Books

Pre-Order “The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View”

PRE-ORDER HERE The publication of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View has been postponed due to the coronavirus. Originally scheduled to be published on May 1st, 2020, the book is now likely available in August 2020. God willing. Here is the book’s description: “What makes an American Catholic of Irish and Italian descent one…… Continue reading Pre-Order “The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View”

Books

New Book Connects Prophet Muhammad to U.S. Founding Fathers

By Amy McCaig What did Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, think about freedom of religion and women’s rights? Did the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson imagine Muslims as future citizens of the United States? What is it really like to be a follower of the Islamic faith in the U.S.? A new, first-of-its-kind…… Continue reading New Book Connects Prophet Muhammad to U.S. Founding Fathers

Commentary

Jews, Christians, and Muslims See Eye to Eye

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

Talks

Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity – “Lessons For Our Time”

Prophet Muhammad is one of the most vilified and misunderstood people in the history of the world. In this talk, “Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity: Lessons for Our Time,” I will dispel misinformation about Muhammad in an accessible, appealing, and scholarly way. I will present historical sources and stories about Muhammad’s relations with Jews, Christians,…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Love of Humanity – “Lessons For Our Time”

Irish America · Irish Diaspora · Irish identity

The Irish Were Once the Muslims, Mexicans, Haitians and Africans: That’s Why I’m Anti-Racist

“Irish America,” if I may use that term, has a problem with racism. As Niall O’Dowd of Irish Central (as discussed here) recently pointed out: “The belief among many [Irish Americans]… is that America today is fading fast because of overly intrusive government, too many handouts, minority mollycoddling, and a fear of saying the wrong thing.”…… Continue reading The Irish Were Once the Muslims, Mexicans, Haitians and Africans: That’s Why I’m Anti-Racist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Islamic State · Politics

Trump’s “Muslim Ban” – Another Victory For ISIS

By now you have heard the news of President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” which puts a freeze on refugee arrivals and visa requests from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The ban is outlined in an Executive Order, ironically titled “Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which plays right into the hands of…… Continue reading Trump’s “Muslim Ban” – Another Victory For ISIS

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

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

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?

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 · 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

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

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

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

Radio

Radio Interview: Islamophobia and Radicalization With Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles)

Here’s a radio interview with Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles). The program has been airing regularly on KPFK since 1980. MIF’s mission is to fill the many gaps left by the mainstream media in their coverage of the M.E. and to correct many of the distorted images presented by the mass media – both news…… Continue reading Radio Interview: Islamophobia and Radicalization With Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles)

Islamophobia · Video

Video: “Islam Isn’t a Race”, But Islamophobia is Racism

The following lecture, which I broadcasted first on Periscope, is based on my recent article, “Muslims Aren’t A Race, So I Can’t Be Racist. Right? Wrong”. I argue that although Islam is not a race, Islamophobia should be treated as a form of racism.

Islamophobia

Even in Death, People Are Afraid of Muslims

My grandfather, Joseph Tedesco, passed away when I was 15 years old. I remember his burial – the first in my life – like it was yesterday. Family and friends of all backgrounds gathered in a beautiful cemetery in Newton, Massachusetts. As you can imagine, it was a difficult moment for everyone in attendance. Tears flowed. The…… Continue reading Even in Death, People Are Afraid of Muslims

Islam

The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily

I sometimes think about the glories of “Islamic Spain,” or Al-Andalus. Starting around 711 and ending in 1492, Muslim rulers maintained a spirit of convivencia, a Spanish term meaning “living in togetherness” or “coexistence”, which allowed for an unprecedented level of interfaith engagement on the European continent. While Al-Andalus may represent the pinnacle of cooperation among Muslims, Christians…… Continue reading The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily

Sociology

Here’s Why Young Men Become “Terrorists” (Hint: It’s Not Islam) And What We Can Do About It

Looking back at the attack carried out by the El Bakraoui brothers in Brussels, Belgium, I cannot help but notice how news media, intellectuals and politicians blame “Islam” or ISIS for this tragic event. Such a conclusion is overly simplistic and lacks a deeper understanding of what drives young men to act out violently. The…… Continue reading Here’s Why Young Men Become “Terrorists” (Hint: It’s Not Islam) And What We Can Do About It

Radio

Prophet Muhammad’s Relations with Christians – A Radio Interview with The Voice of the Cape (South Africa)

