I was blessed to be invited to a conference at the Vatican on Laudato Si, the Papal Encyclical on creation care. Called Our Common Home, I presented a reflection on Laudato Si using the teachings of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (AS). The conference ended with an audience with the Pope.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Helen Rosenthal toured the America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan earlier this week with the museum’s executive director Andy Ackerman, the museum’s honorary board chair Laurie M. Tisch, museum board member Judith Hannan, the exhibit’s academic advisor Hussein Rashid and others. America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far is a groundbreaking new interactive exhibit for children and families that explores the diversity of Muslim cultures in New York City, the U.S. and abroad. The exhibit showcases the cultural expressions of various Muslim communities around the world through age-appropriate experiences with art, architecture, travel, trade, design and more.
At this love rally, I met man whose name I do not know. At this love rally, I met this man who makes me wonder what love looks like for him. At this love rally, I met this man who wanted someone to show him a little bit of love, a little bit of kindness, as we all talked about love.
REVOLUTIONARY LOVE—Tools, Tactics, and Truth-telling to Dismantle Racism
Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17 in New York City
Our nation is in a crisis. Though there is only one race — the human race — racism is a construct with lethal consequences. People die while in its custody. Racism has annihilated the souls of citizens and ripped out the heart of our nation. Recent surveys show that 60% of the people in our nation think race relations are in a significant decline, that our dream for justice and equality is dying on the vine.
At the 10th annual Leading Edge Conference and the 6th annual Transform Network Gathering, we will learn and teach each other the best practical wisdom for movement-making, mingled with theoretical underpinnings and theological reflection. Join thought leaders like Chris Crass, Melissa Harris-Perry, Jim Wallis, Jacqui Lewis, Huseein Rashid, and Miguel De La Torre; and activists like Linda Sarsour, Micky ScottBey Jones and Valarie Kaur. In plenaries, short talks, and small group conversations surrounded by music and art, we will create strategies for change.
Activists, analysts, preachers, poets, prophets, teachers, trainers, writers, queer, and straight folk of all faiths ready to make a change: Come and bring your hopes, disappointments, and dreams. We must disrupt the narrative of white supremacy if we are to be free. We need tools, tactics, and truth-telling to dismantle racism.
Ours is #PropheticGrief. Even in our anger and tears, we are ready to do something, to organize. This is a multi-faith, multi-racial movement. Those of us who are disgusted with the status quo are called to join the movement if we are to save our nation, save our world, and save our souls.
Powered by the Middle Project, Transform Network, The Unitarian Universalist Association, and Auburn Seminary
The loud discourse on Islam in the United States today marks Muslims as a threat, embroiled in pre-modern sensibilities, and unable to participate in democratic societies. These articulations are often made by recycling colonial and oriental images of Muslim women as oppressed and Muslim men as violent, with objects such as the hijab and the figure of the terrorist at the center. This rise of Islamophobic commentary has resulted in myriad incidences of bullying, teasing, and direct violence against teachers and students who identify, or are read by others, as Muslims. All this points to the lack of understanding about Islam and Muslims in the United States. This panel will argue for the urgent need for religious literacy and introduce the Cultural Studies method to understand Islam and Muslims.
Dr. Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim Religion and Cultures; Director of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University
Dr. Diane Moore, Director, Religious Literacy Project; Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education; Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University
Dr. Hussein Rashid, Founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency
Shenila Khoja-Moolji, Research Fellow, Teachers College; Education Affiliate, Religious Literacy Project, Harvard University
Date: April 21, 2016
Time: 7 to 9pm
Teachers College, Columbia University
Vice President's Office for Diversity & Community Affairs
“Our goal is to have children deal with differences in a healthy, positive way and encourage them to be inquisitive while exploring the world instead of running away from its differences,” Rashid said, an experience not so different from his years growing up in Elmont.
For the last few years, I got paid to play with toys. I was able to put a philosophy of Star Trek’s Vulcans into practice, and live as a Jedi. Comics littered my work space, and Dr. Who’s TARDIS traveled with me through space and time. All I was missing was a Buffy or Firefly fix. All of this was possible because I was working on religious literacy and global citizenship.