When Pakistan is Safer than North Carolina

“Remember the clock kid, Ahmed? He was honored by President Obama for his ingenuity and scholastic achievement after he was put in handcuffs and arrested at his own school for the same. He lives with his family in Qatar now, because of safety concerns after he became a target of Richard Dawkins and other right-wing public figures.

There’s a recent story that is every bit as heartbreaking. In it, a cherub-faced first-grader named Abdul Aziz was beaten, punched in the face, kicked in the stomach and ended up with his arm in a sling. The seven-year-old was attacked by his classmates for being Muslim. They tried to force him to eat non-zabiha food, and when he refused, they made fun of his name and attacked him….  Keep Reading

Dear Neighbor: I Take Your Trump Sign Personally

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“Dear Neighbor:

I want you to know that I take your Trump sign personally. I take it personally because I have a vagina, or as your favored candidate might say, a “p***y.” My daughter has one, too. And I figure if you’re okay with a p***y-grabber for President, you might just be one yourself. I assume you vetted the guy before you put that sign on your lawn, facing my home, in our safe and quiet suburban neighborhood. The latest news, I bet, reaches you before it reaches me, since we don’t have cable television at our house. But your loud, proud sign supporting a sexual predator for President is still out there, right alongside the quiet part of the block, where my kids sometimes practice riding their bikes. I don’t think we’ll be riding our bikes near your place any more. …

To read the rest of the letter, go here.

A Muslim and a Jehovah’s Witness Walk into a School…

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…

Read the full article here:

http://www.altmuslimah.com/2016/09/muslim-jehovahs-witness-walk-school/

Radio Spot on the Experiences of Muslim American Women

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.

LISTEN HERE:

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2016/05/09/exhausting-experiences-of-frustration-surprise-for-muslim-women/

Is Your Passport in Order?

“…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/

 

 

 

An American Muslim Mom on Faith, Parenting and the 2016 Election

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?”

Read More Here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sofia-alikhan/an-american-muslim-mom-on_b_9786870.html

In My Prayers

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

earnest but

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

stray hair

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.