“The deeply entrenched racism in our country has to be addressed. And it has to be addressed not for any single minority population, but for the sake of all of us as human beings.”
One morning, Khalid Latif was asleep in his bed when he was awakened by two FBI agents. Latif remembers the agents telling him, “You’re just too good to be true, and we want you to know we’re watching you.”
At the time, Latif was an honored member of the NYPD and traveled around the world for the US State Department. He had met with President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama. Yet every time he went through an airport, he was searched, questioned, and detained. When Latif asked the TSA agents why, they said, “you’re young, you’re male, and you’re Muslim, and those things don’t go so well together right now.”
For Khalid Latif, this has been his reality in a post-9/11 world.
In his role as Imam at New York University, he currently devotes his life to combat Islamophobia and to create a safe, open, nonjudgmental environment for Muslim students and local community members to come together, worship, and feel that they have a support system.
Loretta Napoleoni is one of the world’s leading experts who “follows the money” in understanding the growth of jihadist terrorism, and consults world leaders on combatting such organizations as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. She’s written several best selling books on the economics of terrorism, including “Terror Inc.” and “The Islamist Phoenix.” Her latest book, “Merchants of Men,” focuses on how funds from kidnapping and trafficking in refugees is financing the Islamic State.
Have you ever been asked any of following questions:
Can a woman lead a Muslim organization under Shariah?
What are the rights of a homosexual person under Shariah?
Does Shariah allow holding of slaves?
What about Shariah rulings concerning severe punishments such as amputation of hands, public lashing and stoning to death?
How do we form a position on the use of transgender bathrooms or gun violence under Shariah?
What does Shariah even mean for the American Muslim?
Muslims are often ill-equipped to answer such questions. We often resort to narrow interpretations of texts or take an apologetic or denial stance when faced with such questions. Yet, these are the exact questions that everybody, from our children to our non-Muslim friends, want us to answer. Meanwhile, others are answering these questions on behalf of Muslims and the word “Shariah” has become a controversial term in the public opinion.
MAPS is holding a one-day conference led by two eminent guests, Professor Jasser Auda and Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, on November 19th to further an understanding of Maqasid al Shariah (the Intents of Islamic Law) as both a set of Intents as well as a Strategic Methodology for living as Muslims in a complex and dynamic society. The conference will educate the attendees on the theological foundation to address such questions in a manner consistent with the teachings of Islam.
This event is the second such conference brought by these scholars in the USA. The first successful event was held in Washington DC and sponsored by Adams Center under the leadership of Imam Magid. This is a limited-seat event targeted at community leaders and volunteers who engage in public discourse. Please register below if you would like to attend.
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
Olympia’s faith leaders are calling on local residents to join them in taking a stand against hate crimes and race-related violence.
Representatives from five local congregations have announced the Olympia Charter for Compassion, which outlines a set of civic values “that we hope the larger community will adopt as a standard of behavior and as a tool for dialogue as we seek to live together in a way that nurtures the well-being of all people.”
The charter was prompted by several recent crimes in which the victims were targeted because of race or sexual orientation, said the Rev. Amy Walters LaCroix of First Christian Church. She cited examples in downtown Olympia such as the Sept. 4 assault of a woman who was leaving a charity drag show and the Aug. 16 stabbing of an interracial couple by an alleged white supremacist.
Social media is as much a ministry as visiting the sick in hospitals. “It’s where we need to be,” Bishop Coyne says. “It goes to the core of spreading the good news.”
Every morning, Burlington, Vt., Bishop Christopher Coyne wakes at 5:30 in his rectory home, prays, reads Scripture, and comes up with the day’s first tweets. By 8 a.m., his followers on Twitter and Facebook know the day’s saint and gospel reading and the latest news from the pope. In the evening, the Catholic bishop often posts again — a short video of his visit to a school or a picture of dinner, like the pork cutlets with a cherry-tomato-and-caper sauce that he recently made. For him, social media is as much his ministry as visiting the sick in hospitals. “It’s where we need to be,” he says. “It goes to the core of spreading the good news.”
After arriving at a new post in Olympia, Wash., Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel, a former hospital administrator with a master’s degree in communications, hired an internet strategist to update church websites and a young hipster communications director to offer classes on Twitter for clergy and set up Facebook pages for small rural churches. Bishop Rickel blogs about gun violence and the Central American refugee crisis, and posts his sermons on his webpage, below a picture of him taking selfies with children. His goal, in part, is to reach those 35 and younger. “We have to learn their language and the world they live in,” says the 53-year-old bishop, whose Facebook home page features a picture of him with his surfboard.
