As Americans of all backgrounds continue to try to achieve the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, members of three growing religions in the United States have a unique opportunity to stand together for equality and shared human dignity.
Simply open your mouth on Israel-Palestine, and you'll be labeled either a heartless Zionist or a Hamas terrorist. Both extreme labels are equally fruitless. If we cannot find a middle ground in dialogue, how can we expect Israel and Palestine to find a middle ground during war?
In these remaining few hours or Ramadan, do your best to spend a little bit of time with yourself and look inside your heart to see what are you carrying with you as you leave this month. Each of you has so much to share with this world.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was constantly doing good for people, whether they were his supporters or not. It's one thing to be good to people who are treating you well. It's another to be good to someone who isn't.
Notwithstanding that the overwhelming majority of Muslims loathe terrorism, the myth that only Muslims engage in extremism falls flat on its face with a cursory review of any US State Department Report, FBI Report, or Human Rights Watch Report.
With so much misunderstanding in the world about Islam, I hope these simple facts serve to redress some common misconceptions.
"'Sisters, your place is here,' he said pointing to the first floor oven, 'or the basement -- not anywhere else.' And just like that, he killed my Ramadan spirit."
One of the greatest heartbreaks in my life occurred after coming out at the age of 24: I lost my Muslim community. After my public coming out, via an article in The Los Angeles Times, and the backlash that came with it, I retreated. I distanced myself from the people I cared about.
Muslims make up less than one percent of this country's population. Yet we're still asked to hide our faith and are expected to apologize for terrorist organizations that don't align with our religious beliefs.
Check-in with your body. Do your arms feel like wet noodles? Do your knees feel like sponges? Is your stomach doing that thing it used to do when you were a kid tick-ticking uphill on a roller coaster just before the fall? Okay. Don't be scared.
The main thing I've loved about my Hijab is how people have managed to treat me both differently and the same. I say this mainly in reference to boys, I find that guys still treat me as the same old Aemun that they knew before and yet at the same time they have that bit of respect, to not touch me, to keep a slight bit of distance and sometimes, in extreme cases, to lower their gaze.
I'm tired of getting up in the morning and hearing of the latest Muslim plot to take over the school/the city/the world (delete as appropriate); tired of being told that praying five times a day at a mosque is extremist; tired of being treated like being a Muslim is like having some kind of disease (and if you go to Pizza Express you might catch it too, sorry about that). Having a long beard or wearing a niqab may well be religiously conservative but it is not extremist. And there is no evidence that religious conservatism within Islam leads to violence and extremism.
Whose sharia is this? It is certainly not mine. I cannot believe that it is God's.
The challenge for our millennial generation is to continue translating America's religious diversity into social action.
Islamic terrorism is, undoubtedly, a serious threat. "Islamization" of our country by American Muslims, who make up less than 1 percent of the population, is not.
Pope Francis has shown us a faithful, peaceful approach to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. All of us can follow his example. We are all Pope Francis now. It is up to all of us.