Aysha Khan reports for RNS.

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Legal Scholar Khaled Beydoun Says It’s Time to Finally Define Islamophobia

by Aysha Khan 04-04-2018

Image via University of California Press / RNS

The most important thing for Muslims is that we have individual Muslims occupying spaces of power now. We have the agency and the empathy to develop stories about our religion and our people that can help erode demonization of our faith. We have a mounting generation of leaders in various sectors who can do that more successfully than ever. I see that as a big step.

PBS Film Explores Stories of People Close to Death

by Aysha Khan 03-27-2018

Image via RNS/Eddie Marritz/"Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death."

Whitney has been drawn to such existential questions since her youth. The collision of what she called her family’s rational and secular Unitarian background with the more traditional Russian Orthodoxy of others in her wider family circle ensured that.

A New Streetwear Line for Muslim Women Takes the Frills Out of Modest Fashion

by Aysha Khan 03-20-2018

Image via Seek Refuge Co. / RNS

Because for her, designing clothes for Muslim women is less about a modest fit and more about carrying out an Islamic ethic. Of course, it’s also about style. “The modest fashion industry didn’t have anything that was speaking to the fashion-forward and edgy Muslim girl,” Ijaz says. “They’re all speaking to a person that I would see as my mom or my aunt.”

This Muslim Artist Is Giving Valentine’s Day a Subversive Twist

by Aysha Khan 02-15-2018

Image via Taz Ahmed / RNS

As she was publicizing the book, she kept seeing people asking questions like “Can Muslim women fall in love?” and “Is love allowed in Islam?”

Nike Creates ‘Pro Hijab’ for Muslim Women Athletes

by Aysha Khan 03-08-2017

Image via RNS 

“It’s not just about making a product available for Muslim and Arab women but it is also giving a chance to those women who are putting off the idea of wearing the veil completely in order to compete,” Egyptian runner and mountaineer Manal Rostom told Al Arabiya English.

On Eid al-Adha, Weighing Animal Rights and Tradition

by Aysha Khan 09-12-2016

Image via Keith Tan/Creative Commons 2.0

As millions of Muslims worldwide sharpen their knives for the annual animal slaughter of Eid al-Adha, some have been left disturbed by their community’s high level of meat consumption.

Walk into any mosque on Sept. 12, the first day of Eid al-Adha for most U.S. Muslims. Chances are, worshippers’ plates will be loaded up with chicken, beef, or lamb.

“It’s as though they think eating meat is obligatory in Islam,” said Mohamed Ghilan, a vegan and student of Islamic jurisprudence in Vancouver, Canada. “And so many people believe that slaughtering an animal on Eid is obligatory, too.”

Muslim Women Adjust the Volume: #CanYouHearUsNow, Trump?

by Aysha Khan 08-01-2016

Image via RNS/REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Muslim women around the country — lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, activists, artists, mothers and students — have joined on social media to address Trump’s comments, as well as the popular notion that Islam oppresses women.

How Pokemon Is Luring Millennials to the Church (Parking Lot)

by Aysha Khan 07-12-2016

Image via REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/Illustration/RNS

If your church is suddenly overtaken by millennials with their heads stuck in their phones, you can thank Pokemon.

Yes, Pokemon. The Nintendo-owned franchise, which produced colorful cards and later video games, is back — this time luring young adults out of their apartments and into museums, parks, and places of worship.

Online, Muslim Women Face Threats From Both Islamophobes and Reformers

by Aysha Khan 06-28-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

When Laila Alawa woke up on a recent morning, her phone wouldn’t stop pinging with Twitter notifications.

“You’re not American, you’re a terrorist sympathizer immigrant that nobody in America wants and for good reason,” one user tweeted.

Report: Religious Freedom Deteriorating Around the World

by Aysha Khan 05-03-2016

A Pakistani refugee cries as she leaves a detention center. Image via REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/RNS

Religious freedom remains under “serious and sustained assault” around the globe, according to a new annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

“At best, in most of the countries we cover, religious freedom conditions have failed to improve,” commission chairman Robert P. George said May 2.

“At worst, they have spiraled further downward.”

Muslim Council of Britain Rejects Ahmadi Sect After Pressure Mounts

by Aysha Khan 04-08-2016

Image via REUTERS/Andrew Biraj/RNS.

Critics say such sectarianism is inciting further persecution against Ahmadis in the U.K., where in recent years Muslim groups have rallied against the opening of Ahmadiyya mosques,  distributed anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets and organized boycotts against shops owned by the members of the sect.

Many Ahmadis have settled in Western Europe, Canada and the U.S. to escape state-sanctioned persecution in Pakistan, where they are legally barred from calling themselves Muslim or practicing their faith.

In response to the latest MCB statement, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.K. said the communique was at odds with the umbrella organization’s “commitment to peace and tolerance.”

Trump Is Getting Out the Muslim Vote

by Aysha Khan 03-11-2016

Image via RNS/REUTERS/Dave Kaup

Ahmed said Muslim organizers are using Trump’s “embodiment of the fear-industrial complex of Islamophobia” strategically to push voters to the polls — just as much as analysts suggest Trump is capitalizing on Islamophobia to gain right-wing support.

“Many Muslims are starting to recognize that it’s not about persuading people that Muslims are human. It’s ultimately about building the Beloved Community here in America, as Dr. King used to say.”

Religious Groups Mixed Over Guantánamo Closure Plan

by Aysha Khan 02-24-2016


After years of activism and campaigns, religious groups have mixed reactions to the White House’s proposed closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The blueprint for closure, submitted to Congress on Feb. 23 for review, would establish a U.S. location for detainees currently held at the detention facility located at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

'The X-Files' Draws Backlash With Islamic Terrorism Plot

by Aysha Khan 02-18-2016

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the “Babylon” episode of The X-Files. Image via Ed Araquel/Fox/RNS

“In this universe, the world’s vastly diverse population of Muslims is reduced to a monolithic symbol,” Ismat Sarah Mangla wrote in the International Business Times.

Southern Baptist Leaders Denounce Selective Service for Women

by Aysha Khan 02-12-2016
REUTERS / Mike Segar

Photo courtesy of REUTERS / Mike Segar

Key evangelical figures have come out staunchly against a proposal to register women for a possible military draft, arguing it would weaken America’s military readiness and is at odds with traditional male-female relationships.

“A nation relying on female combatants is a nation that has been brought to its knees by political correctness,” Andrew Walker of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission wrote on the group’s website.