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
A new Duluth News Tribune article by M. Imran Hayee cites a few passages from my blog post titled “Documents Show Prophet Muhammad and US Founding Fathers Were Kindred Spirits.” Hayee wrote the following: On April 6, an Arab Muslim student from the University of California, Berkeley, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was removed from a flight when he alarmed a fellow…… Continue reading Cited in “Loyalties to Islam, America Not Mutually Exclusive”
“America is a Christian nation” is one of the Christian right’s favorite slogans. Consider Ben Carson, a radical Christian and frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He believes that the United State’s founding documents prove that the American nation was founded upon Christian principles. What is worrying is that Carson is not alone in his beliefs. Televangelists,…… Continue reading America as a “Christian Nation” Doesn’t Ring Historically True
Jonathan Freedland’s article in the Guardian on English identity discusses the differences between the “ethno-nation” which is defined by “blood and soil” and the “civic nation” which is defined by egalitarian values and democratic institutions. These two types of competing national identities are also discussed in my PhD dissertation which focuses on the experiences of young first- and second-generation Pakistani…… Continue reading Ethnic Vs. Civic Nations: A Comparison Between England, Ireland, and the United States
This morning I woke up to an e-mail from my father which noted how an Indian American had just won Miss America 2013. In addition, on my Facebook feed I clicked on a story that read “Miss American crowns 1st winner of Indian descent; racist tweets follow.” Clearly many Americans were disturbed and even angry…… Continue reading Americans Should Reflect More Tolerance in Light of Miss America Crown
Racism and ignorance feed off each other like no other. Here’s a classic case. During the 2013 M.L.B. All Star game, many Americans took to Twitter to share their raw emotions (see more of those feelings here) over a “Spic” and “Mexican” singing God Bless America. The singer, Marc Anthony, was born in NYC, which makes…… Continue reading When a “Spic” sings God Bless America
A great interview with Interfaith Youth Core founder Eboo Patel is up on Real Clear Religion. Patel, who wrote a nice review of Akbar Ahmed’s documentary Journey into America, which I directed, is one of the most important leaders in the U.S. today for his impressive work in promoting pluralism and interfaith dialogue. RealClearReligion: What is…… Continue reading Pluralist working towards making interfaith cooperation a norm in U.S.