Last week, I was interviewed by Shafiq Morton of The Voice of the Cape, an interest-defined community broadcaster licensed to serve the cultural interest of the Muslim community in Cape Town, South Africa. The station’s mandate is “to inform and educate the community about Islam, with an inherent focus on religious teachings.” The topic of the interview…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Relations with Christians – A Radio Interview with The Voice of the Cape (South Africa)

Islamophobia · Quoted

Cited in “We’re Not Taking Islamophobia Seriously”

A new Salon article by Qasim Rashid cites a few passages from my recent piece titled “Muslims Aren’t A Race, So I Can’t Be Racist. Right? Wrong.” Rashid wrote the following: Some are quick to argue, “Muslims aren’t a race, so I can’t be racist.” Rice University sociologist Dr. Craig Considine repudiates this simplistic understanding of racism, writing,…… Continue reading Cited in “We’re Not Taking Islamophobia Seriously”

Work

Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet

As an advocate of interfaith dialogue, particularly between Christians and Muslims, I’m often faced with the issue of conversion. People ask me, “If you admire Prophet Muhammad so much, why don’t you convert to Islam? Why don’t you accept him as “the seal”? I see these questions popping up on my Twitter and Facebook feeds…… Continue reading Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet

Politics · Religion

Reclaiming “In The Name Of Islam” – Muslim American Contributions To Charity And Healthcare

“In the name of Islam.” These words were uttered by Edward Archer, a man in Philadelphia who shot a police officer three times. Thankfully, the police officer survived, but a few more things have been lost in the coverage of this unfortunate event. There are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide. The overwhelming majority of these people are peace-loving.…… Continue reading Reclaiming “In The Name Of Islam” – Muslim American Contributions To Charity And Healthcare

Politics

It’s Time For A Million Man March in Solidarity With Muslims

My fellow Americans, With Islamophobia rising in the U.S. and with Donald Trump promoting Hitler-esque policies towards Muslims, we must make a strong stand. The time is ripe for Americans of all backgrounds to join in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors. It’s time for a million man march in Washington, DC. Over the last few weeks, I have watched this country spiral out…… Continue reading It’s Time For A Million Man March in Solidarity With Muslims

Politics

Trump, America’s Hitler

3:45 am. That’s what time I woke up this morning. I couldn’t sleep. There were no loud neighbors, no noisy traffic outside, and no drama in my life to keep me awake. As lame as it might sound, Donald Trump was keeping me awake. That’s right, the American demagogue, America’s Hitler. “Come on, Craig!” is probably…… Continue reading Trump, America’s Hitler

Personal

Walking While “White” Versus “Muslim” After San Bernadino

In about an hour or so I’ll be rolling out of my apartment building. I’ll walk for 45 minutes until I reach my office on campus. It will be a lovely walk. Crisp, calm, beautiful. I’ll pass by strangers and give the casual smile and hello. Just another working white dude in Houston… I find it…… Continue reading Walking While “White” Versus “Muslim” After San Bernadino

Outreach · Politics

Video: Here’s Why #IStandWithAhmadis

Transcript: This world of ours is filled with horrible, horrible things, and sometimes these things manifest themselves through religion. Now, unless you’re hiding in some underground bunker, you’ll know that religious extremism and radicalism – combined with political initiatives – can do some pretty horrible things in this world. Now, there are people in this…… Continue reading Video: Here’s Why #IStandWithAhmadis

Politics

Muslims Aren’t A Race, So I Can’t Be Racist. Right? Wrong.

“Nonsense.” That is what people say when I accuse them of being racist. Their argument goes something like this: “Muslims are not even a race, so how the hell could I even be racist? You’re an idiot.” Because Muslims are not a race, people believe that any type of violence or oppression directed towards them…… Continue reading Muslims Aren’t A Race, So I Can’t Be Racist. Right? Wrong.

