Turning Back the Tide of Leftist Influences: Part 2
Turning back the tide of leftist influences does not mean not working with leftists at all. Working with them without violating normative creed, Islamic manners and modesty (al-hayaa) should be done per the Prophetic example, however, and not upon their terms.
The Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him & his family) in essence told his companions that for a social justice issue that is congruent with Islam, it is noble to work with others including polytheists. Working together on a cause, however, never meant to the companions that those who could be partnered with must have their beliefs, lifestyles and language affirmed in the process.
13 Reasons Why Not: A Muslim Perspective
13 Reasons Why has swept the nation as it vividly, and controversially, takes viewers through the journey of a high school girl’s suicide, from her perspective. The series showcases many of the social ills our teens face today that can lead to struggles that are difficult to address. Regardless of whether your tween or teenage child has watched this show, it’s likely that they have heard some discussions regarding the storyline and the characters. Take this opportunity to open age-appropriate dialogue with your children if they have been exposed to these themes and strive to be their first source of information when they indicate a need to talk. Here are thirteen reasons why our youth today may not feel confident, comfortable, or secure in situations at school or with their peers and what we can do about it.
Turning Back the Tide of Leftist Influences: Part 1
As a consequence of the perception that the Left provides more of a socio-political safe space, some within the community have absorbed much of the sensibilities and moral relativism of the Left. This is the time for those who firmly adhere to Islamic tradition to have moral courage in the face of a leftist intolerance that seeks to shut down debate or introduce heterodox ideas among Muslims in the name of plurality.
Responding to the Divine Call
As an increasing number of Muslims engage in political activism it is essential that the Divine Call be answered first. Otherwise, instead of moving with the transcendent compass that will make one act in accordance with Islamic teachings and principles, incoherent materialistic ideologies will be adopted in its place.
Having A Healthy Appreciation for Islamic Scholars
Many American Muslims have been recently engaged in conversations about the relationship between activists and traditionally trained Islamic scholars. Though there have been stellar individuals who fall into the camp of qualified activist scholars or shuyookh, these have historically been exceptions more so than what has been predominant. In dealing with the reality in which we currently live in today, there are some fundamental aspects relating to adab (etiquettes) of engagement and critique in which laymen, including activists, should have with scholars.
Muslim Women in Leadership: Nana Asma’u, Daughter of the Shehu
The history of Muslim women is a history of action, acumen and resilience. It is a history of intelligence, interest and stamina. It is a history of personal power, community care and global grit. And few exemplify this history like Nana Asma’u of the early nineteenth century.
History, Memory and Our Collective Story(ies)
As we continue to debate the future of the American Muslim story, especially at this critical juncture, we must first realize that simply throwing around buzz-words like “narrative” and “storytelling” will not be enough. We need a systematic and focused effort to record, examine, and share the many facets of the collective American Muslim story(ies). This is more critical today than ever as Islam and Muslims are misrepresented, vilified and marginalized on a daily basis. We can only expect this trend to intensify in the days ahead. A confident, forward-looking American Muslim vision will have to invest in such an effort to discredit this rampant misrepresentation.
The Muslim Messy Truth
On a recent cross-continental flight I sat next to a man who was a supporter of Donald Trump. You can imagine the awkward position we were both in. Racist. Islamophobe. Misogynist. Those were a few of the adjectives that could have crossed my mind, while terrorist, anti-American, ISIS may have been on his. We both had to choose: tolerate each other for a few hours, passing the occasional disingenuous smile with meaningless pleasantries or address the elephant in the room and engage in a real conversation. We chose the latter.
We Are All Tested
Yes, we are all tested in different ways. But that doesn’t mean that the differences in our tests should make us less empathetic to the plight of others. We may think that Syria needs us, but the reality is — we need Syria. This is one test we all must learn from and face together.
Advancing the Conversation on CVE
There is a lack of clarity in American Muslim discussion as to what CVE is. I put forth a definition and description of CVE as a concept to inform and inject greater clarity into American Muslim community conversations on the topic, so communities are making better informed decisions by hearing from more than one particular narrative.
Three Suggestions in the Wake of the Presidency of Donald Trump
Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States of America. Many are celebrating the symbolism of America having a White male conservative as the next Commander in Chief as well as breathing a sigh of relief that Hillary Clinton will not be in the Oval Office in 2017. Others, however, are upset that Trump won, believing that Trump will usher in a historic low which America has never seen. Within this framework coming off of the most divisive presidential election cycle since the turbulent year of 1968, the socio-political divide in America probably will not mend anytime soon.
Given that we truly do not know where America is heading though there are forecasts which can be made, I offer three piece of advice for American Muslim.