Talks

A Christian Appreciates the Contributions of Muslims to American Society

I want you all to please get comfortable because we are going to use our imaginations for a bit. Okay? I want you to imagine the following story as a book that has yet to be published. Picture it as a draft of sorts. When I am finished in ten minutes, perhaps all of us,…… Continue reading A Christian Appreciates the Contributions of Muslims to American Society

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

Politics

A Radical Christian in U.S. Congress

U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (Texas) recently suggested that the U.S. should judge its foreign policy decisions based on a literalist interpretation of prophecies and stories in the Bible. Scriptural literalism in any religious tradition blatantly denies cold-hard facts such as evolution and encourages naive absolutism in the face of scientific inquiry, among other issues. Interpreting the…… Continue reading A Radical Christian in U.S. Congress

Religion

US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Long overdue in the American church is a reasoned and deep discussion of U.S. militarism, the proper use of force, the state’s responsibility to protect and defend, and the role of people of faith in all of this. To this point, Catholic teaching has had little effect in distinguishing us from any other segment of…… Continue reading US Catholics Question America’s Assent to Militarism

Politics

U.S. Depleted Uranium as Malicious as Syrian Chemical Weapons

By this time you have likely heard of the atrocity that recently took place in which over 1,000 Syrian civilians reportedly died at the hands of a chemical weapon attack. Seeing the video and images of dead or helpless Syrian civilians struggling for life reminds me of another terrible weapon of war – depleted uranium.…… Continue reading U.S. Depleted Uranium as Malicious as Syrian Chemical Weapons

Work

So What if a Christian Writes About Muhammad

Some critics find it odd that I am a Christian who writes about Muhammad. Haters see my articles as odd and even worse – sacrilegious – because I give praise to the founder of Islam, a religion often portrayed as “evil” around the world. However, as you will see in these articles, there is nothing…… Continue reading So What if a Christian Writes About Muhammad

Sociology

When a “Spic” sings God Bless America

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

Politics

Understanding the Pluralism of the Founding Fathers

Over the years I have penned many articles to highlight the pluralist spirit of the U.S. founding fathers. Independence Day is an opportunity for Americans and people worldwide to celebrate human rights and religious tolerance. The founding fathers were by no means perfect, and neither is America, but their vision for the U.S. is something…… Continue reading Understanding the Pluralism of the Founding Fathers

Film-work · Interfaith

Alternatives of “The Innocence of Islamic Jihad”

Here we go again. The International Business Times reports: An anti-Muslim animated movie titled The Innocence of Islamic Jihad is set to be released on 4 July, US Independence Day. The film is being produced on the lines of earlier movies such as Innocence of Muslims and The Innocent Prophet, which created widespread unrest. The movie is directed by…… Continue reading Alternatives of “The Innocence of Islamic Jihad”

Politics

Glendon Crawford’s Alleged KKK Terror Plot: What if Muslims Were Behind It?

An alleged KKK member tried to sell a radiation device to Ku Klux Klan members. timesunion.com reports: An industrial mechanic with General Electric Co., who is also allegedly a member of the Ku Klux Klan, designed a deadly mobile radiation device that he intended to sell to Jewish groups or a southern branch of the…… Continue reading Glendon Crawford’s Alleged KKK Terror Plot: What if Muslims Were Behind It?

Politics

Rouhani Brings Hope to Iran-Western Relations

Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani says his “victory is a victory for wisdom, maturity and moderation.” Not only is he known for his conciliatory approach, but he has also pledged to promote a policy of “constructive interaction with the world” and to enact a domestic “civil rights charter”. In essence, Rouhani brings hope for the improvement…… Continue reading Rouhani Brings Hope to Iran-Western Relations

Politics

Sarin gas and the “red line”

Word out of Washington, D.C. is that President Obama has seen enough of the Syrian Civil War and has decided to arm “the rebels,” a mix of different groups with different agendas. Obama suggested that a “red line” has been crossed when Bashar al-Assad’s government forces used sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, reportedly on…… Continue reading Sarin gas and the “red line”

Politics

Time For a New Patriot Act

2001 was a dark year for Americans. The Twin Towers fell. The Pentagon was struck. But the Nation lost much more than that in 2001. 2001 was the year that George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is kind of like a propaganda document for the following reasons. Literally, the Patriot Act…… Continue reading Time For a New Patriot Act

Film-work · Religion

Finding Pluralism in Akbar the Great (A Short Documentary)

Akbar the Great is an extraordinary figure in history. Who is he? What did he stand for and what can we learn from his legacy? These are some of the questions which are touched upon in this short documentary. *Feel free to watch/write a review in the comments section. Thank you.* Reviews: “I have tears of…… Continue reading Finding Pluralism in Akbar the Great (A Short Documentary)

