Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Man Behind the Curtain

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This brother's picture probably isn't familiar to many many American Muslims, but what he has created is. He is the creator of (find halal food near you), ( a rating of local mosques and Islamic centers), and Shahed Amanullah was named one of ten young Muslim visionaries. His websites lets worshipers and customers provider the content about local Islamic infrastructure. Keep the ideas coming, al hamdullah

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Virtues of Cleanliness

This short, is long over due and yet so true.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Second Time Around

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Just when you think that you have heard it all, along comes something else. A trend among some Muslim women in France is to have a hymenoplasty surgery performed. Don't worry, I had to look it up also. It is a cosmetic surgery where a woman's hymen is reattached and thus give the appearance of being a virgin. Many women claim that cultural and traditional pressures to be a virgin when they are married are leading them to this operation. It's ironic how the pressures are strong enough to lead them to an operation, but not strong enough to entice them to preserve their modesty and virginity. To each their own, but for the record an operation can not make you a virgin again, it only makes you a liar. Once you have experienced something, there is no way (short of amnesia) to unexperience the act.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Accumulation of Small Gains

There is a saying that "Rome was not built in a day." This may be an attitude that we should consider when reflecting on our experience in the West. The reality is that the West is Christian, and we should expect that they would view the spread of Islam and all of the associated artifacts as a reason for concern. Even with all of the opposition to the public display of Islam in this country, constant little gains are made. The accumulation of these little gains are what constitutes longitudinal change. With that said, it is nice to announce the construction of a wudu room at the Kansas City Airport. Needless to say this has made a lot of people hot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Seeds of Success


I enjoy seeing communities in places where you wouldn't expect to see them. There are more Muslims in China than there are in the U.S. and probably all of North America, but the deen is taking root in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. Stories like this serve as a reminder that contrary to popular belief and perceptions, Islam is not an Arab religion, but a universal religion that transcends social, economic, ethnic, and nationality lines.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Economic Impact


Muslims may not be the most appreciated citizens of this country, but in local communities our money is respected. This gives rise to a whole line of questions. Why aren't more businesses catering to the Muslim dollar? Why aren't more Muslims starting and supporting halal Muslim businesses? From a doonya perspective, we lack an established community infrastructure that is independent.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Match Made Online

How to meet a potential partner in a halal manner is one of the most asked and often skirted around questions. Many immigrants from places where arranged marriages are the norm often arrange for someone from their homeland to marry their child, but what to Muslims who were born here or accepted Islam here, what are their options. Increasingly, online websites seem to be the medium that many Muslims are choosing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Say It Ain't So Mickey!

If you have lived or traveled abroad then you know that just about everywhere you go there are knock-offs. Sometimes its Burger Queen instead of Burger King, or bootleg versions of movies, software, or clothes. You even see bootleg T.V. shows like Sesame Street, but the bootleg Mickey Mouse has taken bootleg to a new level. He isn't trying to plant the seeds of learning or developing socially acceptable manners and traits. He appears to be sowing the seeds of hate in another generation. I can know that the Palestinians are being occupied, but that doesn't justify depriving children a reprieve from reality that isn't overtly tainted by their situation. I could be wrong, and correct me if I am (with verifiable sources of course), their is nowhere that I am aware of where we as Muslims are taught to hate people, and especially by such general terms as ethnicity and nationality. Conversely, we are told not to go to extremes (and yes hate is an extreme), because it may lead us to transgress and it doesn't allow for a situation where Allah may replace harshness with tenderness.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Frank Look at Ourselves

A lyrically interesting song

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Halal Law

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Muslims are making many political strides to mold our piece of America into a halal experience as much as possible. A few states such as Texas and Illinois have passed halal laws which make it illegal to sell, process, or prepare for consumption (restaurants) food as halal without it being certified as being halal by a meeting a preset of criteria. Illinois has had the law on the books for five years but has not enforced it. Not because the legislature is unwilling, but main because among other things, Muslims can't agree on a standardization of halal. Irony Ha. We get a law that caters specific to us, but our own divisiveness renders it inert.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ask A Muslim?

