In a recent BBC “Woman’s Hour” interview, Zara Mohammed, the first woman elected Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, found herself pressed by interviewer Emma Barnett on the question of female imams in the country. For Barnett, the concern is a natural one. As she explained in the interview, female rabbis and priests were accommodated long ago, and yet with Muslims the same development remains to be seen. Surely there must be some female imams out there?

The interview has certainly found an audience, with significant reception among Muslims who have circulated it on social media and messaging…


A rather contentious topic in online debates revolves around the question of masculinity, and this is especially so on Muslim Social Media. From discussions of “toxic masculinity” to those promoting a “men’s rights” movement, masculinity remains a matter freighted with a fair amount of contaminated cargo, while those on the outside struggle to apprehend what masculinity means and ultimately entails as a lived reality. In many of these debates, certain presumptions abound concerning the habits of men, or rather, what masculinity constitutes when expressed and defended by men. This includes, though is by no means limited to, a brashness, propensity…


In recent days I have found myself re-reading the Southern Agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand. Published in 1930, I’ll Take My Stand is an anthology consisting of twelve essays defending the heritage of white southern culture against the looming threat of “northernization.” There is lots of rich, sentimental, and somber material in the work. The authors abhor growing industrialization, lament the rising transition from agrarian life to factory and industry, and fear an upending of their culture in favor of cold northern materialism. …


There is a scene in Cormac McCarthy’s dystopian novel The Road where the boy and father (kept nameless in the book) encounter a haggard, disheveled nomad named Ely. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the boy and father are reluctant to approach Ely but eventually do after surveilling him for days, after which they sit and find themselves talking to him for an evening. For his part of the conversation, Ely rambles on about the desolate, depraved nature of the world, of existence, and the utter despair inherent in the world that they all share. In reflecting on what has occurred…


The following is a transcript of the speech I delivered recently at the East Plano Islamic Center on the subject of homosexuality. Due to a shortening of my time, I was able to get through about 90% of it but am furnishing here the entire transcript for those interested.

As I begin, I am reminded of George Bernard Shaw’s observation: ‘Decency cannot be discussed without indecency’

Speaking about the world of sexuality can be a difficult topic to broach. Our natural constitution is such that we find ourselves uneasy when the topic comes up — we would rather relegate such…


Mom & Me & Mom is the final autobiographical work written by the late Maya Angelou and the last of her seven autobiographical publications. Published a year before her passing in 2014, Angelou details in this final account her relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter, a woman who abandoned Angelou and her brother as young children and re-entered her life years later. …


John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath tells of the Joads, a family of tenant farmers who reside in an Oklahoma beset by drought and soil erosion in the midst of the Great Depression. Unable to manufacture a survivable crop yield (a common affliction in the dust bowl era), the Joad family is evicted from their home by the landowner. Homeless and poor, the family migrates to California in hopes of gainful employment and a brighter future.

In describing the desperation and collapsing agrarian economy, Steinbeck speaks of the conflicts between tenant farmers and landowners: the latter, interested in profits and…


Commitment to the gender diversification of Muslim quarters appears to be inching towards a regional ijma‘ in the West. Popular personalities occupying Muslim spaces have formally pledged to participate only in those programs where female representation meets a certain threshold (itself increasingly demanding), with specific attention being given to the composition of panels. The remaining holdouts who have yet to publicly pledge to the integration regime — few that they are — are dropping like flies, with an ever narrowing group largely flying under the radar. For many, the outrage over panel exclusion is self-evidently justified. …


It is a trite observation by now that our politics and discourse are tribal. Few issues arise in the public sphere except that said tribalism comes to fruition, with forceful antagonisms between competing parties that can lead to the calcification of stances. In such a discursive setting, expedient solidarities are forged and instrumentalized in efforts to denounce and demonize opponents. The rapid formation of these tribes often prevents us from exercising the type of diligence and careful consideration needed to appreciate the reasonability of those we see as our opponents (and vice versa), or to tamp down turbulent disputes. …


El Paso and Dayton: we can now add two more to the already depressingly-lengthy register of mass shootings in this country. It is at once a disorienting, frustrating, and tragic occurrence. Senseless murders and deranged motivations, all enabled by powerful technologies of death. What in the world is going on, and why does this seem to keep happening?

The profiles of the killers could not have been more different. The El Paso shooter preoccupied himself in the most extreme corners of alt-right online activity as a rather active member of 8chan. Radicalized in this sadistic space, the shooters trajectory led…

Mobeen

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