Talks

Special Dialogue on Christian-Muslim Relations at Moravian Academy

On Monday, November 18th, the Moravian community received a special visit from Craig Considine, Ph.D., a Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Rice University in Houston, TX. Flanked by nine students representing the classes of 2020-2023, Dr. Considine engaged in a vivid dialogue revolving around issues of Muslim-Christian relations in front of the fully gathered…… Continue reading Special Dialogue on Christian-Muslim Relations at Moravian Academy

Talks

Video: Christian Scholar Examines Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants and Pluralism

Dr. Craig Considine speaks at the 5th annual Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. The Forum, led by Sheikhs Abdallah bin Bayyah and Hamza Yusuf, was titled “Alliance of Virtues: An Opportunity for Global Peace.” Dr. Considine spoke on a panel titled “Covenants, Treaties, the Nation State and Muslims in the Global Order.” The host…… Continue reading Video: Christian Scholar Examines Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants and Pluralism

Activism · Interfaith

Meeting With Worldwide Leader of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

It was an absolute pleasure and honor to spend time with His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya community. On October 26th, 2018, alongside Professor Emran El-Badawi of the University of Houston, we discussed a range of issues, including the Constitution of Medina, embracing humanity, and peace-building. I will never forget…… Continue reading Meeting With Worldwide Leader of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

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

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

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 · Sociology

Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

The “monolith” of Muslim identity is a dangerous misconception when applied to Muslim women. By suggesting that all Muslims experience their identity in similar ways, the unique experiences of Muslim women are erased from the conversations regarding identity. Instead, their experiences and identity formation should be appreciated through the “double disadvantage” they hold as their…… Continue reading Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

Quoted

Quoted in “Two Cases of Terrorism”

A new Barbados Today article by Suleiman Bulbulia of the Barbados Muslim Association discusses my blog post titled “Why Celebrating Columbus Day Is like Celebrating ISIS.” He wrote the following. Terrorism in all its forms must be condemned. Whether by a group of radicals, fanatics or fundamentalists or by a group of men and women in uniforms.…… Continue reading Quoted in “Two Cases of Terrorism”

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

Work

Huffington Post Arabi Translates “Why This Christian Studies Islam”

“Why This Christian Studies Islam”, my latest article in the Huffington Post, has been translated into Arabic. Translation is important because it moves ideas from here to there. Translation is another way to build bridges across unnecessary divides. You can find the article here

Video

Video: Talk to Muslim American Society in Seabrook, TX

Here’s a video of my talk the other night in Seabrook, TX. I addressed members of the Muslim American Society on the issue of DEUCE – dialogue, education, understanding, commitment and engagement. I refer to Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians and touch upon “the grey zone” that Donald Trump and ISIS want to destroy. That…… Continue reading Video: Talk to Muslim American Society in Seabrook, TX

Politics · Religion · Sociology

Dear America – Check Your Christian Privilege

A few months ago, when I was teaching Sociology of Religion at Rice University, the topic of Ted Cruz and Christian privilege came up in our classroom. In response to questions about his commitment to conservatism, Cruz stated: “I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican forth. I’ll tell ya, there are a whole…… Continue reading Dear America – Check Your Christian Privilege

Islamophobia

Video: Why I Admire Prophet Muhammad – A Response to Islamophobes

The following lecture, which I broadcasted first on Periscope, is based on my article, Why I Admire Muhammad: A Response to Islamophobes. Islamophobes have attacked me because I’ve written positively about Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. Because I am a Catholic, they consider me to be a heretic and feel that my interfaith activities are sacrilegious.…… Continue reading Video: Why I Admire Prophet Muhammad – A Response to Islamophobes

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.

Interfaith

10 Great Prophet Muhammad Quotes on Christians

“If a monk or pilgrim seeks protection, in mountain or valley, in a cave or in tilled fields, in the plain, in the desert, or in a church, I am behind them, defending them from every enemy; I, my helpers, all the members of my religion and all my followers, for they [the monks and…… Continue reading 10 Great Prophet Muhammad Quotes on Christians

Film-work

Video: A Christian View of Prophet Muhammad

This short video/documentary that I made is based on my recent Huffington Post article titled “Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet”.