Politics

The Paris Attack and My Racist Facebook “Friends”

“35 people dead in Paris. They don’t know what it is yet. Not sure if there were bombs.” That was the text message I received on Friday during my walk home from Rice University. Here we go again, I thought… My first reaction: the media will instantly assume Muslims carried out the attack, regardless of…… Continue reading The Paris Attack and My Racist Facebook “Friends”

Personal

The Price I Pay For Respecting Islam

Published on Huffington Post Religion (05/08/15) Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of…… Continue reading The Price I Pay For Respecting Islam

Interfaith

Islamic Veneration of the Virgin Mary

Politics

Mind Control and the Impending “Islamic Attack” on US Malls

History

George Washington Was a Friend of Muslims

Published on Huffington Post (April 20th, 2013) George Washington’s birthday, celebrated annually on Febr. 22nd, is an opportunity to reflect upon his exemplary character and the example he set for future generations of Americans. While much is known about Washington’s military service and political career, less is known about his attitude towards religious freedom and…… Continue reading George Washington Was a Friend of Muslims

Politics

The Most Accurate, Anti-Establishment Definition of “Terrorism”

Terrorism (noun) – a propaganda term used to manufacture anti-Muslim sentiment, which in turn “justifies” worldwide military adventures to extract natural resources from weaker, Muslim-majority countries. The term terrorism is deployed only when Muslims are behind the act, because this is part of the state and media’s program of dehumanizing the Other and controlling the public mind…… Continue reading The Most Accurate, Anti-Establishment Definition of “Terrorism”

Politics

Shooting of Muslims in North Carolina and the Power of Propaganda

If the murderer of three Muslims in North Carolina was actually a Muslim and the victims “regular” white Americans, it would be “Breaking News” on mainstream media. “Experts” would be on the air linking the killer to a worldwide “jihadi” movement. Congress would start calling for military action abroad. Such is the power of propaganda. “Terrorism”…… Continue reading Shooting of Muslims in North Carolina and the Power of Propaganda

Politics

Threats From “Islamic Terrorism” Have Been Exaggerated Once Again

A recent Washington Post article written by M. Steven Fish, a political scientist from University of California at Berkeley, stated that “[c]ontemporary terrorism is disproportionately Islamist.” Fish’s basic point is that Muslims are more inclined to terrorism than other groups of people. This “argument” does not stand up to the reality of contemporary “terrorism” and carelessly suggests that Muslims are…… Continue reading Threats From “Islamic Terrorism” Have Been Exaggerated Once Again

Politics

No, Erdogan, Muslims Didn’t Discover America Either

Tayyip Erdogan, a Turkish politician, recently claimed that Muslims discovered America before Columbus. It’s a pretty stupid statement – “we discovered America” – and one that people and groups continue to make. Muslims, Columbus, the Vikings, the Chinese, etc. etc., didn’t discover America because the land was already inhabited by indigenous people. People lived in North America 12,000 years…… Continue reading No, Erdogan, Muslims Didn’t Discover America Either

Politics

FBI Encourages and Pays Muslim Americans to Commit Terror Acts

Can you say entrapment? A report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), an organization dedicated to promoting human rights, concludes that the FBI encouraged and sometimes even paid Muslims to commit terrorist acts after 9/11.  Aided by Columbia University Law School’s Human Rights Institute, the HRW report noted, ‘In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists…… Continue reading FBI Encourages and Pays Muslim Americans to Commit Terror Acts

Fieldwork

Multiculturalism in Ireland – Fighting Racism Against Pakistanis in Dublin

Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora. Published by Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group in July 2017 This book explores the Pakistani diaspora in a transatlantic context, enquiring into the ways in which young first- and second-generation Pakistani Muslim and non-Muslim men resist hegemonic identity narratives and respond to their marginalised conditions. Drawing on…… Continue reading Multiculturalism in Ireland – Fighting Racism Against Pakistanis in Dublin

Politics

Alabama, Islam, and the Founding Fathers’ Belief in Religious Tolerance

Published on Huffington Post Religion Recent comments made by the Chief Justice of Alabama shows that much work needs to be done in educating some of America’s most powerful figures on the history of religious tolerance in America, especially as it pertains to Muslims. Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by…… Continue reading Alabama, Islam, and the Founding Fathers’ Belief in Religious Tolerance

Outreach

How Muslims of the Ottoman Empire Helped Ireland During the Great Famine

By Mehedi Islam Source: http://archiveislam.com 160 years ago, during the Great Famine in Ireland, the Ottoman Empire sent £1,000 sterling (about $1,052,000 today) and 3 shiploads of food to Drogheda, Ireland. Ireland was ridden with famine and disease between 1845 and 1849. Also known as the Great Hunger, this famine had lasting effects: at least one…… Continue reading How Muslims of the Ottoman Empire Helped Ireland During the Great Famine