muslim americans

Image via RNS / Yonat Shimron

At a time when the far right often cites the inability — or refusal — of Muslims to assimilate, these young volunteers are ready, willing, and able to do what other religious groups in this country have been doing for decades: providing emergency aid, labor, and comfort to people suffering the effects of natural disasters

Image via RNS/Islamic Networks Group

At a time of growing assaults and intimidation of Muslim Americans, the Islamic Networks Group has partnered with 70 interfaith organizations to launch a “Know Your Neighbor” campaign. The effort is intended to encourage individuals and groups to encounter people of faith different from their own.

Image via RNS/Anti-Defamation League

For the first time, a majority of Americans has voiced concern about violence against Jews, polling by the Anti-Defamation League shows.

While 52 percent of Americans surveyed said they are disturbed about such violence, an even higher percentage — 76 percent — said they are concerned about violence against Muslims.

Image via RNS/Sai Mokhtari/Gothamist

Melissa Grajek was subjected to all kinds of taunts for wearing the hijab, but an incident at San Marcos’ (Calif.) Discovery Lake sealed the deal.

Her 1-year-old son was playing with another boy when an irate father saw her and whisked his son away, telling Grajek: “I can’t wait until Trump is president, because he’ll send you back to where you came from.”

The man then scooped up a handful of wood chips and threw them at Grajek’s son.

Faiza Patel 11-23-2016

Image via RNS/Carlos Barria

This election season has been an anxious time for Muslim Americans. After the election, my Facebook feed was filled with Muslim mothers wondering how to explain to their children that the new president is a man who had proposed requiring them to register with the government, and called for a ban on people of their faith coming to the United States.

As we try to absorb what this election means, we must contend with how Muslims have been cast. For the president-elect, we are either terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, who are conflated with the threat of “radical Islam.” For the most part, Democrats too see Muslim Americans through a narrow counterterrorism lens.

Ruth Nasrullah 8-22-2016

Col. Doug Burpee in Bagram, Afghanistan, in August 2004. Photo courtesy of Doug Burpee

In the weeks after Khizr Khan’s speech to the Democratic National Convention, bouquets of flowers and personal condolence letters have steadily accumulated at the grave of his son, Capt. Humayun Khan, as visitors — mostly strangers — have stopped to honor the officer, who died in 2004 protecting his troops.

Image via REUTERS/Dave Kaup/RNS

This election season, Muslims face a slate of Republican candidates who demand curbs on immigration and compete over how tough they’d be on Islamic terrorism, if elected. But a new survey finds U.S. Muslims are looking at American society and its future much the same as their non-Muslim neighbors. Like non-Muslims, the economy is their top concern. They are engaged in community life, and share similar attitudes on several significant issues.

Barack Obama 2-06-2016
President Obama visits the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque

President Barack Obama at the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque on Feb. 3. Photo courtesy of the White House/Pete Souza
 

Our Founders knew that religious liberty is essential not only to protect religion, but because religion helps strengthen our nation. From our Revolution to the abolition of slavery, from women’s rights to civil rights, men and women of faith have often helped move our nation closer to our founding ideals. This progress is part of what makes us a beacon to the world.

1-04-2016

Recently some American politicians have made shocking comments regarding Muslims — shocking because they have been cheered on and gained political mileage; shocking because the politicians pretend they are honoring the U.S. Constitution; and shocking because the politicians are willing to overlook the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all in order to dehumanize Muslims.

American Muslims feel sad, depressed, and frightened about this trend. Fascism takes a long path, but it starts this way. At the same time, we are optimistic that these days that are upon us will pass and that Islamophobic politicians and their backers will fade in due course.

Omar Sacirbey 4-29-2013

When Karen Hunt Ahmed and her Muslim husband divorced four years ago, many friends asked her, “Now you can stop this Islam stuff, right?”

Some friends, she thought.

“Like it was a hobby I took up when I got married and now I’m supposed to drop it,” said Hunt Ahmed, president of the Chicago Islamic Microfinance Project, which she founded with two colleagues in 2009.

