Today I do my first public appearance to speak about Adnan’s case and Serial. I’ll be at Stanford Law School, a great pleasure for me, but it’s not the only reason I’m in California right now.
For the past few years I’ve worked in the field of CVE (“Countering Violent Extremism”), which is less sexy, cool or controversial as it may sound (but plenty has to be said about it, which merits future articles and posts). To that end, on Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a unique summit hosted by YouTube that brought together Muslim leaders from around the country, CVE experts, YouTube celebrities, and technical experts to explore creative ways being used by some amazing young Muslim Americans to tell their stories. Its in that telling, if done well enough, that we’ll be able to elevate authentic narratives about the lives everyday Muslims lead, and the kinds of good work they do, to counter the ugly that is online (and IRL). That ugly comes from two major sources: violent extremists who are Muslims, and anti-Muslim bigots. Continue reading
A Christmas display in front of a mosque in Beirut, Lebanon.
*This post should have gone up at least 48 hours ago because er, its a Christmas post, but I decided to listen to my body and just take a break, man I needed one. So apologies for this belated post, but I figured you’d understand, us being friends and all.
A couple of weeks ago, over the phone with my younger sister (also an observant Muslim like me), I had the following conversation:
Me: Have you gone shopping, been to the malls?
Her: No, but I want to, I just love seeing all the Christmas stuff
Me: Me too! I love the songs, the lights, the decorations hehehee
Her: I knoooooowwwwww….its the most wonderful time of the year!
Clearly, we have drunk deeply of the Christmas spirit kool-aid, and fatwa or no fatwa, we’re going to hold on to our unrequited love of this holiday season.
Two things I want to share with this post. First, a reprint of a Christmas blog I wrote a couple of years ago, which first appeared on Patheos. Second, at the very bottom of that piece, a gift for the readers. Continue reading
“The truthfulness of the dream is related to the sincerity of the dreamer. Those who have the most truthful dreams are those who are the most truthful in speech.” The Prophet Muhammad*
Muslims believe in Prophets, all of the Biblical/Quranic prophets from Adam to Moses to Jesus to Muhammad, and tens of thousands of others, messengers from God to guide mankind. It is said that Muhammad is the last of the Prophets, and there will be no others until the end of time, but something remains behind of prophethood. And that something, that small remnant of prophecy left behind, is dreams.
Much like the story of Joseph’s dreams in the Torah, there is a long tradition of dream interpretation in Islam (and Judaism) and most observant Muslims believe that dreams have significance and will often seek out the pious to help interpret their dreams. Sometimes the dreams are clear signs, sometimes not. Sometimes they’re meaningful, sometimes just clutter.
A year or so after Adnan was convicted my mother, a devout woman often found mumbling prayers on a rosary or in prostration on a prayer mat, went for a pilgrimage to Mecca. When she returned she told us she prayed for Adnan there countless times and then had a clear dream. She dreamt that he emerged from an underground chamber, squinting in the light, after having been held captive there for a long time. She said it meant he would be exonerated and freed from incarceration. She also said he looked like he was in his mid to late 30’s. Continue reading