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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The Hubris of the Islamic Label

Mar 02

The Hubris of the Islamic Label

Posted on Huffington Post on Feb 25, 2015. Islamists, defined by AP as those who favor, “reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam,” view their interpretation of Islam as Islamic, often to the exclusion of other point of views. In the West, an amalgam of ideologues, from the far-right conservatives to the libertarian...

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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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Love Thy Neighbor

Jan 05

Question - I have an impression that Islam, like Judaism, is a bit legalistic.  Even though I consider myself a rationalist, I am convinced that Christianity is an emotional response to God and Christ.  Christ’s great teaching is “to love your lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and to love your neighbor as...

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Last Sermon

Sep 26

Question – Provide an overall summary of the message of Islam. The last sermon of Prophet Muhammad was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (632 CE) in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Makkah. After praising, and thanking God the Prophet began with the words: “O People! lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year...

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