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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What's for Iftar? Soul Food ~ #BlackMuslimsRead

Ramadhan Mubarak Fam!

In recent years there have been movements created on social media by Black Muslims from around the world to black-out Ramadhan, Eid, weddings and now even iftar (the breaking of the fast meal)! Many Black and Brown Muslims and allies have found these hashtag movements to be necessary to represent the lives and cultures of Muslims who are often left out and uncounted for in the media and even within Muslim communities around the world. Too often South Asian and Arab culture has been used to exclude other Muslim culture, especially Black American Muslim culture from the larger lens.

 According to the Pew Research Center's Demographic Portrait of Muslim Americans (July 2017) half of all Muslims whose families have been in the United States for at least three or more generations are Black Americans.  Yet, you wouldn't know it or see it if you went to your local suburban masjid for iftar during Ramadhan. Suburban - bigger masajid are often represented by South Asian and Arab Muslims who have boards who control just about everything including the menus on Jumu'ah and Iftar during Ramadhan.

Black American Muslims gather together in safe places to not only avoid being marginalized in larger Muslim communities but to also celebrate the foods and culture that they represent. Iftars in suburban and city masajid are being put together and sponsored by Black Americans to acknowledge, celebrate, and teach immigrants and second generation Muslims about Black American cuisine. Black American Muslim culture has spread around the world and infused pop culture and culinary arts. The time is ripe for the Muslim world to embrace and properly welcome Soul Food!

Soul Food, as coined by Black Americans in the 1960's is now used for any and all Black American cooking. However, it really is a mixture of cuisines from West Africa, Southern American, and even a bit of  European cuisines that American slaves were introduced to as they learned to cook for their slave owners. The soul part definitely is a well deserved nod to Black American Soul Music and the feeling that the food gives you, just like the music does as well.  The interesting part is that as Black American Muslims continued to return to Islam they brought those recipes and memories and either halalified it (yep, that's my word) by replacing pork with beef or turkey to make it permissible to eat or invented something similar to it altogether! And since as many as 30 percent of African slaves in the Americas were Muslim and were the first to practice Ramadhan in the United States - it is really an honor to them, all of our predecessors and ancestors, that we continue to cook and share these meals in our communities all year round, but especially during Ramadhan!

So what sort of food can you expect to savor at a Black American Muslim style Soul Food Iftar? I'm about to tell ya, here it goes:

1. Fried Chicken ~ This is a delicacy in the Black community.  Those who are privileged to fry the chicken: the Jeddahs, Umms and Abus, are bona fide elders and respected cooks in the community. Their recipes are tried and true and passed down from another elder in the community. As a courtesy, don't bring fried chicken to a Soul Food iftar, if you have not been sanctioned to do so. Better safe, than sorry! Stick with water, dates, and salad.

2. Jerk (or Curry) Chicken West Indian Style ~ Pimento, scotch bonnets, nutmeg, brown sugar, garlic and ginger give this Island dish a sweet and spicy taste. Jamaican jerk sauce was developed by enslaved Africans from the Spanish colonies who later resettled in Jamaica. For many Black American Muslims of West Indian descent, Jerk and Curry chicken are staples for iftar meals. And once again, for the Soul food iftar, make sure your recipe is cleared and approved first! Or, just contribute the water, dates, or a side salad!

3. Fried Fish  ~ A lot of brothers not only fish, but they can fry the fish as well. Fishing, cleaning fish and frying fish is something that I have fond memories of my grandfather, father and uncles doing when I was young. Fishing was and still is a beloved pastime for Black Americans, especially those raised in the South or those who grew up close to coasts and harbors. Typically, we fry our fish with seasoned cornmeal, but other batters are acceptable as well.

4. Salmon Patties/Croquettes ~ These southern staples are really simple to make and pretty cheap as well because most often, Black Americans use canned salmon to make them. You certainly can use fresh salmon, if you're balling like that, but there is definitely no need for it. Salmon patties are also a really good way to break into some Soul Food cooking because you really can't mess these up. You don't have to fry them either. Baking them are more healthy and you can even add some veggies into the batter. A great substitution for vegans would be to use canned green Jackfruit instead of the canned salmon! This is E for everyone to make for a Soul Food iftar! Just don't burn them!

