 18th century. Specifically, he was said to have been brought in bondage…… Continue reading One Picture Alone Shatters the Myth that Islam Is a New Religion in America

Islamic State

ISIS’s Attacks on Christians in Egypt Makes One Question – What Religion Does ISIS Really Follow?

In late April, Pope Francis intends to visit Egypt despite rising tensions in the region that have caused violence and bloodshed between Christians and Muslims. Francis’ visit is an endeavor to show support and solidarity for the beleaguered Egyptian Christian minority community which continues to be targeted by fanatics and increasingly made to feel vulnerable…… Continue reading ISIS’s Attacks on Christians in Egypt Makes One Question – What Religion Does ISIS Really Follow?

Interfaith

This Is Islam, Too: New Movie on Muslims Protecting Christians in Kenya Bus Ambush

Picture this. Muslim gunmen spray a bus with bullets, killing two passengers in northern Kenya. The gunmen are part of al-Shabab, a militant group based in East Africa. After opening fire, the militants asked the 62 Muslims on board the bus to identify the Christian passengers. The Muslims refused to reveal their identities, telling the…… Continue reading This Is Islam, Too: New Movie on Muslims Protecting Christians in Kenya Bus Ambush

Irish · Irish Diaspora

What Saint Patrick’s Day Means to Me

As we prepare to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, I reflect back upon my family’s migration from Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, and what Irish identity means to me. As Irish President Michael D. Higgins said in a recent address, the Irish are a migrant people. We have brought our wit, our charm, our knowledge, and our cultural…… Continue reading What Saint Patrick’s Day Means to Me

Islamophobia · Racism

Attacks on Sikhs Prove Islamophobia is More Than “Rational Disagreement” With Islam

Let me explain to you why it is hypocritical to say that Islamophobia is a simple result of “rational disagreement” with the tenets of Islam and not the distrust of people who look different from “normal” Americans. Consider this CNN story which documents another hate crime perpetrated by Islamophobic individuals. Again and again, we are witnessing how…… Continue reading Attacks on Sikhs Prove Islamophobia is More Than “Rational Disagreement” With Islam

Islamophobia

Islamophobes and Their Safe-Spaces Enhancing Dialogue in an Age of Polarization

Muslim “no-go zones” came up as a topic of conversation in my recent lecture to the Good Shepherd Episcopalian community in Kingwood, Texas, not far from Rice University, where I teach a course called “Muslims in American Society.” Early in my talk, an older white Christian man interrupted me. He claimed that “no-go zones,” or…… Continue reading Islamophobes and Their Safe-Spaces Enhancing Dialogue in an Age of Polarization

Interfaith · Islam

Turkey Restoring Tomb of Abyssinian Christian King, Who Sheltered Prophet Muhammad’s Companions

Have you ever heard of King Najashi, a Christian, of the Kingdom of Abyssinia (also known as Aksum)? The Daily Sabah notes: “King Najashi, also known as Armah, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Aksum from 614-631. The Empire was a trading nation situated in modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia, existing from approximately 100-940 AD……… Continue reading Turkey Restoring Tomb of Abyssinian Christian King, Who Sheltered Prophet Muhammad’s Companions

Islam · Islamic State

As ISIS-Affiliate Attacks Egyptian Christians, Remember Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant on the Sinai Peninsula

A Washington Post article has caught my eye. It is titled: “Christians flee Sinai Peninsula in fear of Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate.” According to the Post: “Hundreds of [Coptic] Christians are fleeing Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula as the Islamic State affiliate there has increasingly targeted the community in recent weeks, according to witnesses, clergy and…… Continue reading As ISIS-Affiliate Attacks Egyptian Christians, Remember Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant on the Sinai Peninsula

Islamophobia

The Racialization of Islam and Attacks On Non-Muslims

Islamophobia is real. An event like “2 Indian-Americans Shot, Mistaken for Arabs” reminds us that Islamophobic sentiments are currently produced through a racialization that includes a combination of “old racism” (skin color and ancestry) and “new racism” (culture and religious background). The shooter in this event linked imagined features of “Muslim-ness” to people who are not…… Continue reading The Racialization of Islam and Attacks On Non-Muslims

Politics

Fact-check – “Radical Islamic Terrorism” Poses a Very Small Threat to America

President Trump tweeted yesterday that “The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real, just look at what is happening in Europe and the Middle East.” His comment suggests that “radical Islamic terrorism” is the greatest threat to the United States and that his administration will take steps to eradicate this danger from the world. The tweet…… Continue reading Fact-check – “Radical Islamic Terrorism” Poses a Very Small Threat to America