Politics

Jewish Extremists Torch One of Christendom’s Most Important Churches

Here’s another important story getting hardly – if any attention – in media. On an erly Thursday morning in June 2015, “Jewish extremists” torched the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha, near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The arsonists wrote graffiti in Hebrew on that walls that read, “Pagans” and “False idols will be…… Continue reading Jewish Extremists Torch One of Christendom’s Most Important Churches

Politics

Why Forgiving the Boston Bomber is the Right Thing to Do

In Massachusetts federal court yesterday, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev apologized to the victims and families that have been impacted by the bombs he set off. Tsarnaev, who is waiting his death sentence, stated: “I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, for the suffering that I’ve caused you, for the damage that I’ve done.…… Continue reading Why Forgiving the Boston Bomber is the Right Thing to Do

Interfaith

A Conversation on Humanity Between Jesus and Muhammad

Jesus: Peace be with you, Muhammad. Muhammad: And may the peace and blessings of our Lord also be with you, my brother. Jesus: Say, my friend, how do you feel about people who claim to follow our teachings, but who fight and bicker with each other over religion? Muhammad: Well, Jesus, it’s unfortunate. Your followers…… Continue reading A Conversation on Humanity Between Jesus and Muhammad

Interfaith

The Christians of Najran and the Spirit of Ramadan

A young Protestant man in college recently sent me an e-mail with some questions about Christian-Muslim relations. He told me that he was interested in witnessing Muslims in worship, and more specifically he wanted to take part in an iftar, or the breaking of the fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The young…… Continue reading The Christians of Najran and the Spirit of Ramadan

Interfaith

Prophet Muhammad Wouldn’t Think I’m a “Loser” Because of My Christian Faith

Recently I had an eyebrow-raising Twitter interaction with a young Muslim man who was upset that I have not converted to Islam. Frustrated with my Christian identity, he tweeted me the following Qur’anic passage: “And whosever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad Wouldn’t Think I’m a “Loser” Because of My Christian Faith

Personal

From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism

Published on Huffington Post Religion (06/16/15) It was the late 1990s and the American economy was booming. Money and consumerism were the “new religion.” Christians around me seemed to be Christians in name only. Besides having a secular education, I attended Catholic Christian Doctrine once per week from the ages of six to fourteen. I…… Continue reading From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism

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

Interfaith

Love and Goodwill in the Bible and Qur’an

Politics

Saluting Muslim American Patriots

Published on Huffington Post Religion (April 10th 2015) The so-called “Islamic extremism” spreading across the Middle East has given new life to American patriotism. A YouGov poll from 2013 shows that 44 percent of American citizens question the loyalty that Muslims have to the U.S. The poll showed that older Americans and those who vote…… Continue reading Saluting Muslim American Patriots

History · Interfaith · Religion

The 8 Most Important Interfaith Monuments in the World

The following short collection lists eight of the most important monuments in the world in terms of interfaith dialogue and interfaith relations. By the term “monument” I refer to a building or structure created to commemorate a person, event, or social bond which has significance in regards to improving relations between the Abrahamic faiths. The eight monuments documented here…… Continue reading The 8 Most Important Interfaith Monuments in the World

Irish America

When Irish Catholics Changed America

This article is from Irish America magazine. To enjoy more articles from their History Archives, click here.  The 1930s. Before the decade was over, America would be a vastly different nation,  thanks in no small part to Irish Catholics. Nineteen hundred and twenty-eight was a dark year for Irish Catholics in America. It was, of course,…… Continue reading When Irish Catholics Changed America

