Following the Trail of Khamenei\'s Fatwa Against Nuclear Weapons

Two Iranian scholars discuss the history of Khamenei’s prohibition against nuclear weapons and provide the Shia perspective on why it is a binding religious decree. More »

Is the Kurdish Spring Finally Blossoming?

Michal Kranz traces developments in the Middle East that point to a new solidarity between Kurdish groups that increases the prospect of a united Kurdistan. More »

Does the Voice of America Want to Be Associated With an Extremist Buddhist Group?

Voice of America shares the same satellite provider as the Buddhist organization known as Ma Ba Tha who encourage Islamophobia and genocide against stateless Rohingya. More »

Chicagoans March in Solidarity to Support Community Control of the Police

Marchers representing the Black, Latino, Arab, Muslim, and many more communities impacted by a history of Chicago Police shootings, torture, profiling, harassment and surveillance demand control of neighborhood policing. More »


Palestinian Activist Bassim Tamimi: Part of the Only “Peace Process” Worth Pursuing


By Liqa Affaneh

Many media outlets portray Palestinians as terrorists. However, the story of many Palestinians living through each day of the occupation of their land the best way they can is rarely told. I am fortunate to be living in a city like Chicago that has a very active Arab-American community plus many organizations that promote human rights, justice, and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Unbiased news outlets constantly remind us of Palestinian suffering as well their unreported suffering.

Why We Rarely Hear the Term “Muslim Feminist”


Islam is often portrayed as an inherently oppressive religion with no possibility of cultivating gender equity. As a result of this inaccurate picture, many believe the religion of Islam contains mandates that oppress Muslim women. These misunderstandings are evident in conversations centered on the Muslim headscarf, or hijab. Muslim women across the world are often stereotyped as victims and are frequently targets of mainstream feminist and human rights campaigns. Yet these campaigns selectively ignore a history of strong Muslim feminists; therefore, ridding Muslim women of agency and privileging a created narrative of passivity and inaction.

The Tragedy in Mecca and Islamic Fatalism


The recent tragedies in Saudi Arabia that have led to hundreds of deaths has revived the debate on Islamic fatalism. The question of man’s control over his destiny has been a topic of philosophical debate since ancient Greece. The dilemma goes like this: If humans have the ability to make decisions, this diminishes God’s universal powers. But if God makes all decisions, humans have no responsibility for their own deeds, negating such concepts as justice and punishment.

DePaul Coalition Calls for Removal of Dean Implicated in Guantanamo Torture


By Bill Chambers

A coalition of DePaul University students, faculty and alumni held a press conference on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 with academics Dr. Frank Summers and M. Cherif Bassiouni to demand removal of Gerald P. Koocher from his position of Dean of the College of Science and Health. Dr. Frank Summers and M. Cherif Bassiouni, spoke on the collusion between the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), and torture as an international crime.

Following the Trail of Khamenei’s Fatwa Against Nuclear Weapons


It took almost 12 years for the highly controversial nuclear issue of Iran to conclude in an international historic agreement signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the European Union and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany, called the P5+1. Given the critical nature of the agreement, one finds many different viewpoints among analysts, some of them contradictory, about the actual implications of the deal. Some analysts believe that the agreement will “on its own strengthens Iran’s hand in the region by reducing its isolation and adding significantly to its economic resources,” while others say ”It will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, raise the prospect for war, spur a conventional and nuclear arms race and threaten our regional allies.” The Obama administration regards it as the best available deal. Others argue that both sides might be correct.

An Educator on What the #AhmedMohamed Case Means for All Schools


By Anisha Ismail Patel

As an educator, I am and always will be a public school advocate.  I believe in the hard work that teachers put in everyday to meet the needs of their students.  I am inspired by school leadership dedicated to creating a positive learning environment. When schools and teachers are criticized as an educator I go on the defensive trying to really figure out the reasoning behind the action being condemned.  That’s why when I heard about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed for building a homemade clock; I searched for a way to legitimize the arrest.

Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock and the School to Prison Pipeline


By Najlah Iqbal

Earlier this month, a fourteen-year-old boy in Irving Texas named Ahmed Mohamed was wrongfully arrested for accusations of building a hoax bomb. Despite Mohamed denying these accusations,  it was determined he had actually built a homemade clock  to impress his engineering teacher. In the midst of all this, one can realize how susceptible black and brown youth are to being criminalized, and how the education system all over the country is participating in the school-to-prison-pipeline.

How Indian History Has Been Unfair to Its Muslim Legacy


The recent decision of the Indian government to rename Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi as Abul Kalam Road has raised a furious debate over the continuing maneuvers of Hindu nationalists to demonize the Muslim emperor. Surprisingly the strongest condemnation has come from non-Muslim intellectuals. Aurangzeb was perhaps the most pluralist Mughal emperor, but history has been unfair to him.

Chicagoans Commemorate World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 2015


By Bill Chambers

From September 21th through the 27th, The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) called for a “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.” The PIEF was launched by the World Council of Churches in 2007 to catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions, and demonstrate its commitment to inter-religious action for peace and to justice that serves all peoples of the region. On Monday, Chicagoans from the Working Group on the Middle East – Metro Chicago Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and other church representatives in the area held a “Gathering for Peace in Palestine/Israel.” Monday was also the UN International Day of Peace.

Op Ed: Inclusive School Calendars – The Case for All or None


As the school year starts, the community prepares for the eventful year ahead. Parents are encouraged to sync the school calendars onto their own devices or they place a copy onto the fridge. To plan ahead they mark the vacation days. Some families excitedly circle Christmas and secretly kids begin their countdown to the holidays. On the other hand, many parents and children realize that their religious holidays are not recognized on the calendar. They wonder, is their holiday may it be Diwali, Eid, Kwanzaa or the many other faith groups not as fun? Not as significant? Whether intended or not by the school, these children may feel a strong sense of exclusion right off the bat. These families may straight away not feel welcomed or connected to the school culture as their celebrations were not acknowledged. Parents have to field questions from their hurt children, “Why is it that our holiday is not included and celebrated at our school, is it not as important?”