American Islam Must be Rooted in American Pluralism

Jun 17

“The fact that it took place at a club frequented by the LGBT community I think is also relevant,” said President Obama after the unspeakable tragedy in Orlando, when a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The identity of the victim has been either dimly acknowledged or not acknowledged by two groups – Republican...

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London elects its first Muslim mayor to a sense of hope

May 26

London elects its first Muslim mayor to a sense of hope Florida Times Union, May 16, 2016 Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, being elected Mayor of London, topples a pervading narrative and in its wake leaves behind unparalleled opportunities. The son of Pakistani immigrants rising to run one of the leading cities in the globe is almost as remarkable as the more celebrated story...

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Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dec 15

Co-authored by Mark Schlakman* Dear Mr. Trump, It certainly isn’t a revelation that America and its politics are sharply divided. Vilifying the “other” major political party is seemingly more palatable than advancing transformative ideas or reaching across partisan lines to achieve meaningful compromise. Smaller factions within both major parties,...

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Stepping out of My Bubble: An American Muslim’s Journey to Jerusalem

Sep 11

This summer I traveled to Israel and Palestine to be part of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) organized by a Jerusalem and New York based Jewish educational organization, the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI). MLI is a groundbreaking program that I felt was going to expand my critical understanding of the complex political, religious, and social factors, which...

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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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