Friends · Religion

“Jihad of the Pen” Interview with Qasim Rashid, Author of EXTREMIST

No Muslim has promoted the notion of a “jihad of the pen” more poignantly than Qasim Rashid, Ahmadi spokesmen, Muslim activist and author of the new book EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere. A fervent advocate of human rights and a penetrating writer on Islam, Rashid has been actively promoting religious pluralism, freedom of…… Continue reading “Jihad of the Pen” Interview with Qasim Rashid, Author of EXTREMIST

Sociology · Work

Family, Religion and Identity Experiences in the Pakistani Diaspora: A Case Study of Young Pakistani Men in Dublin & Boston

This presentation provided an overview of data collected during an exploratory case study based in qualitative research regarding the lived experiences of Pakistani men between the ages of 18 and 35 living in Dublin and Boston. I offered a theoretical backdrop on diaspora theory and its related concepts, a general introduction to Pakistanis, the origins…… Continue reading Family, Religion and Identity Experiences in the Pakistani Diaspora: A Case Study of Young Pakistani Men in Dublin & Boston

Personal

This Is What I Am Thankful For

I have been thinking a lot about thankfulness during this Lenten season. Oftentimes in life we forget to be thankful for obvious things such as our own beating hearts, our loved ones and family members, the food we put into our system, and the roof over our heads. When I walk around Dublin I often…… Continue reading This Is What I Am Thankful For

Politics

What Does Akbar the Great Teach Us About Tolerance in Islamic History?

Note: Akbar the Great, ruler of most of South Asia in the 16th and early 17th century, rejected bigotry and made unprecedented moves to help non-Muslims feel at peace in his Mughal empire. Below is passage from my article Finding Tolerance in Akbar, the Philosopher King, published in April 2013. You can also watch my short…… Continue reading What Does Akbar the Great Teach Us About Tolerance in Islamic History?

Outreach

Rumi, Jesus, and the Power of Interfaith Outreach

NOTE: Excerpt from my article Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the Muslim World Rumi not only respected Christian teachings, but he also greatly admired the life and values shared by Jesus. In essence, for Rumi, all religions were more or less equally beautiful because they all sought the divine truth: I am…… Continue reading Rumi, Jesus, and the Power of Interfaith Outreach

Outreach

“The Enemy of One Religion is the Enemy of All Religions” – An Interview With Muslim Scholar John Andrew Morrow

I recently conducted an interview with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, scholar of Islam and author of the book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. This interview was a follow-up to my review of his book, which you can read at “New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views.” The…… Continue reading “The Enemy of One Religion is the Enemy of All Religions” – An Interview With Muslim Scholar John Andrew Morrow

Interfaith · Politics

The Pope: Christian and Muslim Refugees Must Share Their Belief in God

Just days after I wrote about Pope Francis’ speech on ending the “culture of indifference” towards Muslim refugees, the Holy Father emerged today with an equally powerful comment on how Christians and Muslims should lean on each other and share their belief in the “One God.” Vatican Insider reports that during a gathering at the…… Continue reading The Pope: Christian and Muslim Refugees Must Share Their Belief in God

Commentary

Nelson Mandela and the Power of Forgiveness

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

Politics

Backlash follows Catholic Online’s misleading headline on “closure” of Vatican Embassy

Catholic Online, a leading news source for Catholics in the US and abroad, recently created the headline “Obama orders closure of Vatican Embassy.” This headline is misleading, overtly political, and even dangerous as it helps reproduce the myths that President Obama is anti-Catholic and that he is also a Muslim. Catholic Online forgot this quintessential point…… Continue reading Backlash follows Catholic Online’s misleading headline on “closure” of Vatican Embassy

Religion

Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization

Published on Huffington Post (October 22nd, 2013) In his recent article, Sam Harris, a popular critic of Islam, referred to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist, as “the best thing to come out of the Muslim world in 1,000 years.” Hidden in this comment is the idea that Malala’s fellow Muslims are backward and that her…… Continue reading Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization

Religion

Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Source: Catholic News Service By Carol Glatz Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said. “Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to…… Continue reading Greed and Attachment to Money Cause Evil, Pope Francis Says