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Mona Darwich Gatto has a blog called Salaam Sahuarita (ironically I started Salaam Tucson just prior to her blog) and a column that appears in local papers called Ask a Muslim. This in and of itself is good. I think that people should express themselves (within reason), and I am not one to knock someone else's hobby or hustle. What I do ask for though is truth in labeling. I am not saying that because she holds views that I don't consistently share. I say this because from reading her tag line on her article she describes herself as an Arab-American. The last time that I checked Arab-American or even Arab does not automatically equate to being Muslim. The video advertisement for the Catholic diocese of Tucson that is in her article didn't reassure me either (although in all fairness, this probably the result of the newspaper and not her). Also, from what she described in her article about women who wear hijab, she sounds as though she has interacted with and among Muslims, but she doesn't come out and say that she is a Muslim (other than the title of the article). From her explanation of the hijab being essentially a tool of oppression that is forced on Arab women, and that many female converts "buy into", shows that her knowledge or understanding of Islam is superficial at best.

It appears that she as many other Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, and Reverts to Islam sometimes confuse the deen of Islam with Arab culture. I personally agree with sisters who do not wear a hijab, but at the same time I knock them, because I don't have to answer for them. A Muslim woman who does where hijab once told me that if a woman wears hijab while making salaat (prayer) because she is humbling herself and displaying modesty because she is before God. Why would she remove it when she is out in public?

I feel that by virtue of being an Arab does not give a person a license to speak as an expert on Islam, and whether she sees it that way or not that is what she's doing. Many of the non-Muslims who read her blogs/articles feel that they are receiving information from a vetted source, and this may be why many of the Muslim sisters who do wear hijab face harassment from non-Muslims who feel that they are being oppressed. It emboldens them to act out of ignorance, but then we should consider the source. Taking advice about Muslim women who wear hijabs from a woman who doesn't wear a hijab, is like having a fat person sell you a membership to Weight Watchers!

I read some of her blogs, and she appears to be a nice enough woman and sister in Islam, but please play your lane. Speak to local Tucson sisters who do wear hijab, and you may gain some insight and a new perspective.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Touring Muslim American's America

There is an interest in touring the Muslim American's America and providing that view point to the rest of the nation and world. Articles and TV shows such as 30 days have gone out of their way to examine this experience. I applaud the effort, but I feel that the portrait is skewed. Quite often they trek to Dearborn, MI to extract the viewpoint, but the viewpoint of Muslims in Dearborn are far from the norm. First of all, the average Muslim American is likely to an African American or an Asian not an Arab. Also, most Muslims in America lack the local infrastructure and influence that the Muslim community in Dearborn or even Michigan have. I appreciate the effort, but go to communities in South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, or even L.A. to gain a more accurate viewpoint of the average Muslim American.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Fire Station..A Synagouge...and A Mosque

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In an unusual but good story, generosity and brotherhood rose from the ashes of a bad event. An Islamic Center in Pennsylvania was damaged by fire, but instead of being with a place of worship offers to accommodate the community came from various and unlikely sources. Among the sources were a fire station, and the local Jewish community even offered use of their Synagogue. Read here to find out which location the community chose and why.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Musliminahs Can't Kick Butt in Canada

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Eight-year-old Mariam Nasser (L) watches as her sister 13-year-old Zeinabin (in helmet) and 11-year-old Bissan Monsour pose for a portrait, Sunday, after the two older girls were barred from participating in a Tae Kwon Do tournament in Longueuil while wearing their hijab.
What is it with Canada, young girls, and hijabs? It wasn't too long ago that young hijab clad sisters were prevented from playing soccer. Now they are being prevented from participating in Tae Kwon Do tournaments. Safety is once again being used as the pretext for banning them from participation. How dangerous can a hijab be? Especially if it is under a padded "safety" headgear. This is something that I would expect from the U.S., Britain, France, Spain, or even Germany, but not our neighbors to the north. What happened to the Canadian sense of fair play and acceptance. O' Canada....what a shame.