Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

American Muslims-- Gains and Setbacks

2012-09-17

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

The position of Muslims in America should be improving, not worsening. We have dedicated civil rights lawyers, defending wronged citizens and advocating justice. We have articulate scholars explaining the history and theology of Islam. We have comedians, writers, actors and directors telling stories that engagingly express our problems, history, values and shared foibles and dreams. We have journalists employing their skills and their knowledge of our society to show the real lives and concerns of individual Muslims. We have professors debating and publishing. We have countless citizens answering misconceptions and setting the record straight in forums , blogs, and opeds. We have abundant interfaith dialogues. We have government grants supporting programs that educate Americans about our history and many nations. Usually, I feel encouraged by the efforts that thousands of fellow Muslims are making. As many of you know, through RAWI and RadioTahrir, I’m personally and professionally involved in this work.

 

So why the increased incidence of bullying of Muslim children in our schools? Why rising attacks against our institutions? Why ongoing insults shouted at us in the street? Why community protests at Arab street festivals and why neighborhood opposition to our local mosques? Why physical attacks on individuals, and vicious racist calls? Why continual suspicious looks, and expanded government surveillance of our student organizations, our cafes and our neighborhoods?

 

Many Americans insist that our president Barack Obama is Muslim, alleging this is something reprehensible. As former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell responded to this charge: “What if he is? That should not be an issue one needs to deny… as if it were shameful.” Surely this was a line for the US President himself. On a more modest personal level, the debate over Muslim women’s headscarf goes on and on; the media and our putative feminists just won’t let it go.

 

Now, over the past week, anyone who has tried to demonstrate that Islam is a religion of peace, has been forced into silence. How can we continue to argue this in the face of many hours of TV images of mobs of angry Muslims assaulting Americans every time they turn to watch the news?

American Muslims, who demonstrate so much creativity and optimism, still have a lot of work cut out for us.

And please, you tell me—are we really making any progress here?

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