With the election of Donald Trump as president, a lot of progressive Americans must be feeling what we here in the Israeli Left have felt for a long time: outnumbered, unwanted, frustrated, and alone.
For a while now, I’ve been writing about how lonely it is to be a leftist in Israel, to be part of the minority that opposes the occupation and 50 years of discrimination and human rights violations, a minority that insists on challenging fundamental aspects of this government’s policies and this society’s values. About how it has become increasingly dangerous and radical simply to speak one’s mind, as the notions of equal rights and human rights have become derogatory terms, and as open criticism and dissent is explicitly silenced. How scary and frustrating it is to see the values and issues I believe in consistently voted down and publicly delegitimized.
What the success of Netanyahu — who was elected first in 1996 on the back of the Rabin murder and a campaign of incitement against the Left, and to his fourth term in 2015 again on the back of incitement against Palestinians citizens — and the success of Trump — who incites against or insults just about everyone — prove is that democracy is not a bulwark against inequality, racism, violence, oppression, and sexism. On the contrary, it is all too easy for people to democratically elect to do horrible things.
The Political Maqasid and Its Application Today
Prof Jasser Auda, Founding Director of Al-Maqasid Research Centre in the Philosophy of Islamic Law & Al Shatibi Chair of Maqasidi Studies, International Peace College of South Africa
Countering Extremism Online — Immunizing the Youth!
Dr Houda Abadi, Carter Center, Associate Director, MENA Region Projects – Conflict Resolution Program
Being American and Being Muslim — Lessons from South Africa
Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Founder Director of the World for All Foundation & Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Al Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
From Beth Moore and Bill Plitt / FOTONNA
November 9, 2016
Following a recent refusal by the Military Court in the West Bank to grant permits to the Nassars for building two structures on their farm, one for a cave for volunteers and one for a machine shop, a demolition order was received by Daoud from the Military Court. It could mean that the two buildings would be demolished at any time by the military. Daoud feels he cannot be away from the farm at such a tenuous time.
We heard from Daoud Nassar early this morning, that due to urgent developments on the farm, he has decided, with great regret, that he will not be able to be present for the tour in Colorado this next week.
One of the constraints under which Palestinian’s operate is the requirement to obtain permits to build structures on their land. They follow the law and try to obtain the necessary permits, but they are never forthcoming. Daoud and his family have chosen a path of non-violent resistance, and move ahead to build structures on their land — many of them in underground caves. When this is discovered either by the Israeli military, or the occupation government (COGAT) demolition orders for the structures are ordered. There are some 30 demolition orders on structures on the Nassar’s land. Continue reading “Tent of Nations Update”
The full statement can be viewed as a pdf here.
Watch the full testimony here.
View the post-meeting press conference here.
Distinguished members of the Security Council,
As a representative of Americans for Peace Now — an organization that is committed to Israel’s existence and its future — it is not easy for me to speak before this body today.
It is not easy because while this forum will focus in large part on human rights violations by Israel, there are states represented here whose own human rights records are abysmal. There are even states in this forum that still do not recognize the existence of Israel, 70 years after that nation’s birth and despite its membership in the UN’s General Assembly.
It is also not easy for me to speak here today because of the deteriorating political climate in Israel as far as democracy is concerned. For some time now we have been witnessing an ugly campaign against courageous Israeli human rights and civil society NGOs — carried out by reactionary groups in Israel and by the Israeli government itself. Campaigns that target the legitimacy of NGOs like our Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav — Peace Now.
These groups are being targeted because their work reveals facts that some prefer to hide — facts that challenge the official Israeli government narrative.
Yet, I am here today because this institution is too important to boycott or ignore. The Security Council is the most important international body in existence today.
It would be irresponsible to miss an opportunity to argue our cause in front of it. It would be unpardonable to allow ourselves to be silenced by the cynicism of some of this body’s member states, whose hatred of Israel may blind them to Israel’s legitimate needs and fears. And it would be inexcusable to allow ourselves to be silenced by the disapproval of some who today equate speaking unpleasant truths about Israeli policies with national betrayal.
I am here today because the cause that we work for every day is too important to allow anyone to silence us.