Omar Sacirbey

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

All Stories by Omar Sacirbey

Denim burqa ad: bold or insulting?

September 19, 2013

(RNS) Racist and condescending are among the criticisms that have been leveled at the ad, created by Nicola Formichetti, the former stylist to Lady Gaga. Others say it is empowering.

Can bubbas love Muslims? A new documentary tries

September 12, 2013

(RNS) Muslim stand-up comedy is nothing new. But what makes “The Muslims Are Coming” different is that it portrays what happens when a troupe of comedians performs before red state Americans.

Muslim clerk wins hijab fight against Abercrombie and Fitch

September 9, 2013

(RNS) Abercrombie argued that it was exercising its right to commercial free speech, and that an employee who wore a headscarf could hurt the store’s business, even though the company could not produce any evidence of economic harm.

Muslim mother seeks justice for the son she lost on 9/11

September 9, 2013

(RNS) It’s been five years now that Talat Hamdani has been able to talk about her son without crying, but she still prefers mostly not to tell his story. “It’s all over the Internet,” she said. She’s stopped talking about how she initially didn’t worry when her son, Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who was a cadet […]

Bullying of Asian-Americans spikes in New York City schools

September 5, 2013

(RNS) The report found that bullying of Asian-American students nearly doubled, to 50 percent, in 2012 compared with 27 percent of students in a 2009 report.

N.C. governor allows anti-Shariah bill to become law

August 26, 2013

(RNS) North Carolina became the seventh state to prohibit its judges from considering Islamic law after Gov. Pat McCrory allowed the bill to become law without formally signing it.

Oklahoma anti-Shariah amendment struck down

August 16, 2013

(RNS) A federal judge has struck down Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment that would have prohibited judges in the state from considering Shariah law.

What imams talk about during Eid

August 8, 2013

(RNS) “The Eid khutba is like the State of the Union address,” said Oklahoma-born convert Suhaib Webb, referring to the sermons Muslims heard at mosques around the U.S. as they celebrated the end of Ramadan.

Muslims oppose possible Raymond Kelly bid for Homeland Security

August 1, 2013

(RNS) Muslims say that as head of the nation’s biggest police force, the commissioner oversaw a spying program that targeted Muslims based solely on their religion, showed poor judgment by participating in a virulently anti-Islamic film, and approved a report on terrorism that equated innocuous behavior such as quitting smoking with signs of radicalization.

NC Muslims hope Gov. Pat McCrory vetoes anti-Shariah bill

July 26, 2013

(RNS) If Gov. Pat McCrory signs the bill, North Carolina would become the seventh state to have an anti-Shariah law, joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In May, Alabama lawmakers approved a like-minded constitutional amendment that state voters will consider in 2014.

Shariah 101: What is it and why do states want to ban it?

July 25, 2013

(RNS) Muslims around the world have varying views about what Shariah entails, and its role in personal and public life. So what exactly is Shariah? Here are five facts that might help make sense of this complex and often misunderstood term.

Muslims criticize Bloomberg veto of NYPD watchdog

July 25, 2013

(RNS) Muslim-American civil rights groups are criticizing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for vetoing a bill on Tuesday that would have created an independent inspector general to oversee the New York City Police Department.

Lawmakers ask Obama for religious diversity summit

July 17, 2013

(RNS) The letter comes just ahead of the first anniversary of the Aug. 5 attack by a white supremacist on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that killed six worshippers.

For some converts, Ramadan is the loneliest time of year

July 8, 2013

(RNS) Ramadan is the most social month of the Muslim year, a period of fellowship with family and friends over sometimes lavish evening meals. But many American converts to Islam break the daily fast alone, often in front of the TV set.

Concerns rise over halal fraud

June 27, 2013

(RNS) The booming halal market is often accompanied by a lack of consensus about what constitutes halal. In addition, several well-publicized incidents of fraud have left halal consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous merchants and suspicious about the sources of the products they are buying.

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