I realized I'd never explored my hometown the way I'd explored Istanbul. I'd never given it the chances I'd gave to Istanbul. Though I greatly admire it, I'd never been open to its possibilities. Every magnificent spot in Istanbul reminded me of something about Cairo. So this is where I'm going next.
The killing in France of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo who satirized the Prophet, among other religious figures, immediately prompted me to question whether something similar could happen in America. Could someone from my faith engage in such heinous violence?
There's no doubt that religion in America is a fascinating topic of study, what with its cycles and its larger-than-life personalities. The time we're in right now is, as it has been, both the same and different.
Few issues have been more divisive within the church of the 20th and 21st century than the "full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church."
Art is dangerous for those who want to preserve the purity of a religious doctrine. Some worry that making an image of God or God's prophets will lead to the idolatrous worship of the image itself.
Forgiveness and love, these are the things that make up the core of our entire existence. In my traditional and somewhat conservative Muslim-Arabic family, you didn't really say "I love you." Honestly, it was hard enough wishing my parents or brothers a happy birthday, let alone actually telling them that I loved them.
Every person I met and every story I heard was a clear testimony to me that brighter days lie ahead for LGBTQ people in the Church.
God placed humans in the Garden of Eden and gave them the right to agree or disagree. One of the primary ways that we express agreement or disagreement is through speech. The most divine thing that we do on any given day is express who we are and what we believe.
What happens when religion violates fundamental American values? Is it possible to use deeply held beliefs in an organized religion to supersede custom or law?
A report came out reflecting just some of the terrible ways our government agencies and military arms treat human beings. There was silence, or even defense of such actions.
Bosnia's Muslim leadership answers without ambiguity. We have to worry more about those who would appoint themselves to defend God against presumed insult than those purportedly committing the offense.
When shopping our film around, we were asked to cut Trevor and his entire storyline. Major studio players and sales agents at big agencies all the way down to smaller distribution houses all said they "loved the film" but needed Trevor to be cut simply because he was gay, as the "core Christian audience will not accept a gay character." It wasn't a discussion but an ultimatum.
In trying times, it is important to listen for the lesson and hear the voice of God within it. The task for those of us who are attracted to such thoughts is not to see God in our stories but to imagine our story in God's, learning somehow to see our humanity in divinity.
I don't want anyone to ever believe that just because a certain individual has access to a Twitter account it means that she is a spokesperson for the Christian faith. Mocking people of other faith traditions is not Christian. Neither is it Christian to worship the gun culture in America that has done so much damage to our society.
With convening of the 114th Congress and the swearing in this week of new governors and state representatives, the GOP on paper is sitting very pretty in the Capitol and the nation's statehouses.
Lebanese caricaturists felt solidarity with French colleagues targeted in a terrorist attack on the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo this week, but admitted they're hamstrung by threats against them, terrorism, sectarianism, and political instability in their country.