Commentary

John Zawahri: The Latest “Muslim Sounding Name”

John Zawahri has been identified as the killer who went on the terrible rampage in Santa Monica, California. Reports at the moment suggest that Zawahri’s parents were going through a divorce and that the parental split might have been the reason he killed his brother and father. Reports also suggest that he had problems in…… Continue reading John Zawahri: The Latest “Muslim Sounding Name”

Commentary · Politics

How George Washington and Prophet Muhammad Would React to Hate Speech

In a recent article for Yahoo Contributors Network, Maryam Khan Ansari wrote about how internet postings with anti-Muslim hate messages may soon be subject to federal criminal laws. In her article, Ansari discussed how Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, has plans to use federal civil rights laws to curb hate speech,…… Continue reading How George Washington and Prophet Muhammad Would React to Hate Speech

Pictures · Quoted

Rumi’s Advice on Tolerance, Compassion and Love

This picture was taken at the annual Muslim Day Parade in New York City in the fall of 2008. I did not take this picture in black and white. It has been doctored using some software.

News

Humanizing and Honoring Muslim American Veterans

By Sakina Al-Amin for Examiner Interfaith activist and contributor to Huffington Post, Craig Considine, sheds light on some of the Muslim Americans who took part in protecting Americas as patriotic citizens and lovers of this nation: Honoring Muslim American Veterans on Memorial Day. In the piece Considine mentions more than three Muslims by name and…… Continue reading Humanizing and Honoring Muslim American Veterans

Outreach

Honoring Muslim American Veterans on Memorial Day

On May 27th, Americans will celebrate Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who have died fighting in the United States armed forces. On this Memorial Day, I want to draw attention to the Muslim Americans who have died in battle for the United States. In doing so I hope to…… Continue reading Honoring Muslim American Veterans on Memorial Day

Outreach

Pluralist working towards making interfaith cooperation a norm in U.S.

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.

Religion

U.S. State Department report means the battle for tolerance and understanding goes on

A new report carried out by the U.S. State Department found that discrimination against Jews and Muslims is on the rise around the world. This is discouraging news for those who are involved in efforts to improve relations among members of the Abrahamic tradition. The report, which is called the International Religious Freedom Report, concludes that…… Continue reading U.S. State Department report means the battle for tolerance and understanding goes on

Commentary

Documents Show Prophet Muhammad and US Founding Fathers Were Kindred Spirits

Although they are typically seen to represent overwhelming opposites, the Prophet Muhammad and America’s founding fathers shared many common characteristics and beliefs, which can be seen in historical documents. By comparing the speeches and texts that they left behind, we can learn of the similar viewpoints that Muhammad and the founding fathers held on issues…… Continue reading Documents Show Prophet Muhammad and US Founding Fathers Were Kindred Spirits

Friends

Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” Painting

On Monday I visited the Dover Rug Company in Natick, Massachusetts for an interview with CEO Mahmud Jafri, who happens to be a very down-to-earth and insightful man. Mahmud is a successful businessman who happens to also be a proud Bostonian, American, Muslim and Pakistani. When I was entering the Dover Rug building, I noticed a…… Continue reading Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” Painting

Commentary

Reflecting on the state and future of American exceptionalism

In the face of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, or whatever you call hate in modern America, I am still optimistic about the future of the United States. From day one, the mission of America has been progress, progress, progress. We need thoughtful writers and bridge builders to keep it going. There are thousands and thousands of…… Continue reading Reflecting on the state and future of American exceptionalism

Commentary

Seeing our humanity and fragile existence through the Boston bombings

Note: My fellow Needhamite Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal Ph.D. wrote a powerful response in Wicked Local Needham to the Boston marathon bombings. Dr. Asmal previously served as president of the Islamic Center of Boston and the Islamic Council of New England. He is a retired physician and is also a current member of Needham Clergy Association…… Continue reading Seeing our humanity and fragile existence through the Boston bombings

Outreach

Bostonians Will Transcend Fear After Marathon Bombings

Published on Huffington Post Religion (4/25/13) In 2008, I filmed an interview in Boston in which Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, spoke with Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about American identity. According to Chomsky: “[America] is a very frightened country … which is kind of…… Continue reading Bostonians Will Transcend Fear After Marathon Bombings

Politics

Blaming “America’s Global Domination” for the Boston Marathon Bombing

Richard Falk, an American professor of international law at Princeton University, recently suggested that US foreign policy is to blame for the Boston Marathon bombings. His sentiments remind me of Noam Chomsky’s famous quote about terrorism: “Everybody’s worried about terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way; stop participating in it.” Do you agree with Falk’s words?…… Continue reading Blaming “America’s Global Domination” for the Boston Marathon Bombing

