Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He leads educational tours to Turkey every summer, through Illuminated Tours: http://www.illuminatedtours.com
By accurately labeling the terrorism associated with 9/11 as "Al-Qaeda terrorism", we avoid the dangers of legitimizing the terrorist organizations or demonizing an entire religious or ethnic block of humanity.
2013 was a bloody, difficult, unraveling year for many Muslims around the world. May 2014 be a year that sees the discomforted comforted, the orphans cared for, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the homeless provided with shelter. May there be a widening of the circle of compassion, may there be a real peace rooted in justice, and above all else, may all of us be participants in making it so.
I am reminded that all of us are born through some one else's pain, and raised through sacrifice. From the very beginning, love and suffering go hand in hand. And it remains that way. I give thanks for the love, and give thanks for all who sacrifice every day.
The treatment of Palestinians and African refugees is surely a serious challenge to the rosy depiction of Israel as a robust democracy. It also reflects a profound perversion of Jewish ethics and Biblical teachings.
It is vital for Muslim reformers to have and maintain a holistic sense of justice in which one speaks simultaneously against both abuses of Muslim extremists and Western colonial powers. As for Malala, it means simultaneously to speak against the misogynist policies of the Taliban AND the violence inflicted on the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan by American drones.
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.
What is perhaps most frustrating about the NY Times' "mental deficiency" language vis-a-vis Muslims and democracy is that this language is simply a continuation of a colonial apologia where Western countries colonizing and occupying, Muslim (and other) countries justified their lingering oppression by stating that these countries “were not ready to rule themselves”, “lacked the mental qualifications needed for self-governance”, etc. This colonial—which is to say, unjust and oppressive—worldview must be exposed and dismantled before we can embrace a more holistic and humanistic paradigm.
Late-hour, sneaky, and anti-democratic measures sponsored by North Carolina Republicans have brought together two measures that would seem to have nothing in common with another: politics of the abortion debate, and marginalizing Muslims.
This photo-essay offers a survey of unexpectedly beautiful destinations in Iran. With all this aesthetic temptation, who wants to go to Iran?
Thousands are willing and eager to go. Now let's see if the governments (United States and Iranian) are ready to catch up to the good will of their people.
American Islamophobes are deemed to be "not conducive to the public good" by the British Government. Right on! This is not even about Islam and Islamophobia. It is about the type of society that we wish to live in, and whether we are to be a society of citizens ruled by law and mutual respect, or to live in an environment characterized by fear and paranoia.
President Obama poetically stated: "No wall can stand against the yearning of justice,"
Mr. President, tear down all these walls.
Mr. President, tear down the segregation wall in Palestine/Israel.
Mr. President, tear down the wall along the American-Mexico border.
Mr. President, tear down these walls.