5. Beef/Veggie/Vegan Patties/Empanadas ~ Caribbean and Latinx Muslims are very much apart of the fibers of Black American Muslim communities. Not only are we all connected through our shared African ancestry, but our communities' political and spiritual movements have always been supported and represented by Caribbean and Latinx as well. From the Nation of Islam to Dar al Islam to the Warrithul Deen Muhammad communities, Caribbean and Latinx Muslims have had important involvement in dawah (propagation of Islam). So their Island dishes mixed with Soul Food and are often represented at Soul Foul Iftars in Black American Muslim communities. That said, these patties are great and versatile. You can make them with meat or completely vegan full of fresh or frozen veggies! You can also make a batch and freeze them and have them for sahoor (pre-dawn meal before fasting) or have them at iftar. This is also a level E for everyone to try to cook! 

 6. Barbecue Beef  or Chicken ~ In case you forgot, Muslims don't eat pork! But that doesn't stop us from barbecuing the heck out of our beef, chicken or seafood (and veggies, too!) Who doesn't love smoked barbecue beef? It's a staple at Soul Food iftars and it is usually sticky and sweet and you got it: SANCTIONED COOKS ONLY! You know what to bring instead ❤❤❤

Some other meats that you might see at a Soul Food iftar are liver and onions, Shepard's pie, meat loaf and a variety baked meats. For our vegetarian and vegans, seasoned seitan protein can replace most of these meats for you or just double up on your sides.

Ready for the sides? Yeah, me too! I actually love my Soul food sides much more than the meats. But don't tell too many people I said that! Many of these dishes are E for everyone to cook and bring out to a Soul Food iftar. But be careful with a few! Some are just as important as the meats and are strictly reserved to be cooked by sanctioned community members.

7. Seasoned Mixed Veggies ~ This is a simple and well loved dish at Soul Food Ifars. I think seasoned mixed veggies is much more popular than salads, but both are acceptable to bring. Now, non Muslim Black Americans may season their veggies with pork! Don't bring that to a Soul Food Iftar! Common substitutions for pork in the Muslim community are turkey or beef bacon, and turkey legs. But you could easily keep this dish vegan/vegetarian by excluding the meat and adding herbs, spices, and vegetable broth. All up to you! E for Everyone!

8. Corn Fritters or Hush Puppies ~ Both are really easy to make or you can cut corners and just grab a box brand (don't tell them I told you that!). Corn Fritters and Hush Puppies both have Southern American roots and are inexpensive to make. Make-do meals is what my mother called them, but they are yummy and sure to make a scene at your  Soul Food iftars. You can substitute many of the ingredients and make these completely vegan or vegetarian! E for everyone!

 9. Hoppin' John or Black Eyed Peas and Rice ~ Seasoned rice and beans is a staple in every culture. Hoppin' John definitely holds up Soul Food. They're very diverse and you might encounter them vegetarian or dressed up with smoked meats. It's really your choice how much soul you want to add to this dish and I think that's the beauty of most soul food. If the budget is tight, you can make this an E for everyone meal. If you are pulling out all the stops and seasonings, it will jump up to an M - a dish that is to be cooked by Mature Cooks Only! Your decision, but choose wisely!

10. Collard Greens or more affectionately referred to as "The Greens" are one of my favorites and my mother is sure to make it every Ramadhan! The greens are for the serious and sanctioned cooks who are patient, resourceful, prayer warriors of the kitchen! Boiling leafy vegetables and eating them with some sort of starch historically brings us right back to Africa. Whether you are in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, or even Sudan - you will see green leafy dishes cooked in similar styles and eaten just like Black American's greens! Traditionally, in Soul Food cuisine the greens are cooked with salted pork, seasonings, herbs, a little sugar and water. The halalified Soul Food version would substitute that forbidden pork with turkey chops, beef bacon, or even beef tips. The greens can be made vegan or vegetarian with even more substitutions - but you must know how to season the greens just right. As such, this is not a dish everyone should try to bring to a Soul Food iftar. Pray about it and speak with the elders if you are unsure of your seasoning capabilities (or just stick with water, dates, and salad).

