This year, as the 2016 election season heats up, I was increasingly worried about sending my young children off to their preschool and elementary schools. I could not imagine sending my children into the care of people I didn’t know in schools that were new to us in a broader national climate of anti-Muslim bigotry. So I did what many Jehovah’s Witness moms do before school starts each year. I emailed my children’s teachers and administrators and asked for fifteen minutes of their time…
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Guests: Fariha Khan, Sofia Ali-Khan, Kameelah Mumin Rashad, and Bina Shah
How do Muslim women feel about the way their religion is portrayed in the media, its place in American culture, and the ongoing presidential race? To get some answers, Radio Times producer Elizabeth Fiedler spoke with three Muslim women who live in the Philadelphia area about their lives, the surprising comments they receives about their appearance and religion, and about the term ‘forever foreigner.’ She spoke with FARIHA KHAN, associate director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Muslim American public interest lawyer and writer SOFIA ALI-KHAN and KAMEELAH MU’MIN RASHAD, the Muslim chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of the nonprofit Muslim Wellness Foundation. Then Marty speaks with Pakistan-based journalist BINA SHAH about what the West gets wrong about Afghan women.
“…I have always known that I would need to prepare my children, as racial and religious minorities, to handle the kind of covert racism and ignorance I experienced with my teachers, and the hypocrisy I experienced with my childhood friend. Those experiences were not easy, but they were not crises. Through them, I developed the ability to speak loudly and clearly, to carry myself with dignity, to listen carefully, and to learn. They were the inevitable challenges of taking part in the great project of pluralism. In that project we are offered the divine opportunity to reach across gender and color, across nation, language and tribe “that we might come to know one another,” as the Qur’an describes.
But today’s Republican rhetoric-turned-platform would deny me, and would deny my children, a place at the table altogether. It drives a fundamental shift in what I have understood to be the ideals of my country. It says that America is not, and should not be, all of ours, together. It subverts the blessed opportunity of pluralism and replaces it with fear, contempt and violence. And so this election is, for me, not simply about choosing a President, but about surveying my countrymen’s vision for the future of America.”
Read more of my latest at altmuslimah.com: http://www.altmuslimah.com/2016/05/is-your-passport-in-order/
My latest piece on Huffington Post:
“…This is my Islam, this is my surrender. This is what it means to me to be a person of faith: to strive to understand the nature of myself as a human, and to strive to understand the nature of the world around me. To be in humble service wherever I can. And to steward what is my part firmly, gently when possible, as best as I can. Is there a place for my faith in America today?”
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You are in my prayers
such as they are,
which is to say imperfect,
bound together with a bit of biodegradable twine
and sprouted in a shovel full of compost
yearning like the veins
on a translucent yellow leaf
not ever quite what the scholars imagined.
Neither the ecstatic precision of
a mystic on cosmic time
counting each sujood as an essential detail in the
unfurling of some great global lotus of prayer,
nor the hafizah who corrects the
timing of my salaam
seem to motivate the kind of
principled obedience I might
expect from myself.
It seems my heart has always some
or unintentional caress
to dole out in exactly the wrong circumstance.
It seems I am always falling backwards
out of the parable, and onto the floor
unkempt and smiling.
“…rhetorically, Cruz has moved us one step closer to a fractured democracy. While his words are certainly scary for Muslims, they pose a serious threat to all Americans. The Republicans’ inflammatory rhetoric this election cycle has done something remarkable to this country in a very short period of time: It has turned this country into a tinderbox.” Read the full letter here.
…….Hijab became my skin when I was skinless. As I wrapped an oblong scarf around my head each morning I felt as if I were securing it to my body, as if I were bandaging a wound. It was a constant reminder that in a world gone mad, and in the lonely process of making a new life in a strange city, I could exist in a state of grace. I belonged to my maker. I was liberated from the excesses of the world around me, both the personal excesses of individuals, and the violent excesses of nation states. It was the equivalent of finding a fixed point to focus on when your yoga teacher tells you to balance on one foot: It might seem unrelated to the goal, but it is absolutely essential….
Read More at http://www.altmuslimah.com/2016/02/10879/