Tag Archives: Islam

Can Muslims Ever be “Happy”?

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By Hesham A. HassaballaHesham_CM

There has been considerable controversy over the “Happy British Muslims” video set to the song, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams. Although most have responded positively to the effort by a group called the “Honesty Policy​”,​there ha​s​ been no shortage of those, especially on social media, who have denounced it as “haram,” or “forbidden.” ​

Unmasking the Wonderful World of Disney

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By Bilal Hussain

After learning about the cancellation of the cable television series by ABC Family channel, Alice in Arabia, I found it interesting that a major network such as ABC would make it seem like they were trying to disempower Arabs and Muslims. With that in mind, I find it even more interesting that the Disney Company owns Marvel, the same company that releases the Ms. Marvel comic books. There is a connection between what is being promoted with Alice in Arabia and what is being promoted with Ms. Marvel. While Disney is reinforcing stereotypes of Muslims, Disney is also trying to shatter stereotypes and misconceptions of Muslims with the release of the Ms. Marvel comic book.

Colorado soccer team don headscarves in solidarity with Muslim teammate

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By Sabah Adil

On March 12, 2014, soccer player Samah Aidah was prohibited from wearing a headscarf during a school game. Samah, a young Muslim girl at Overland High School in Colorado, was asked by the referees to sit out because wearing the hijab in a game would have been “dangerous.” In response, the entire varsity soccer team, also known as Trailblazers, donned headscarves in solidarity with Samah.

Planet Fitness Kicks Muslim Woman Out

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By Dounia Mshaiel

Albuquerque ‘s Planet Fitness refused to let Tarainia McDaniel wear her religious head cover when she attempted to workout at the gym. McDaniel is a 37-year old African American woman who converted to Islam when she was 16, she has practiced the religion ever since. Islam is now apart of her identity and she is also raising her two kids as Muslims.

The Problem with ‘Experts on Islam’

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By Hesham A. Hassaballa

It really defies logic that people with clear anti-Muslim bias purport themselves as being “experts on Islam” and teach courses to law enforcement agencies about counter-terrorism. The latest of these is John Guandolo, who is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “notorious Muslim-basher and conspiracy theorist.”

Zareena Grewal: American Muslims and the Reform of Islam

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By Bill Chambers

Zareena Grewal, a historical anthropologist who teaches American Studies and Religious Studies at Yale University, gave the al-Ghazali Intercultural Lecture at Elmhurst College on the topic of “American Muslims and the Reform of Islam”. The focus of her research is on race, gender, religion, nationalism and transnationalism across a wide spectrum of American Muslim communities. Her speech was based on ten years of research for her book, “Islam is a Foreign Country” that explores “how the question of who defines Islam today is intertwined with American Muslim’s identity as a national religious minority and as part of the umma, a global majority.”

From Wonderland to Saudi: ‘Alice in Arabia’ Set to Air on ABC Family

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By Samia Shameem

TWITTER–Yesterday, beginning at 1PM CST and continuing long after, tweets bearing the hashtag “#AliceInArabia” expressed dismay and weariness towards ABC Family‘s upcoming drama about Arabs and Muslims.

Alice in Arabia is the aspiring TV-drama written by ex-U.S. soldier Brooke Eikmeier. The plot follows an American teenage girl as she is abducted by her Saudi-Arabian grandfather and taken to Saudi Arabia, where she is imprisoned within his home. Wait, I thought Alice was in Wonderland…

The After-Party: #EmpoweredMuslimWomen

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By Samia Shameem

On March 4th, Sabina Khan-Ibarra hosted a Twitter party, with Aisha Saeed and Laila Alawa helping to moderate it. The cause: to celebrate #EmpoweredMuslimWomen. The conversation gave Muslim women the chance to define themselves, instead of everyone else doing it for them. The result: #EmpoweredMuslimWomen was trending in the United States. Empowered Muslim women were trending—talk about foreshadowing.

Reza Aslan and “Zealot”: Six Months On

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By Bill Chambers

Reza Aslan, Middle East Commentator for NPR, Muslim Affairs Analyst, and author of “No god but God: the Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam” spoke at Elmhurst College on February 14 about his most recent book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”. The lecture was six months after his book was published and after his infamous interview with Fox News anchor Lauren (“You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”) Green.  His answer to her and to all the conservative pundits was “I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.” So how has Aslan’s message changed after six months of interviews and lectures?

February: A Month to Focus on the Hunger Strikes at Guantanamo

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February 2014 marks the anniversary of the massive campaign of hunger strikes by Guantanamo Bay Detention Center detainees. People in Chicago will be holding several events in solidarity.