In President Obama’s speech in Cairo, we heard something perhaps unprecedented for an American president: references to the Qur’an—positive references! Quoting verses from the Qur’an was significant because it brought the holy text into the discussion in a way that reflects its real spirit–especially for the over 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide.
The hijab—the veil—is one of the most visual signs of Islam. Many see the scarf and associate it with, well, oppression. Some within the Muslim communities perceive it as a way to determine a Muslim women’s adherence to faith. Amidst all these perceptions, wherever they may come from, are Muslim women who go beyond those discussions and use artistic expression to engage the question of the veil: What does it mean to those who wear it and those who do not?
In what has been widely billed as a major step in his promised effort to reach out to the Muslim community worldwide, President Barack Obama gave a speech entitled “New Beginnings” at Cairo University last week. The president did not, however, directly address conflicts between the West and the Muslim world. Instead, he tried to set a new tone in favor of global dialogue and to that end he was successful.
A couple of weeks ago, Inside Islam aired a radio show on “The Taqwacores” and we posted a series of blog entries on the punk movement in the US. You can listen to the broadcast and browse all of the posts about Taqwacores on Inside Islam by clicking here.
The following video from NBC Nightly News features our guests from that radio show — author of The Taqwacores Michael Muhammad Knight and drummer for the Kominas Imran Malik. The video highlights other individuals and bands who are also struggling to articulate this new Muslim punk genre of music and what it means to a mainstream audience.
Altmuslimah is a branch of altmuslim, a blog we’ve written about before on Inside Islam that has critical, independent thought on Islam today. Altmuslimah, on the other hand, focuses on the gender divide within Islam and opens up discussion about important issues like the women’s movement for equality in Islam recently launched as The Musawah Movement. Here in this post on Inside Islam, we outlined the emerging debates and global significance of such a movement and invite readers to leave their own thoughts as well.