Politics

Catholic bishop fights opponents of immigration reform after Boston Marathon bombings

Source: Religion News Service “Opponents of immigration … will seize on anything, and when you’ve got something as vivid and as recent as the tragedy in Boston it puts another arrow in their quiver,” New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters. “To label a whole group of…… Continue reading Catholic bishop fights opponents of immigration reform after Boston Marathon bombings

Politics

Reality is Muslims have different rules for punishment in US

By Andrew Rosenthal for The New York Times The Boston Marathon bombings are closer to the colloquial and legal definitions of terrorism than the Aurora shooting, but not the Oklahoma bombing, or the Arizona attack. The real difference is that Mr. Tsarnaev is a Muslim, and the United States has since the 9/11 terrorist attacks…… Continue reading Reality is Muslims have different rules for punishment in US

Film-work

“Journey into America”

“Journey into America” is arguably the most comprehensive documentary ever done on Muslims in America.  The film explores the issue of what it means to be American through the lens of Muslims. Ahmed’s documentary has been called “an essential pillar in the effort to build the interfaith bridge of understanding” by Congressman Keith Ellison, America’s…… Continue reading “Journey into America”

Politics

Politicizing the Marathon bombings in a Boston church

I felt very discouraged at Mass this morning. The priest virtually incited hatred of Islam. In paraphrasing he said something like “The Boston Marathon bombings was part of the global jihad of Islamic supremacists on Christians.” He followed these loaded statements by talking about evil, the devil and how Islam has basically “always been this…… Continue reading Politicizing the Marathon bombings in a Boston church

Personal

Many emotions since arriving back in Boston

I only get a chance to come back home to Boston a few times a year. When I returned last December I came home to the news of the terrible tragedy known as the Newtown Massacre in Connecticut, where 20 little children and 6 adults died at the hands of a crazed gunmen. Unfortunately my…… Continue reading Many emotions since arriving back in Boston

Sociology

Americans Should Turn Their Minds to Jesus, Not Darwin, on Easter

Easter Sunday is an appropriate time for Americans to reflect upon the direction of their societies. Should America become a place that embodies the teachings of Jesus or Darwin? Akbar Ahmed weighs in: “A debilitating tension between Darwin and Jesus lies at the heart of American identity. It is not so much about how society…… Continue reading Americans Should Turn Their Minds to Jesus, Not Darwin, on Easter

Religion

Prophet Muhammad and George Washington Agree on Treatment of Prisoners of War

In a recent Huffington Post article, Dr. Faheen Younus of the University of Maryland wrote about Prophet Muhammad’s philosophy and philanthropy towards prisoners of war. In summary, Dr. Younus suggests that “in Islam, the idea of equal benefits for the prisoners of war is not a joke — it’s a reality and a legacy.” To…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad and George Washington Agree on Treatment of Prisoners of War

Outreach

Hate Mail From a Friend of “Jihad Watch”

Whoever sent this envelope misspelled my name. It is Considine, not Considerine. Go figure. Note the top-left hand corner says “‘Liberty’ is not found in Islam.” Sent in response to my latest article on the connection between the Prophet Muhammad and George Washington in the Huffington Post.

Film-work

Robert Spencer makes strange video in response to Muhammad – Washington article

He could have at least invited me to meet George Washington.

Commentary

Commentary: It’s anti-American to care about the President’s religion

The United States is not and never has been a ‘Christian nation’.  America’s Founding Fathers explicitly designed the country on pluralist grounds and encouraged Americans to accept people of all religious backgrounds. This is why the actions of a junior high school teacher named Linda White of Mississippi are so anti-American.  White told her students…… Continue reading Commentary: It’s anti-American to care about the President’s religion

Religion

Prophet Muhammad Sculpture at U.S. Supreme Court Shows Respect for Islam

Since the events of 9/11 the Prophet Muhammad has been in the news the world over for all the wrong reasons.  Examples of this include the Prophet (PBUH) being mocked in political cartoons as a terrorist and depicted as a child killer, rapist, and adulterer in films such as The Innocence of Muslims. The Prophet…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad Sculpture at U.S. Supreme Court Shows Respect for Islam

Outreach

Outreach: 5 reasons why you should join the One Film 9/11 interfaith initiative

I started the initiative One Film 9/11 with the hope of countering the dreadful anti-Islamic film, The Innocence of Muslims, with my film, Journey into America. One Film 9/11 has the goal of screening Journey into America around the Muslim and non-Muslim world on 9/11/2013  to prove how Muslims and non-Muslims are able to work together to improve…… Continue reading Outreach: 5 reasons why you should join the One Film 9/11 interfaith initiative

