Remember, your religious beliefs are not you. They are simply part of the medium you were cultured in when you were raised.
This is a time to remember and reflect on our responsibilities to care for the Earth which, by God's grace, provides us with nourishment throughout our lives -- which is especially important to keep in mind while we spend a month abstaining daily from food and drink.
1,400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad prophesized that a time would come when nothing would remain of Islam but its name, nothing of the Quran but its word, and that many "Mosques would be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance" (Mishkatul Masabih).
They had no tangible means to move it so one came up with the idea of saying a prayer to God by a sincere deed that they had respectively carried out at some time prior for Him.
Muslim scholars, political leaders and civic society must emphasize the pluralistic message of the Quran and urgently address the pervasive exclusivist attitude among many Muslims.
As far as apps go -- it's less than an app. It's merely a thrown-together version of a feed aggregator with very limited content and no useful Google or social integration. I know from my own strategy work that with a little effort it's possible to build good looking and useful apps that are actually useful.
I truly believe that, infused with the inner strength and commitment to justice and peace that reaches its highest expression during Ramadan, a victory over an evil ideology is attainable. Now is the time for Jews, Christians and all people of conscience to forego fear, prejudice and Islamophobia.
In my opinion, the biggest problem confronting Muslims is their state of denial about the presence of extremists in their midst and their complete inability to self introspect.
Even after audible calls for a race war and an attempt at genocide, the FBI still refuses to call the terrorist what he is, and instead falls back on its favorite time-tested explanation: mental illness.
How much terrorism can the world take in 24 hours? June 26, 2015 will certainly go down in history as a day that pushed the limit. Perhaps one positive thought remains. It is said that the night is darkest just before the dawn -- I don't think our night can get any darker.
Do I believe that most mosques today would let recovering alcoholics and drug addicts speak to their congregations? Probably not. Do I think there is a problem with that? Yes, definitely. Our failure to engage diversity in our communities, inclusive of diversity in terms of life experience, leaves us potentially stunted in our individual and communal growth.
In that moment I took a breath in, I felt more spiritually connected to God than I had ever before. The realization of a blessing is as simple as breathing.
Some people ask the question, is there really such a thing as "Islamophobia," or are Muslims merely indulging in a culture of victimhood? While most Muslims may feel that even to ask the question is an impertinence, there really are people out there asking it. So let's look at some facts.
What is the intellectually defensible position for where to draw the line between free speech and religious satire? How far is too far in an open society? Is it possible for tact replace hate, to make the point with a stiletto rather than a cleaver? Often when I face such dilemmas I turn to an unlikely wisdom tradition: The Simpsons.
The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have placed on view a relic from ancient Palmyra in Syria. In addition, the galleries are displaying images of 18th century engravings and 19th century photographs from its archives.