If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
This Ramadan we must be reminded that there are those who fast from intimacy and physical love all the time because they are gay and their circumstances or their mindset make it impossible for them to find and fall in love with a partner of the same gender. Muslim family -- we know this is not how life is supposed to be lived.
Muslims can learn from mother. They must be proactive in the fight against Islamist movements that lead to terrorism. Because self-distancing alone cannot fight terror. On the contrary, merely denying personal responsibility for an act tends to lead very quickly to the abrogation of the responsibility to act.
The month of Ramadan has just begun for over a billion Muslims around the world; thirty days of fasting from sunrise to sunset. While it may sound harsh to some, as Muslims there is so much beauty in Ramadan and what it represents. When Muslims fast (in our case for almost 18 hours) it invigorates your other senses in many ways.
Competing Islamic narratives should have the power to marginalize supremacist streaks employed by exclusivists and violent extremists alike. This necessitates modeling mainstream Muslim spaces that are gender-equal, LGBT-affirming and religiously plural to include Shias, Ismailis, Bohras and Ahmadis, amongst others.
When we say that nowadays to call for sexual freedom in Arab and Muslim societies is more dangerous than the demand to topple monarchies or dictatorial regimes, we are not playing with metaphor or attempting to gain sympathy. We are stating a bitter and painful fact of the reality in which we are living.
Huntingdon's clash of civilizations narrative insists that there is an irreconcilable conflict between Islamic and Western Civilization. Paradoxically the leaders of global terrorist movements such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) unequivocally agree with Huntingdon's view and have done their best to propagate it.
"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere." These words of Martin Luther King Jr. accurately describe the world crisis we live in today. To avoid war and attacks as such, all nations must come together for the greater good and unite in their efforts to stop all forms of cruelty, persecution and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion or else wise.
It's become clear that Muslim bodies are only newsworthy when they are responsible for a crime and not when they are the victims. We love to complain about injustices against Muslims, but in our own mosques choose to echo so many oppressive views. We want justice, but only for some of us. We talk about Islamophobia but never anti-blackness.
Frequently underlying the purported threat Obama represents to his own country is innuendo about his 'true' identity accompanied by allegations about the hidden Islamist tendencies. Given the absence of any proof to support such ludicrous assertions, 'Obamabashers' conduct whisper campaigns often around dinner tables or other social gatherings.
There is general belief that Islamic schools are religious educational bodies, and the kind of courses taught is based on Islamic theology. This is a false understanding. It is important to note that the majority of these schools are either don't or only partially receive subventions from provincial authorities.
"Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." This verse, objectively radical given its relevance today, is particularly applicable in the context of terrorist violence, where strangers are willing to viciously stab, shoot and murder total strangers. One need only think back to the Paris attacks and ask: how can such hatred be justified?
Traditionally acknowledged by all Islamic schools of thought as being beyond gender, Allah is regarded as encompassing both masculine and feminine characteristics. Nonetheless, in contradiction of this concept, the vast majority of Muslims now refer to Allah by the masculine pronoun of "He" without reservation and in the Quran the pronoun "She" is never mentioned.
Humanity is seen to be independent from nature, even above it. This has been the Western vision of the world. In poisoning the earth, we were led on a self-destructive path. But I try to invoke here an alternative vision, expressed by Islamic (Sufi) arts, which finds that the way humanity relates and depends on nature can be renewed once the creative life is reclaimed.