Stolen Virginities

In The Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

As a Muslim woman who is also an American citizen, I have a problem most American women don’t have to worry about, (at least I hope they don’t). He’s called the Green Card Hunter. He tells you he loves you, he’s so impressed by your character/beauty/intelligence, and he just can’t live without you. You believe him, you marry him, and two years later, he’s gone.
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A Radical Muslim Fundamentalist’s Thoughts on Jihad

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Jihad. It’s a word many have heard, a word many use, but by how many is it understood? Some say, “Jihad means religious war, it means the destruction of the infidel, it’s the Muslim’s crusade.” Others, “Jihad is a spiritual struggle, it’s about waking up before daybreak and washing your face no matter how cold the weather so that you can pray.” The truth is jihad is everything you don’t particularly feel like doing that’s good for you. It’s eating your spinach, biting your tongue, spending of your hard earned money on the comforts and needs of others, and yes, if need be, risking your life in the attempt to take out your enemy. After all, who really wants to do any of those? It’s much more fun to be a coward who lives on fried chicken and chocolate cake, says the first thing that pops into his head, and never shares with anyone unless he expects something in exchange.

The thing is, Islam is a religion of law, with a how-to for every eventuality, which means that war being a part of human existence, Islam has regulations for it. Continue reading

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I wish

I wish.

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I Thought You Knew Me

In The Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

About six years ago, I had a classmate. She was sweet, soft-spoken, pretty, and liked to read. We used to talk (mostly about Harry Potter) after class until we would part ways at a fork in the hallway. One day, she looked at me and said out of nowhere, “I’m gay,” and then after a slight pause she followed that with, “Are you going to hate me now?” with the same expression* another school friend was to have a few years later, when my father blurted out over dinner, “Oh, so you’re a Shia!”

About six months ago, the man who claimed to love me called me up to say, “I can’t be there for you because I can’t support you, I can’t force my daughter to wear a scarf, and I can’t hate gay people.” He shattered my heart into a thousand million pieces with those words, and I’m still crying. But mixed in with the hurt is a healthy dose of incredulity, offense, and anger. I. Do. Not. Hate. Gay people. I do not hate thieves. I do not hate murderers. I do not hate people who cheat on their taxes, (I may even admire them). I do not hate people who don’t pray. In short, as a person who’s well aware of the angel** who’s busily writing on her left shoulder, and not very sure of the guy on her right shoulder, I’m really not in a position to hate other people just because they may be keeping their angels busy in their own ways.
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Breaking the Silence: An Open Letter to the President

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I’m reading a wonderful book, “Letters to Jackie,” by Ellen Fitzpatrick, and a letter dated November 25, 1963 says, “A few weeks ago…I made up my mind to write a letter of encouragement to our President. However, like so many other citizens, I am a procrastinator. The letter was never written…Multiply my procrastination by that of thousands in the Southland who must have sympathisized with his efforts, and our neglect takes on the proportions of tragedy-especially now. In a covert way we are guilty of desertion in the face of the enemy.”

The writer then enclosed the letter he had meant to write to President Kennedy, and this got me to thinking. A democracy isn’t just about voting every four years. It’s about paying attention to the direction in which one’s country is going, and doing everything you can to put/keep saidcountry in the right. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.” So what does it say about our character as individuals and as a nation, that we not only do not fight injustice, we allow this country to be a purveyor of it? And on that note, here’s my letter to President Obama:
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I, Thou, Us: An Odyssey of a Muslim Seminarian

I, Thou, Us: An Odyssey of a Muslim Seminarian.

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Harmonizing Democracy and Religion

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

There are those who would contend that I am wrong to live my life by the Qur’an, for the reason that they do not believe it to be the word of God. Yet the very same people live by the Constitution, giving to it the allegiance I give to the Qur’an, though neither of us believes it to be anything but the words of men.
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