“I’ve struggled a lot with my Muslim identity. … As a Turk growing up in America with one parent from one side of the religious wall and one from the other side, I found myself tugged more and more towards the spiritual side of the religion rather than the legal side of the religion.” -Dr. Mehmet Oz
Egyptian Christians hold a blood-stained portrait of Jesus Christ during a protest late on January 2, 2011 outside the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church in Alexandria.
(photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
In April 2006, hundreds of Egypt’s Alexandrian Christians gathered to mourn the death of 78-year-old Nushi Girgis, a Christian who was stabbed at St. Mark and St. Peter’s Church during one of a series of attacks on churches in the city that year. As the crowd walked down the street, chanting religious hymns, people began throwing stones from their balconies. The scene quickly turned violent, pitting Muslims against Christians.
The first time I prayed the Islamic prayer, or salat, I stood in my living room in the silvery morning just moments before dawn. I was self-conscious and unsure of what to do. I had prepared flash cards to help me through the complicated process of standing, sitting, and bowing while reciting verses in Arabic. I stood facing Mecca and folded my right hand across my chest. My left hand clutched a flash card that read:
Bismillah ah Rahman ah Raheem
In the name of God, the most gracious, most merciful
Alhamdu lil-ahi rab-bil alamin
All praise be to the Lord, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds
Ah rahman-ah rahim
The most merciful, most gracious
Master of the day of judgment
A new mother reflects how she'll relate to mainstream society while raising her daughter.
Native Deen releases a music video for the My Faith, My Voice campaign "in response to the rising tide of Islamophobia facing America, especially in the wake of the New York Islamic cultural center controversy."
As if Morocco and the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music weren't enchanting enough. A guest contribution with video by Hussein Rashid on the magical intimacy of Sufi Nights.
The news has been thick with polarized debates about proposed Qur’an burnings in Florida and the Park51 project. Tamara Lee, a listener from Hopewell, New Jersey, writes us looking for some advice:
Following on Trent’s thoughtful post a few days ago, I share two pieces of helpful thinking that have crossed my desk. These refresh my spirit over media-generated confusion, false symbolism, fear, and vitriol. They are by a Jew and a Muslim, people who have been on our program in the past. I like to think that the ethos of discourse towards which they strive and we strive has its effect on the world, though what is distressing is so much noisier, and so distracting.
Yossi Klein Halevi has written an open letter to Imam Feisal in The New Republic. He opens up the “controversy” with a proposal that is provocative in the best sense of the word.
A good one. Martin Marty rarely swings for the fences, but when he does he knocks it out of the park. In today’s Sightings column, he takes aim at the son of Billy Graham:
Franklin Graham on Islam and Violence
by Martin E. Marty