The Meaning of Religion and Why It Matters Today

Three days into the month of Ramadan, one of Islam's holiest months, and I'm reminded of the strength of faith. CNN seems to think so too with its new series on religion.  A month into the show, The Believers that takes a deeper look at the power of believing in a higher being and living for a greater purpose. Narrated by an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar on religions, Reza Aslan … [Read more...]

Pakistan: The View From Abbottabad On A Recent Trip (Part One)

The old adage that some things never change is true of Pakistan. Or at least parts of the country remain stagnant, as locals continue to manage expectations in a black-and-white world. The same expectations that something bad is going to happen in a village, town, city--a country shattered momentarily by bomb blasts, natural disasters, and crude awakenings.Outside the capital city of Islamabad, … [Read more...]

3 Things I Said On The Radio About Radicalization

The Spy Museum in Washington, DC is a true adventure. Through dark hallways, you'll find real and make-believe characters (read James Bond)--all of whom lived a mysterious and under cover life to protect this great nation. Given my work with the U.S. Government, I was invited to a radio interview to talk about faith and the myriad of threats we face today. "We don't often have a Muslim woman … [Read more...]

If You Knew Me You Would Care

The remarkable book by Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International, is captivating with glossy images of women from around the world, their stories laced through the pages in graphic imagery and heartfelt words. Through the portraits of the women, photographer Rennio Maifredi shows us the women's stories "through the road map of their faces and the light of their … [Read more...]

Honor Killing is a Crime

Honor violence horrifies me. I used to think it happened elsewhere, such as my home country, Pakistan. But it's right here in America. This morning, I received a phone call that compelled me to write the following story and publish it in my column on Islamic Monthly. This is the complete story. America’s Honor Killings A Growing Reality This morning, I received a phone call from a police officer … [Read more...]

The Muslim Cowboy Finds a Way

Islam in America can be a struggle. I've known this as a child and continue to strive. But what about an all-American cowboy from Texas? I asked Ray Allen, an alias, for his insights. See my latest story published in Islamic Monthly. Ray Allen is an urban cowboy from Texas searching for answers about his new faith, Islam. This summer, Ray found a home for his dog, quit his job, sold his house, … [Read more...]

Culture trumphs religion

The latest acid attack incident on two young British women in Zanzibar is proof that the practice is alive. Coincidentally, this past week, I showed my class Saving Face, the 2012 Academy Award winner for a short subject documentary. Before starting the film, I warned everyone of gruesome images. This film is not for anyone with a weak heart. And then I had a meltdown mid-way when a young … [Read more...]

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