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Islam In America

Islam In America

Definitions Archives

The Hijab Dilemma

posted by Suzy Shuraym

“Every time I walk into the room, the first thought is, ‘There’s a Muslim,’ ” said Ms. [Zahra] Cheema, 25, the American-born daughter of Pakistani immigrants, describing that moment when she meets with a potential employer or argues a case […]

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Religion: Values, Not Laws

posted by Suzy Shuraym

“For most inhabitants of modern, Western countries, religion is an incubator of values, not the source of binding law,” writes Sheila Kennedy in a meditation on “The Retreat of the Puritans”. This realization is at the heart of what’s causing […]

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Women and Sharia

posted by Suzy Shuraym

“No group is more harmed by sharia than Muslim women — a reflection in part of the patriarchal tribal culture out of which Islamic law emerged.” Admittedly, the writer is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a controversial figure in Islam. However, she […]

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What Muslims Really Believe about ISIS

posted by Suzy Shuraym

Here’s an analysis of ISIS that places the bleme for its rise squarely on U.S. foreign policy decisions. “From Sunni to Shi’a, secular to conservative, Islamist to liberal, autocratic to democratic, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his doppelganger of a Caliphate […]

What ISIS Really Wants

posted by Suzy Shuraym

“The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.” Thus begins a lengthy assessment of ISIS in The Atlantic. […]

Whack-a-Mole

posted by Suzy Shuraym

According to Wikipedia, the term “whack-a-mole” is used colloquially to denote a repetitious and futile task: each time an adversary is “whacked”, it only pops up again somewhere else. Not politically correct, I know: but it popped into my mind […]

Who Owns “Allah”?

posted by Suzy Shuraym

When this writer was in Malaysia earlier this year, she was appalled at the open (and sometimes violent) dispute over word usage. As noted in The New York Times, “According to a series of government orders and rulings by Malaysia’s […]

What Does “Islamist” Mean?

posted by Suzy Shuraym

According to Fahad Arman, writing for the Daily Kos, “the word exists as a stealth slur. It is exists as a piece of coded language.” Read his entire essay here: ‘Islamist’ As Coded Language. He points out that there is […]

The Politics of Hijab

posted by Suzy Shuraym

As we all know, the definition of hijab varies by place of origin and other cultural determinants. One look at the variations is captured by Boushra Almutawakel, a photographer from Yemen. “Unveiling an Arab Woman’s Experience With a Headscarf”

Answering Difficult FAQ: 49th Annual ISNA Convention

posted by Suzy Shuraym

Several sessions at the 49th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America centered on one topic: how to answer difficult but frequently asked questions about Islam. Maha ElGenaidi (pictured) moderated a discussion with Ameena Jandali and Jamal Badawi […]

Overview of Objectives of Shari’a: 49th ISNA Convention

posted by Suzy Shuraym

Muzammil Siddiqi and Muneer Fareed discussed shari’a in an afternoon session today (August 31, 2012) at the 49th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in the Washington (D.C.) Convention Center. Dr. Siddiqi (pictured), chairman of the Fiqh […]

Ramadan Begins Friday

posted by Suzy Shuraym

Ramadan is a Holy Month for Muslims. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar (which is lunar, not solar), it begins tomorrow, July 20, 2012. Significantly, the first verses of the Qu’ran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this […]

Ramadan: the basics

posted by Suzy Shuraym

Ramadan has two basic meanings. First, it is the name of the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. Second, it is the designated month of fasting (from dawn until dusk). It can be compared to the Christian observance of […]

A Lota for Istinja: An Explanation for Non-Muslims

posted by Suzy Shuraym

You just have to read Secrets of the Muslim bathroom for yourself.

Previous Posts

"Of Dogs, Faith and Islam"
The Qu'ran doesn't label dogs as untouchable (in fact, there's quite a nice vignette of the Prophet Muhammad setting a guard for a dog with a litter of puppies). According to Mohammed Hanif, writing in The New York Times, "[m]ost of Muslims' ...

posted 1:46:42pm Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

The False Dichotomy of Islamophobia
There's a nuanced discussion of one of our favorite topics: Islamophobia, by Massimo Pigliucci on the website Scientia Salon. One snippet: "While the statistics on international terrorism are complex and can be read in a number of ways, ...

posted 8:00:16pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

"How are you queer and Muslim at the same time?"
As the 21st Century rolls along, American Muslims are dealing with ever more complicated questions regarding religious observance and personal behavior. Here's what one Muslima has to say: "Yes, it’s possible to be queer and Muslim" "I ...

posted 10:55:47am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Here We Go Again
Yet another gunman with an Arabic name has opened fire in an American city. This time the gunman was born in Kuwait and the city was Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those killed: four United States Marines. According to the New York Times: "The ...

posted 2:43:39am Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Qu'ran Recitation Apps That Don’t Include Female Voices
As the Independence Day celebrations draw near, it's time to talk (once again) about the role of women in American Islam. Yes, this blog (despite digressions abroad) centers on Muslims in the United States. Women here are regarded differently ...

posted 7:16:51pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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