Religion

Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Source: Vatican Insider “I am in awe at everything Francis is doing: I believe his pontificate gives not just the Catholic Church but the entire humanity a chance.” This is according to Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who coined the phrase “liquid modernity”. In an interview with Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Bauman said “Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s…… Continue reading Top sociologist Zygmunt Bauman believes Pope Francis gives “entire humanity a chance”

Politics · Religion

Persecution of Christians Shames Muhammad’s Legacy on Religious Freedom

Things are spiraling out of control in Egypt, especially for its Coptic community, which has recently been attacked for allegedly helping oust the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood from power. The Copts are Egypt’s largest Christian group who make up roughly 10% of the Egyptian population. Over the last several weeks they have witnessed a horrendous string…… Continue reading Persecution of Christians Shames Muhammad’s Legacy on Religious Freedom

Work

Huffington Post picture on Rumi-Emerson article

The Huffington Post – Religion made this sweet little picture after the publication of my Rumi-Emerson comparison, which is based on the themes of religious tolerance, love, and “oneness.” Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim also republished the piece. You can read that here. Related articles Rumi and Emerson: A bridge between the West and the…… Continue reading Huffington Post picture on Rumi-Emerson article

Film-work · Religion

Mysteries of the “Lost Gospels”

Before I fall asleep each night I watch a documentary from You Tube or elsewhere. Generally I put on something related to history, but I do not limit myself to any particular area, theme, or time period. Last night I watched “Secret Lives of Jesus Christ: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The documentary…… Continue reading Mysteries of the “Lost Gospels”

Religion

Jesus Jihad

My recent Huffington Post article “A New Perspective of “Jihad” in Christianity and Islam” sparked a good amount of controversy in the interfaith and anti-Muslim blogosphere. In a follow up post, I focus solely on what I call the “Jesus Jihad,” or the Christian struggles which are noted in the New Testament. The following excerpts…… Continue reading Jesus Jihad

Poems

A Ramadan meditation in verse

By Akbar Ahmed Source: Washington Post – On Faith Allah has many names Allah is Rahman He is Rahim He is also Ghafoor And known as Noor Some have called Him Zeus Others address Him as Deus Some name Him Brahma Others see Him in Atma If you want to know Him, whatever His appellation…… Continue reading A Ramadan meditation in verse

Interfaith

A thought on “the ink of the scholar…”

“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” If you “like” this term, you are showing your appreciation for a core tenet found within Islam. The power of knowledge and the search for it must trump all violence and warfare. Jesus and all the prophets would agree with this…… Continue reading A thought on “the ink of the scholar…”

Religion

Are We Alone in the Universe?

“The universe?” From where did it come? How? When? By what energies did what we see only in tiny glimpses come into being?—the universe containing infinities of organized, living worlds, earths, suns, galaxies—cells, organic life, atmosphere— purpose, directions, and lawful order, fundamental forces at work everywhere and in everything—all of which emerged out of what?…… Continue reading Are We Alone in the Universe?

Politics

Representative Mike Pompeo Makes No Sense

I am very upset to hear of this shocking news coming from Capitol Hill. Representative Mike Pompeo suggested recently that all Muslim Americans are complicit in terrorist attacks. Representative Pompeo needs to read an article I wrote for the Huffington Post. There is no greater sacrifice for a citizen than to give his or her…… Continue reading Representative Mike Pompeo Makes No Sense

Pictures

And that was all heaven said

“I saw only the noble earth on which I was born, with the great Star which warms and enlightens it. I saw the clouds that hang their significant drapery over us. It was Day— that was all Heaven said.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson This was taken as I flew over Ireland in the wee hours…… Continue reading And that was all heaven said

Poems · Sociology

Transcending the Anti-Muslim Mobs of Tennessee

A recent event at the Manchester Convention Center in Tennessee has received news headlines. According to the Tennessean: During the keynote speech given by Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee, audience members continually interrupted, making it difficult to understand what was said. Killian brought a PowerPoint presentation that covered the First…… Continue reading Transcending the Anti-Muslim Mobs of Tennessee