Hijab

Mariam Sobh Photo: isocko.com

Mariam Sobh is a broadcast journalist based in Chicago and founder/editor-in-chief of Hijabtrendz.com. She is also a contributor to a book of essays entitled, “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim.” Sobh, and other authors from this collection will be talking on the UW-Madison campus on May 5th. look for more details soon on Inside Islam.

When most people hear the word hijab it conjures up images of Muslim women covered from head to toe without a spec of skin or eyes showing.

Hijab is a word in Arabic that translates into a type of “covering.”

When someone observes the rules of hijab, it typically consists of a headscarf and clothing that covers all of the body modestly, leaving only the face, hands and feet exposed.

To make things a little bit easier to remember, hijab is basically the dress code that Muslim women observe. It should be loose and not see-through. It should draw attention away from a woman’s body parts and get people to focus more on her intellect.

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Radio Show on Radicalization Hearings

Rep. Keith Ellison Testifying at the hearings

On Wednesday, March 16th, Here on Earth host Jean Feraca will talk with Prof. Ingrid Mattson, director of the Duncan Macdonaled Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary and previous president of the Islamic Society of North America, about Representative Peter King’s hearings “on the extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community and that community’s response.” According to Rep. King, Muslim organizations have not cooperated  enough with the government to prevent more attacks by radicalized Muslims.

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Mooz-lum

On Monday, March 14th, on Here on Earth: Radio without Borders, Jean Feraca will talk with Qasim Basir, writer and director of Mooz-lum, and Dana Offenbach, the film’s producer. Mooz-lum tells the coming of age story of Tariq, a young man who is torn between a strict upbringing and his new freedom in college. Tariq’s struggle is complicated by the 9/11 attacks.

The show will examine the Muslim American experience, which has been largely overlooked. Moreover, it will address the misconceptions about Muslims that abound in mainstream American culture. Finally, by bringing in 9/11, Basir aims to show the audience that Muslim Americans were also affected by the attacks.

The film opened in select theaters on February 11th.

Have you seen the film? What do you think? What would you like to know about Muslim American experience? Please share your thoughts below.

Muslims “Go Back Home!”

Hate rallies against Muslims and Islam have increased

The above were among the words used by anti-Islam protesters in Orange County, CA, as Muslim men, women, and children peacefully entered a fundraiser benefiting a local women’s shelter and homeless services. Local councilwoman Deborah Pauly was met with loud cheers as she told the crowd of hundreds,  “I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists [the peaceful people at the fundraiser] to an early meeting in paradise.” Other epithets from the crowd included “Muhammad was a pervert,” “Muhammad was a false Prophet,” and “One nation under God, not Allah.” (Just to clarify, Allah is the Arabic word for God, and is used to refer to God by Arab Christians, Arab Jews, and Muslims.)

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Domestic Crusaders

Domestic Crusaders explores the lives of a Pakistani-American family

In 2001, Wajahat Ali was an English major at UC-Berkeley studying under the guidance of Professor Ishmael Reed. Reed saw a unique talent in Ali and pushed him to explore the lives of Muslim-Americans. Ten years later, Ali’s play, Domestic Crusaders, has sold out theaters across the country and is the first Muslim-American play published as a book.

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Textbooks Biased towards Islam?

Campaign in Texas

A group of high school textbooks in Florida are at the center of a debate on Islam. According to Patriots United and Citizens for National Security, the various textbooks depict Islam in a positive light while portraying Christianity and Judaism negatively. Patriots United formed a local “textbook action team” to challenge the fact that these books are being taught and “students are being taught false information.” Florida is not the first state to have its textbooks challenged.  A similar  campaign was carried out in Texas in September 2010.

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A Different Set of Picture Essays

Todd Drake

Todd Drake creates art that is shaped by community. A 2004-2005 Rockefeller Fellow, Drake is currently an artist in residence at UNC Chapel Hill’s Center for Global Initiatives and touring around the U.S. and Middle East with his latest project, Esse Quam Videri: Muslim American Self-Portraits.

The mind takes a different set of pictures. For three years I have crisscrossed my home state of North Carolina taking pictures of Muslim Americans. Each photo is a collaboration that expresses what the participating Muslim wished to share. Their images in Esse Quam Videri are currently touring the United States and Middle East. But when I close my eyes and think about my experience of helping make those images I see a different set of photos. One is of a full moon shining over an outdoor gathering of Muslims, all laughing at the comedians from the Funnymentalists comedy group. I saw the moon because I tossed back my head to let out a laugh and noticed it shining down on us from behind. It was at that moment that I thought “This is what we need as a nation, if we could all just get to this point.”

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The Qu’osby Show?

Cover of America's Muslim Family

A recent episode of the satirical news program The Daily Show placed a humorous spin on the idea of having a “Muslim” Cosby Show. As we mentioned in January, Katie Couric and others see the Cosby show as an important step towards mainstream white-American acceptance and respect for African-Americans and believe a comedy show about a Muslim-American family could bring about a similar shift in opinion.

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Organizing a Revolution through a Marriage Site

The revolts in Libya, the most recent in a series of uprisings that has swept the Middle East, began days after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11th. Inspired by the successful movements in Tunisia and Egypt, Libyans have taken to the streets to call for Muammar al-Qaddafi, the leader since 1969, to step down. Protesters have been met with violent retaliation from government forces, with estimates of the death toll around 2000.

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Non-Violent Resistance In Islam

Protests in Libya

Tomorrow, March 2nd, on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, Jean will talk about non-violent resistance in the Middle East. The recent protests that began in Tunisia and Egypt and led to the ousting of both leaders have now spread to Yemen and Libya. What has caught the attention of the world is how peaceful, for the most part, these protests have been. When there has been violence, it has come from the government forces.

Discussions of these protests have characterized Islam–as embodied in groups like the Muslim Brotherhood— as something negative and more importantly violent, almost completely ignoring Islam’s tradition of non-violent resistance. This tradition stems from historical events,  discussions about warfare, and Qur’anic verses that demonstrate the need for peaceful engagement. Continue reading