Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

Wow! They Called It “Terrorism”

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved

On the one year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, news surfaced of the arrest of 5 men accused of plotting to blow up a bridge over the Cuyahoga river in Ohio. When I heard on the radio that there was “no link to international terrorism,” I immediately thought to myself: they must be non-Muslims. Sure enough, I was right: they were five white guys who were self-described “anarchists.”

Further, since these guys were not Muslim, I wondered whether anyone, either in law enforcement or the media, would call them what they really were: terrorists. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach, who announced the indictments, said: “This indictment in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot.”

The head of the FBI in northern Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, said that the work of law enforcement showed them “to be vigilant in its efforts to detect and disrupt any terrorism threat, domestic or international.”

Several news reports had “terror” in their headlines:

Chicago Tribune: 5 arrested in alleged terrorist plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge.

ONNtv: Informant revealed in alleged bridge terror plot.

NECN.com: 5 men charged in Cleveland terror plot.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer: A homegrown terror plot foiled.

This is quite heartening to see, because it signals – I hope – an increasing understanding that terrorism has no faith, no ethnicity, no language, no culture. All terrorists – no matter what their faith or motivation – are our enemies, not just the ones who claim to be Muslim.

As Marquette University (my alma mater) political science professor Risa Brooks wrote:

focusing our attention on domestic terrorism of all types and not just that generated by Muslim Americans can help heal the social rifts generated by 9/11. Singling out Muslim militants when we talk about terrorism in the U.S. adds to the mutual alienation of Muslims and Americans of other backgrounds. By unifying in opposition to extremism of all types, we demonstrate to ourselves and to our terrorist adversaries abroad that we remain true to American values and principles.

Amen to that.

Sharia in Action: Sisters Stepping Up for Children

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved

There has been so much hysteria, of late, around the issue of Sharia law and its supposed “threat” to the United States. Now that the general election contest is more in focus, the talk of Sharia will only intensify. Yet, as I have written previously, the “threat” of Sharia law is really nonexistent. Muslims in America are not conspiring to replace the Constitution with Sharia law.

Yet, let me show you where true Sharia law is being practiced: the campaign of “Sisters Steppin’ Up” (SSU) to build a children’s library in Palestine. SSU is made up of young Muslim women who, as their website says,

empower young girls with confidence and leadership skills by using creative ways to strengthen mind, body, and faith.  We strive to form a stronger relationship with Allah, build bonds of sisterhood, and positively impact the community.

They are currently raising funds to build a children’s library in the Palestinian territories. They plan to have a fundraiser in the Chicago area April 20. 

Here is Sharia law: young Muslim women coming together to try to help children in war-torn areas live a better life by building a library for them. No amputations; no stonings; no horrific things that some Muslims have done or currently do in the name of Sharia. These things are horrific misinterpretation of Islamic law.

These children in SSU are practicing true Sharia law, seeking to help others in need. I pray their efforts are successful.

Update: The Best Part of Easter for This Muslim

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved

Cadburry Mini Eggs. On sale. YUM. YUM.

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The Best Part of Easter for This Muslim

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved

As a Muslim, Easter Sunday is just like any other Sunday. Indeed, I am not working on this Easter, but that is due to happenstance rather than religious devotion. In fact, I hope to catch some of the Masters golf action on Sunday. Yet, I know that, at the very same time, millions of my fellow Americans who are Christians will be celebrating the most important holiday of the Christian calendar: the commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. I wish them blessings on this day.

But, I will not be celebrating. Still, there is something great about Easter for me, despite my “non-celebratory” status: the candy. That is, the candy that will go on sale Monday morning.

Just like every year, there will be TONS of Easter candy that will go on sale the very next day, April 9, and that will be a great thing. I have watched, patiently, as the Easter displays went up soon after St. Patrick’s Day without so much as reaching for the heaps of luscious Easter candy that I love to eat. I pass by them every time I happen to go shopping for this and that…and not do a thing.

When I was 16, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store and would see the same thing: loads of candy, all wonderfully on display for the buyer to scoop up, that I would not touch. I waited until the day after Easter…when the candy would be 50% off, and then I would get my employee discount. Bonus!

And that is what is great about Easter for this Muslim. The candy all goes on sale after Easter is finished, and I get to enjoy it at a reduced price: all the chocolate bunnies, Cadberry eggs with the cream inside, and my absolute favorite: Cadberry Mini Eggs. I LOVE those things…and they are very cheap starting April 9. Bonus!

Back when I was a teenager, Ramadan was around the time of Easter, and when the candy all went on sale, I stocked up on bags of those Cadberry Mini Eggs. I still remember the joy of eating an entire bag after a Ramadan post-fasting feast. What fond memories. Now, of course, I can’t do that now…I am much older with a MUCH slower metabolism.  Still, I hope to be able to scoop up a few bags (at a deeply discounted price) and stash them away in my cupboard to slowly enjoy, 2-3 at a time, for the next several weeks to months. Yum. Yum.

Now, of course, Easter is much more important than the candy: it is a very important Christian holiday with themes of sin and redemption as well as victory over death and evil. But, although I respect it, I do not share in this theology as a Muslim. But, one thing I can share in is the great and various candy…and it all goes on sale the day after Easter!

In fact, I am on the only one who does this: a lot of my Christian friends and colleagues also take advantage of the post-Easter sales and stock up on candy. And many times, they bring them to the hospital to share…and I get to indulge – again, a few pieces at a time – at work as well. Yum. Yum.

So, no, I won’t be celebrating this Sunday: it will be like any other Sunday for me. But, one thing that will be great for me is the tons of Easter candy…that will be on sale on Monday. Yum. Yum. Yum.

 

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