In Turkey secularism means state control of Islam and the exclusion of Islam from the public sphere, an enforced privatization of religion. Ataturk's secular republic had shut down all independent mosques.
The benefit of 'All American Muslim' is that the show has engaged our community in discussing distinctions between critical religious values and flexible cultural practices. In the fourth episode, the issue of Muslims having dogs in the home came up, and this is worth further discussion.
The idea of a Quran school run by women, for women, might seem surprising to many. But Houda al-Habash is simply following in the tradition of Muslim women back to the days of Prophet Muhammad himself.
In Iran, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces the death penalty for the "crime" of leaving Islam as a teenager and converting to Christianity. Many mistakenly believe that Islam supports this barbaric practice.
But, mostly, I've felt distance from the Quran -- yes, it is the Holy Book, but if I cannot understand all the words in the language its meant to be recited in then how can it truly penetrate my heart and enlighten my soul?
The world around me gets to decide if the way I treat it is condescending or compassionate. Sometimes I have to see how the world receives my action once it has been carried out, not out of a hope to feel validated, but in a hope of better understanding myself.
Moments of solitude are important depending on how we use them. It's very different seeking solitude in order to remove yourself from frustration versus seeking solitude to grow and develop as you reflect upon and contemplate the world around you and how you fit into it.