Hunt Ahmed, 45, is part of a growing sorority of female American converts to Islam, especially those who are or were married to Muslim men, who must deal with the perception that they converted to Islam because of domineering boyfriends or husbands.

The stereotype was revived in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, when news emerged that the wife of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Katherine Russell, converted to Islam after meeting Tsarnaev in 2009 or 2010 when she was about 21.

James Colten 7-31-2012
Illustration by Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners

Illustration by Sandi Villarreal / Sojourners

A few weeks ago, we asked you to sign a petition asking the Department of Justice to investigate hate crimes against the Islamic Society of Joplin’s mosque. Federal officials are offering $15,000 for information leading to the man who set the mosque on fire July 4th.

Beau Underwood wrote for Sojourners two weeks ago: “The biblical call to love our neighbors as ourselves requires Christians to speak out against these attacks. By protecting the rights of American Muslims to worship in the United States, we provide a powerful witness to those countries where Christian minorities face attack and persecution, such as Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, and Kenya. If we expect others to take our advocacy for global religious freedom seriously, then our efforts must begin in our own backyard.”

More than 5,500 of you signed this petition, which is incredible! But we don’t have to stop there.

the Web Editors 7-27-2012
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Michele Bachmann speaking in January. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, 42 interfaith religious and advocacy organizations signed on to a letter condemning Rep. Michele Bachmann and others in Congress for their accusations that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the U.S. government. 

The claims — one aimed at Sec. Hillary's Clinton aideHuma Abedin — have also been condemned by members on both sides of the aisle. One of the most impassioned defenses of Abedin came from Sen. John McCain (R - Ariz.), saying, "When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.” 

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Guards keep watch atop a mosque as members of the persecuted Ahmad gather. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is persecuted around the world, but it has plenty of friends on Capitol Hill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined more than 20 House colleagues and at least one senator on June 27 at a reception to mark the first visit of the Ahmadiyya’s spiritual leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, to Congress.

The Ahmadiyya have faced severe repression, Pelosi said,  “but you refused to turn to bitterness or vengeance.”

“The message we carry is 'if you are being hurt, do not respond with hurt,'" said Ahsanullah Zafar, president of the Ahmadiyya community in the U.S.

Omar Sacirbey 3-04-2012
Understanding Shariah ad from ICNA.

Understanding Shariah ad from ICNA.

Against a backdrop of heartland fears that U.S. Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on American courts, a leading Muslim group will launch a campaign Monday to dispel what it called misconceptions about Shariah.
   
The "Defending Religious Freedom: Understanding Shariah" campaign comes at a time when more than 20 states are considering or have passed laws forbidding judges from considering Shariah in their deliberations.
   
Many Americans associate Shariah with the harsh punishments carried out in a few Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, even as U.S. Muslim groups insist they have no desire to introduce Islamic law on themselves or others.
   
"There were all these wrong notions about Shariah," said professor Zahid Bukhari, president of the Islamic Circle of North America, which is sponsoring the campaign.
   
The most worrisome thing, he said, was that the level of hatred toward Shariah had spread from the margins of society to the mainstream. The ICNA campaign has already drawn fire from "anti-Shariah" groups in the United State

Omar Sacirbey 2-28-2012

Verizon, the national cable television operator, has decided to drop Bridges TV, a pioneering television network that seeks to challenge stereotypes of Muslims and create understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Verizon is the main distributor for Bridges TV, which was launched in 2004 and relies on Verizon to reach 19 of its 26 markets, including Los Angeles, metro New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Robert Hirschfield 1-01-2012

Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art, and the Architecture of Silence. And, Fasting For Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice.

Joshua Witchger 11-18-2011

Two Muslim Americans resopnd in different ways to TLC's All-American Muslim; authors honored at 2011 National Books Awards; solar organizations introduce Occupy Rooftops; how cloud seeding effects water shortages and weather systems; Google's new music store; and much more.

 

Kiran Thadhani 1-26-2011
"To win the future" was a catch phrase for President Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Jim Wallis 9-09-2010
This Saturday, we commemorate the ninth anniversary of 9/11.
Faith cannot exist without doubt. The lack of certainty enables us to engage in the holy, human endeavor of believing when we do not have empirical proof.

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