The crisis of Islam today, as it fragments into antagonistic factions, bears some resemblance to that of Christianity in the sixteenth century. Yet even detailed historical patterns can be like faces that we see in clouds, landscapes that we see in agate, or prophesies of the Delphic oracle.
It probably applies to both genders. I should start by saying this is not a scientific sampling; it's just women I met from different religions and backgrounds. This is what I found from my own interviews:
We asked Muslim women to tell us the worst pick up lines they've received. Here are the results.
They both offered a human shield -- in the best sense of the term -- protecting one of the most visibly Jewish locations in their city and condemned the murder last week of Dan Uzan, a Danish Jew, at a Copenhagen synagogue. These Oslo Muslims brought a message of peace and tolerance, one that rejects hate. They chanted, "No to anti-Semitism! No to Islamophobia!"
President Obama had a very specific goal in mind for his speech, and that goal is to defeat ISIL by enlisting the support of Muslims worldwide against it. That's why he talked about ISIL the way he did, and that's why he's right to deny ISIL the legitimacy that would follow if he called them "Muslim" or "Islamic" or even "Islamist," no matter how accurate the terms may be.
If in fact groups like ISIS are the true face of Islam, and if the propaganda that Muslim Americans engage in "stealth Jihad" to take over the country is true, why should my neighbor not look at me with suspicion and disgust?
You could watch the news and conclude that countering this threat from ISIS and al Qaeda is a "Muslim problem." That isn't the case however -- this is a threat that impacts the wellness of all of our communities and tests the strength of our founding principles.
To further promote better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as people of different skin colors, it is imperative that media outlets highlight Muhammad's anti-racist ethos. Rather than being a divisive figure, Muhammad is an inspiration for those working to rid the world of the evil of racism.
Graeme Wood's article in The Atlantic last week charging that ISIL is the natural expression of Islam has created quite a stir. Overwrought and poorly informed in its claim that the roots of violent extremism are in Mohammed and the Koran, and that Bakr al-Baghdadi is a theologian-prophet, it has given a boost to the Islamophobes.
The current hypocritical and selective listening strategy that anti-Islam critics all too often use empowers ignorance and terrorism, not education and pluralism. You can bet no true intellectual engages in such hypocrisy.
The families of three Muslim college students killed last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received more than 3,000 messages and prayers of love and support from people across America.
What's the matter with a little misleading theology coming from the White House? After all, it's a means to a noble end, namely, world peace. Right?
As we have found so many times before, while current challenges may have brought out the worst in some, it has also created the opportunity to bring good people together to support each other.
If Malcolm were alive today he would be able to look at the incidents of hate, fear and violence towards Arab Muslims in places such as Chicago's Southwest Suburbs since 9/11 and during the last two weeks and say, "I told you so!"
It's not Obama's job to engage in some dinner table conversation about religion and violence. Rather, his rhetoric is part and parcel of a very deliberate strategy to achieve our political and military aims.
The thawing -- or re-humanizing -- of Ahmedu as we got to know each other was a testament to the power of the human spirit. Yet, to too many in the West a young man like Ahmedu represents an Islamic threat in which Muslims are hell-bent on re-conquering parts of Europe to impose an Islamic caliphate. As for the argument that immigrants simply mean more recruits for terrorists, not once did Ahmedu mention words like sharia or jihad. But for the right-wing movements growing exponentially across Europe, this would not matter.