Politics

Round 2 of Obama vs. Romney, just as I predicted

In this post from yesterday, I provided a glimpse into what you could expect in Round 2 of the Obama vs. Romney debates.  One of the reasons why I wrote that post was due to my confidence in knowing what the issues would be and how Obama and Romney were going to handle themselves. And…… Continue reading Round 2 of Obama vs. Romney, just as I predicted

Politics

What to expect in Round 2 of Obama vs. Romney debate

What Obama has to do to win: He needs to appear aggressive and attack Romney and his winner-take-all society. He needs to have energy, confidence, and that twinkle in his eye. He needs to specifically hit Romney on his 47% comments. He also needs to specifically hit Romney on his activities at Bain Capital. He needs…… Continue reading What to expect in Round 2 of Obama vs. Romney debate

Work

Reason Behind American Fear-Mongering Campaign Against Iran

Important passage from Glenn Greenwald’s article on the real reason why the U.S. fears a nuclear Iran: No rational person takes seriously the claim that Iran, even if it did obtain a nuclear weapon, would commit instant and guaranteed national suicide by using it to attack a nation that has a huge nuclear stockpile, which happens…… Continue reading Reason Behind American Fear-Mongering Campaign Against Iran

Film-work

A counter to the hateful Innocence of Muslims

By now many of you have heard of the propaganda film Innocence of Muslims which led to a tragedy in Benghazi and an almost-tragedy in Cairo.  For better or worse, these events proved that one film can make a huge difference, which is why I want to inform you about  Journey into America (2009) by Ambassador AKBAR AHMED and its subsequent…… Continue reading A counter to the hateful Innocence of Muslims

Work

Articles

2014 The Problem With Banning the Burqa. Huffington Post Religion, March 12th. Revisiting the Connection Between Prophet Muhammad and George Washington. Huffington Post Religion, February 16th. Interview on Scholar’s Spiritual Journey Into Islam and the Life of Prophet Muhammad. Huffington Post Religion, February 11th. What Studying Muhammad Taught Me About Islam. Huffington Post Religion, January…… Continue reading Articles

Uncategorized

Commentary: Relativity and religious hostility

This ‘study’ conducted by the Liberty Institute claims that there is rising hostility towards Christians in today’s United States. But last time I checked, Christian Americans were not seeing their churches burned to the ground. Last time I checked, non-Christian Americans were not going into churches and shooting people at random. Last time I checked, non-Christian…… Continue reading Commentary: Relativity and religious hostility

Fieldwork · Music

Music: Iranian tar player at American Islamic Congress iftar on Newbury St. (Boston)

The other night I had the opportunity to attend my second iftar of 2012 at the American Islamic Congress over on Newbury Street in Boston. This was a community iftar (the previous one I attended had the theme of South Asian) that welcomed a graduate student from Northeastern who demonstrated his fine tar skills.  The tar is an important and popular…… Continue reading Music: Iranian tar player at American Islamic Congress iftar on Newbury St. (Boston)

Quoted

Ralph Waldo Emerson on thought and the prison

Truth is our element of life, yet if a man fasten his attention on single aspect of truth, and apply himself to that alone for a long time, the truth becomes distorted and not itself, but falsehood; herein reassembling the air, which is our natural element, and the breath of our nostrils, but if a…… Continue reading Ralph Waldo Emerson on thought and the prison

Politics

Politics: Help our veterans with their mental issues

Chris Fields, a disgruntled, if not delusional veteran of the Iraq War, is running against Congressman Keith Ellison for a spot on Capitol Hill. Fields had the following to say in a letter to the City Pages that was directed towards Ellison: Dear Patriot, While I was fighting on a battlefield in Iraq, my opponent…… Continue reading Politics: Help our veterans with their mental issues

Politics

Weak Economy Means an Inferior Culture?

In a nut-shell, Mitt Romney insinuated on his recent visit to Jerusalem that Israel’s economy performs well because Israeli society has a superior culture.  Inevitably, Romney also hinted that the Palestinian economy does not perform well because Palestinian society lacks ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, thus making Palestinian culture ‘inferior’. Romney’s ‘logic’, therefore, suggests that a strong…… Continue reading Weak Economy Means an Inferior Culture?

Politics

Déjà vu and the Tea Party

To be a member of the Know Nothing Party, one had to be ‘a native born citizen, a Protestant, born of Protestant parents, reared under Protestant influence, and not united in marriage with a Roman Catholic’.  In addition, members of the Know Nothing Party had to take a pledge to prevent ‘the insidious policy of…… Continue reading Déjà vu and the Tea Party