2013 Miss America, Nina Davuluri

Miss America, sexism, and “American Values”

So when we hear bigoted online voices stating their disappointment that “An Arab”, a “sand nigger”, or a “Muslim” has won the Ms. America prize, the correct response is not to merely point that Ms. Davuluri is in fact both American and Hindu. The conversation is also about America, and American identity. It is not about who Ms. Davuluri is not. It’s about who we as Americans are, who we wish to become.

Tahera Ahmad reciting the Qur'an at ISNA convention

Words of God in women’s voices: Women reciting the Qur’an in public

A leading Muslim female scholar (Tahera Ahmad) recited the Qur’an at the national Muslim convention this year, a first. If we state that God is neither male nor female, and we emphatically do, then we should be capable of listening to the words of that God coming from the mouth of women and men, children and adults. If God can speak through a burning bush, God can speak through a woman.

Muslims demonstrating against NYPD surveillance

NYPD: Muslims are terrorists

This hideous practice not only tramples on the rights of American Muslims, it also makes a mockery of the very rights and freedoms that are at the heart of the American experiment. If America is great, if America wants to be great, its greatness is to be measured not in the size of the flags we fly, but the extent to which we recognize the innate rights of all of our citizens, starting with the most marginalized amongst us.

Destruction of a Nagasaki temple

America, nuclear bombs, and drones

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should haunt us to remain ever vigilant against the catastrophic and devastating nature of violence. That includes today’s ongoing Drone Wars.

President Obama hosting Ramadan iftar

Beyond #WhiteHouseIftar: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity

Here are six concrete points and strategies to help us continue a principled and constructive conversation about #whitehouseiftars. In the last thirty years, we as Muslims have had intense conversations about our multiple and overlapping identities as Americans and as Muslims. What kind of America we want to belong to? An America that is an Empire, or a land of liberty and rights? If it is the latter, words will not suffice. We need to be participants in making that a reality.