The sweeping surveillance of local Muslims is un-American, unconstitutional and spawns an atmosphere of mistrust, undermining the efforts of law enforcement conducting clandestine investigations of Muslim Americans in the New York metropolitan area.
These criticisms of the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslim Americans from New York City to Long Island were made by New York State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) and Dr. Hussein Rashid, a professor of religion at Hofstra University during the college’s 11th annual “Day of Dialogue” event Wednesday.
For several years we have suffered global catastrophes that have cost thousands of lives and untold years of future hardship. Most recent is Typhoon Haiyan, which destroyed parts of the Philippines at a cost of over 5000 lives. It is easy, and necessary, to give money to help people after a tragedy like this, but it is also easy for donor fatigue to develop. There are already reports that most Americans are unaware of the tragedy. More importantly, even after the initial rush of aid, what happens to the people and physical ruins of their lives is something we do not often pay attention to.
So, for Giving Tuesday, I want to highlight the work of MIIM Designs, an architectural and design firm that uses “design communities + create culture” as its tagline. They are fundraising to help rebuild. Their goal is “speaking to local citizens and construction professionals, they are working to begin understanding the on-the-ground situation, assess the area's needs, and deliver impactful design to help the people.” In other words, they are putting into direct practice what I, and what I believe other people, want understand, which is how their money is being used.
The work they are fundraising for is person-centered, trying to meet local needs, and build for the future. It’s daring and bold, and should be the norm. I work on Muslim arts, and dabble a little with architecture. I think it’s great that we can point to marvels like the Taj Mahal, or the 96th Street mosque, But we have to think of architecture as something more than monumental. It speaks to the needs and identities of people. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, one of the premiere architecture awards, says its goal is:
The selection process emphasizes architecture that not only provides for people's physical, social and economic needs, but that also stimulates and responds to their cultural expectations. Particular attention is given to building schemes that use local resources and appropriate technology in innovative ways, and to projects likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere.
From what I understand of MIIM Design’s vision, this is the response they are fundraising for. I would love to see people donate to this cause.
Dr.Rashid, Professor of Religion at Hofstra University and Associate Editor of Religion Dispatches joined Hofstra's Morning Wake-Up Call on WRHU Friday, August 30,2013 to respond to new AP reports that the NYPD labeled entire mosques "terrorism enterprises" in order to justify surveillance.
Hussein Rashid, a professor at Hofstra University, disses those who say a Ramadan observance called Laylat ul-Qadr, which translates as the “Night of Power” or the “Night of Destiny,” may be the reason for the closure of U.S. embassies in Africa and the Middle East.
During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, there is a night that I look forward to every year.
This night is called Laylat ul-Qadr, which translates as the “Night of Power” or the “Night of Destiny.”
In observance of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from food and drink during daylight hours, some will be participating in another type of fast -- a social media one. We speak with observers about why, after dark, naturally.
I first met Scott Korb in the summer of 2010. It was at a time in New York when the Islamophobia Industry was holding a fundraising drive by saying that building houses of worship and praying was un-American; saying they were vultures retraumatizing the city for their own personal gain and amusement would be too charitable. I was doing a lot of press at that time around Park51, and I get an email from Korb. He wants to do a piece on American Muslims. I am wary. There are all sorts of media instapundits emerging around Islam, and news reporters inserting themselves into that role; or worse, because Korb indicates he’s writing a longer piece, I fear he may be a cultural tourist, picking and choosing what he likes to create his vision of an American Islam.