Taqiyya and War: Comments of an Imam Under Scrutiny

Taqiyya, meaning fear in Arabic, is an Islamic juridical term that relates to when a Muslim is permitted to lie.

In most religions, such as Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism, lies are forbidden. But Imam Abdollah Vakily, a Canadian of Iranian origin, who is also the head of an international Islamic school in Canada, holds a different view about lies in Islam.… [Read more]

The Western Union and Walmart Adventure: Worker’s Refusal to Send Money

For quite some time, Western Union Money Transfer service has worked well for me as a writer and editor based in Peshawar, Pakistan, and working freelance for American publishers. So it was a bit upsetting when I needed some money from home via Western Union and my cousin, who was to send it via my American friend, was told at a Western Union office in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Friday that they wouldn’t send money to a non-Muslim in America.… [Read more]

Talking to the Afghan Insurgents: A Step Forward?

With news of a possible step forward in Afghan peace negotiations after the release of Taliban-affiliated prisoners, one can’t help but ask—is the possible normalization of relations between the West and various Afghan insurgent groups truly a step towards further human progress?

Is reconciliation with individuals like insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, above, truly a step towards human progress?… [Read more]

The Colonies are Uprising

All over the world, from Morocco to Indonesia, the Muslim world is protesting and rioting in the wake of a disturbing anti-Muslim film, produced by the misguided, for who knows what reason. When you look at the problem it sounds so simple, so unbelievable to the average American: people rioting, killing and storming American embassies because someone disrespected the prophet Muhammad.… [Read more]

Why Do They Hate Us?

Last week I took my three children to Ground Zero. It was the first time any of us had visited the Memorial and the first real exposure my two 6 year olds have had to September 11th.

We began the tour by visiting a large photographic timeline of how things unfolded that dreadful day. I was not prepared for the overwhelming sadness I felt as I stood there, a six year old hand in each of mine, my sensitive 9 year old undoubtedly wishing I had a third to offer her.… [Read more]

I SEVERELY Want To Be Free of Religion

Freedom of Religion has been on the minds of many a GOPer of late. Republicans have been yelling and screaming that Catholicism is under full-fledged assault from President Barack Obama and Nicki Minaj; they might have a real beef with the latter of the two. According to Mike Huckabee’s battle cry, CPAC might as well have stood for Conservative People Are Catholic.… [Read more]

Obama Declared January 16th “Religious Freedom Day”

“Our long history of religious tolerance and pluralism has strengthened our country, helped create a vibrant civil society, and remained true to the principles enshrined in our founding documents.” President Obama 01-13-2012

In September of 2001, I was a freshman at an all-girls college in Pittsburgh, PA.  After the attacks on September 11th, I remember driving around the city and seeing a stuffed figure, clad in a turban, hanging from the rafters of a resident’s porch.… [Read more]

The Safe Box

In America and many other parts of the world, for every race there is a box.  In most cases you either fit in a box or you are an ‘other‘. People feel a certain level of comfort when they can’t figure out which box you should be placed into.  One would think it would make them uncomfortable, but they often assume that if you don’t have a marked box, how can you be offended by being incorrectly categorized?… [Read more]