Pluralism in Islam — Between Scripture and Praxis

Aug 02

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August issue of Islamic Horizons. Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy in a New York Times article recounted her 2005 encounter with Mohammed Akef, the then spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood. When she suggested to Akef that the verses in the Quran regarding women’s dress have several interpretations, Akef...

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Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam

Apr 28

A version of this article first appeared in the May/June issue of Islamic Horizons. The Fort Hood killings, the Times Square terror plot and the Boston marathon bombing were all ostensibly carried out in the name of Islam. All terrorists are not Muslims and nor are all Muslims terrorists. Yet, a disproportionate number of perpetrators of violent attacks claim doing...

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Je Suis Humain: A Plea to Embrace Our Humanity

Jan 17

For the first time since World War II, the Grand Synagogue in Paris did not host its normal Shabbat services on Friday, in the wake of terrorist attacks that started with Charlie Hebdo and ended in a bloody standoff at a Jewish kosher shop in Paris. This hostage taking at a Jewish business is one of many indicators suggesting a rise of anti-Semitism in Europe,...

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Je Suis Charlie: In Defense of Free Speech

Jan 09

Je Suis Charlie: In Defense of Free Speech

Posted on Huffington Post, January 9, 2015. I admire Charlie Hebdo for standing up against threats to free speech, but I am saddened to see them pay such a heavy price for their beliefs. Cartoons and satire, even the most provocative ones, remain vital for a healthy civil society. Only the deranged are threatened by them. Charlie Hebdo wanted to spread a little...

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FRIDAY SERMON: God Consciousness and Justice In Islam

Jul 08

Delivered on the occasion of the rare convergence of Ramadan, Friday and July 4th by Parvez Ahmed Venue: Islamic Center of Northeast Florida Date: July 4, 2014 (Note – It is customary to recite verses from the Quran in Arabic. In the interest of space and formatting, this write up omits the Arabic verses and only provides their English translations) HOMILY...

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Boko Haram and Bill Maher Are Both Wrong

May 23

Huffington Post Recently a friend commented that even if the Muslim community engaged in a thousand interfaith dialogues, the headline that a Nigerian Muslim extremist group, Boko Haram, has abducted school girls threatening to sell them as slaves is enough to overshadow efforts at building bridges of understanding. Groups like Al Qaeda and Boko Haram claim to...

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