11. Homemade Biscuits ~ "Are those my Umm's biscuits?"  Martin Lawrence during his 90's hit sitcom often joked about how serious Black Americans took their Mommas'  biscuits. He was really showcasing the importance of African American cuisine and how revered the makers of those foods are to their families and this is a truth that of course extends to Black American Muslims. Eating the last biscuit made by a bona fide elder can get you in some trouble! Messing up a batch of biscuits and putting them out for folks to chip a tooth on at the iftar - can also earn you some trouble and bad notoriety for years to follow. You need years of work experience, references, peace and glad tidings from the community, and an ijaza (license of authorization) from some one high in ranks -preferably dead and laid to rest before you should offer to roll with the biscuits bakers at a Soul Food iftar. This side dish is labeled D for Don't Think About It, if you were not sanctioned at least 3  Ramadhans ago and over 35 years of age.

Daff Roll for Ramadhan

12. Macaroni and Cheese ~ Now, first, you should say this as one word: MacaroniCheese! It's also affectionately called Mac and The Mac, as well in some circles. Either way, Mac is beloved, it's always baked, and it's always included at Soul Food iftars! You really can't even plan a Soul Food iftar without one. It's just not acceptable. It's one of those dishes that has been passed down from grandmamas, Jeddahs, Ma'dears, Daddies, Abus and Aunties, too! There's never a real discussion about who is making the MacaroniCheese. You already know it and you knew that sister or brother since the day you were born, that she or he was "THE" Mac maker in your community. You don't question it! However, it is appropriate to gift the MacaroniCheese maker in your community during Ramadhan with special presents, especially if you have called on them to make the cheesy goodness for you or your family outside of Ramadhan. You may also make special dua (supplications) for the hard working special bakers in your community. If you are the MacaroniCheese maker in your community, May Allah bless you and love you and reward your hands for reppin' our culture - Black American Muslim style! K for Know your position! 

13. Last but certainly not least is the Muslim Bean Pie! Of course, there are hundreds of other sweet, savory, fruity Soul Food deserts that I could write about that Black American Muslims love to eat. But during Ramadhan, the Bean Pie is King and Queen! The Bean Pie is a uniquely Black American Muslim desert that was introduced  by Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1930's. Some have reported that it was developed as a replacement for the sweet potato pie because sweet potatoes were not approved on the original Eat To Live diet created by Elijah Muhammad. At any rate, as NOI members traveled and mingled and opened restaurants with other Black American Muslims, the desert gained popularity in all sects of Black American Muslim communities. For over 80 years now, Black American Muslims have been baking these pies and it's a special desert to us and our community. I remember watching an elder sister in my community teaching us young girls how to cook many dishes. When we finally learned how to make a bean pie, it was a big deal to all of us. We were now young Muslim ladies with a bean pie recipe!  Enshallah, I believe the Bean pie will continue to be important to future generations of Black American Muslims!

Many of these dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan, if you'd like to make them so. But I think I will try to make a separate blog with some vegan Soul Food recipes for Sahoor and Iftar! Keep me in your prayers on that one! I hope you enjoyed the ride! Ramadhan Mubarak!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

#MuslimGirlsRead Ramadhan Book Fundraiser

#Muslim Girls Read is a national  initiative to get American Muslim girls reading, writing,  thinking, and eventually making important impacts in the world around them. #MuslimGirlsRead provides reading and creating workshops online and throughout New England, Muslim Fiction book reviews, and author chats USA for young Muslim girls and their families to participate. 
Ramadhan Book Fundraiser
Last year,  Ramadhan 2017 #MuslimGirlsRead sponsored by Author & Educator Umm JuwayriyahFofky's Online Bookstore and Cafe, #NBaMuslims, Saba's Book Nook  and many generous Muslims helped to raise $1,000 to purchase Muslim fiction books to send to Muslim schools, Muslim girls, and youth living in inner-cities across the United States. 

Help #MuslimGirlsRead Raise More Money for Books This Ramadhan!

Ramadhan 2018 is here and #MuslimGirlsRead and our sponsors need your help again! Last year, #MuslimGirlsRead sent brand new books to Muslim schools in Boston, Baltimore, Hurricane Harvey affected Houston, and Los Angeles! Enshallah, with your generous donation, this year #MuslimGirlsRead would like to send book packages to five new Muslim schools this year to help put #MuslimFiction on their book shelves. 
Why Should You Help Promote #MuslimFiction in Muslim schools?
Representation matters! Reading literature that represents Muslims and our way of life in positive, inspirational, realistic ways helps Muslim youth to develop positive self-esteem, develop critical thinking skills, reduce stress and combat Islamophobia. At #MuslimGirlsRead we believe that great readers can enshallah become great leaders! 
Also, at #MuslimGirlsRead we believe it is important for Muslim youth to have access to Muslim fiction and Muslim authors in their own communities. But making sure that #MuslimFiction is accessible to Muslim youth, Muslim youth who may experience isolation or bullying, can connect with Muslim authors who provide inspiration and goals for Muslim youth to aspire to. 

