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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Lack of Women Empowerment Contradicts Quranic Vision

Dec 24

An abridged version of this article ran in the Huffington Post. Also posted on OnIslam.net “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable...

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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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Polygamy and Marraige

Nov 09

Question – What is the origin of polygamy in Islam? Was it a “revelation” or economic necessity or a result of Muhammad’s lifestyle? Is it common about Arab tribes? The sacred texts of Islam, Christianity and Judaism do not explicitly prohibit polygamy or polygyny (a man married to more than one woman at a time). Biblical prophets, like Muhammad, practiced...

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