Omar Sacirbey

Omar Sacirbey is a Boston-based correspondent for Religion News Service and other publications.

All Stories by Omar Sacirbey

Federal judge: Let passengers challenge no-fly list designation

By Omar Sacirbey — June 25, 2014
(RNS) Many Muslim Americans believe they are disproportionately targeted by the no-fly list, which has been found to include the names of many Americans with names similar to those of real terrorist suspects.

Gay Muslims come out in Toronto photo exhibit

By Omar Sacirbey — June 13, 2014
(RNS) “Muslims around the world are saying, ‘You know what? My relationship with Islam doesn't have to be guilt-ridden,’” said Toronto native Samra Habib, the photographer behind “Just Me and Allah.”

Muslim group sues Canadian prime minister for defamation

By Omar Sacirbey — May 29, 2014
(RNS) The row began when the prime minister's spokesman said, “We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization.”

REPORT: Internet hate speech can lead to acts of violence

By Omar Sacirbey — May 6, 2014
(RNS) The Muslim Advocates report contains examples of hate speech and how it can lead to violence, as well as how victims of online hate speech can report it and counter it.

Site of proposed Ground Zero mosque may become a museum

By Omar Sacirbey — April 30, 2014
(RNS) If developer Sharif El-Gamal has his way, the site of the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero may become a museum of Islamic culture.

Despite suspicions, Muslims determined to run in Monday’s Boston Marathon

By Omar Sacirbey — April 18, 2014
(RNS) While Boston’s Muslims acknowledge that many people still associate their religion with terrorism, they also believe that by being involved in events like the Boston Marathon, they are breaking that link.

Muslims welcome shuttering of NYPD spying unit

By Omar Sacirbey — April 16, 2014
(RNS) Muslims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where the spying took place, said the program intimidated Muslims from attending mosques, speaking in public and making charitable contributions to Muslim charities.

Supernatural thriller ‘Jinn’ features creatures from Muslim folklore

By Omar Sacirbey — April 10, 2014
(RNS) Mercurial beings that, according to the Quran and other Eastern traditions, were created by God inhabit Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad’s latest horror movie.

Brandeis University reneges on honorary degree for Muslim critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali

By Omar Sacirbey — April 9, 2014
BOSTON (RNS) Many Muslim and Jewish leaders welcomed the decision by Brandeis to renege on awarding Ali an honorary degree, calling it a victory against hate speech.

Why some Muslim countries won’t screen ‘Noah’

By Omar Sacirbey — March 31, 2014
(RNS) Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia are among the countries that banned the movie "Noah." But aside from Muhammad, the prohibition on portraying other prophets is neither in the Quran nor the hadith.

Civil rights groups appeal ruling allowing NYPD to spy on Muslims

By Omar Sacirbey — March 21, 2014
(RNS) Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights appealed a federal judge’s ruling that affirmed the right of the New York City Police Department to spy on Muslims.

At Naw-Ruz, Iranian-Americans see hope for U.S.-Iranian thaw

By Omar Sacirbey — March 19, 2014
(RNS) This year, Naw-Ruz holds special meaning for Iranian-Americans, who in recent months have witnessed a historic, if slow, thaw in relations between their native and adopted countries.

Anti-Muslim speakers still popular in law enforcement training

By Omar Sacirbey — March 12, 2014
(RNS) The Culpeper (Va.) controversy is the latest law-enforcement training course to draw harsh criticism from Muslim groups who say agencies hire purported experts in Islam or counterterrorism who in fact have other agendas.

New documentary recounts story of heroic Muslim spy

By Omar Sacirbey — February 27, 2014
(RNS) The filmmakers knew they wanted to tell a story about a Muslim who did something heroic during World War II, because so few stories are known. Noor Inayat Khan’s story was the most alluring because of her deep spirituality.

Is new Katy Perry video blasphemous? Some think so

By Omar Sacirbey — February 26, 2014
(RNS) Nearly 60,000 people have signed a petition demanding that YouTube take down a Katy Perry video they say is blasphemous and offensive to Muslims. Others say the flap is much ado about nothing.
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