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.
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.
A Different Kind of Fear: Growing up Muslim in the Age of Trump
In our roles as Muslim mothers, fathers, teachers, leaders, counselors and many others, we worry. We worry about our children, our students, and all the young people already struggling in a world that tells them they are not wanted, not loved, not good enough, not American enough.
Sharing Stories of Sensuality: Choosing Our Words Carefully
As a community, we need to stop patting people on the back and encouraging them to find themselves by sharing mistakes from their past, disguised as a gift of warning to the world. We need to remind ourselves of the importance of hayaa’ and take back our own narratives in our own tongue. Ignoring taboo topics won’t make them go away and by no means will they disappear if we don’t talk about them. But there is a fine line between using crude language that encourages a bragging of sorts and using modest language that explains and warns in an age-appropriate way.
Reconnecting With Our Family
As we begin the calendar year of 2014, many of us will reflect on the previous year and contemplate ways to enrich our lives. Among the most common resolutions made around this time are those directly related to self-improvement such as weight loss, exercise and healthier eating, knowledge seeking, career and academic success, and spiritual renewal. While these are all noteworthy goals to work towards, one of the areas of improvement that is often neglected is reconnecting with our family and ensuring that we spend both the quantity and quality of time required to foster a healthy family life.