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

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

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 · 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

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

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