Join Us This Ramadhan and Help #MuslimGirlsRead Bring Muslim Fiction to Muslim Schools!​ No Dollar is too small. With your generous donation or sponsorship, we can help Muslim school increase the books in their libraries with Muslim authors. 
Sponsorship opportunities are appreciated! All donations will be shout-out on our social media, unless you alert us not to! 
Let's Read!
We ask Allah to bless you with good this Ramadhan, forgive your and our short-comings, and to make us among the righteous in this life and the hereafter, ameen!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

#BlackMuslimReads Winners!!!

During Black History Month I was apart of Twitter Drive to boost #BlackMuslimReads and raise awareness about the canon of books available and steadily being added to by Black Muslim Authors. #BlackMuslimReads was also sponsored by NbA Muslims editor, Layla Abdullah-Poulos and Djarabi Kitabs Publishing and #MuslimGirlsRead.

I'd like to congratulate our winners who won awesome books by myself, Umm Zakiyyah, Nasheed Jaxson, Papatia N. and sis. Khadijah AbdulHaqq!

Our Winners:

Margari Aziza of California, USA

Kiah Glenn of North Carolina, USA

Hazel Gomez of Michigan, USA

Karen Kaiser of Maryland, USA

Ameenah Muhammad of New Jersey, USA

Ensha'Allah, enjoy your reads sisters!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Is Halal and Haram in Fiction Writing? Or Is It All a “Grey Area”?

What Is Halal and Haram in Fiction Writing? Or Is It All a “Grey Area”?
By Papatia Feauxzar
I’m not a scholar but I will try my best to shed some light on the matter with some common sense and personal experience. So, let’s rephrase the question a little bit in order to answer this controversial topic in the ummah.
Do you consider the stories your parents and family members told you throughout your life to teach you a moral all lies? Additionally, do you consider the scenarios your teachers gave you in class all lies? Fiction is a series of scenarios (plots) and stories.
Of course when the question is phrased these ways, it’s hard to call your relatives, teachers and even people you hold dear: transgressors. Right? I will answer ‘Yes’ for you. Now, even if they made up the stories, you will realize that there was a reason behind the stories they told you. It was either to solve a problem, to deliberate on a case, to teach you a morale, etc. It truly depends on the intention and it is upon intention we will be judged too.
So what’s the difference between oral storytelling and written storytelling?
In my opinion, there is no difference between the two in essence and in form. Only the means of communicating changes; al qalam, the pen.
Allah is the Greatest of Storytellers, and HE told the pen to write. He is the Author of all things in this life and beyond. He chose to bestow part of this attribute to selected scribes in this dunya. If you are a writer, you’ve been chosen as a serious scribe. Honor the art and do it justice by penning true and relatable stories.
Therefore, when discussions of haram and halal start about Muslim Fiction, take a moment to think for yourself and do what your fitra agrees with. Do some istikhara if you need to and carry on. Don’t let people even if they appear religious and are ‘deening’ tell you what’s right or wrong. Go by what your gut tells you. That’s what matters at the end of the day for the sake of your happiness. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Allah didn’t create you to blend in anyway. This is to say that only His opinion of you should take the front seat; nothing or no-one else’s opinion.
Writing is maroof, a good deed. It has always been one. Through fiction, Muslim writers have always extended dawah, entertained as we have to uphold a life that reflects five before five, and portrayed a realistic lifestyle.
Read More On Between Sisters, SVP!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Women's History Month with Author & Educator Umm Juwayriyah

It's 2018 and it's Women's History Month. As a Muslim woman, contrary to public opinion and gross stereotypes throughout the world, I've been loved, supported, guided, mentored and educated by wonderful Muslim women! Since the inception of Islam Muslim women have held enormous and valuable roles in our communities world wide. Much of what we know of the life of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) was memorized by his youngest wife, Aisha bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her). While his first wife, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (may Allah be pleased with her) who the messenger of Allah (peace and blessing upon him)  was known to be a intelligent and wealthy business woman that supported her younger husband emotionally and financially.

Today Muslim women around the world continue to strive for excellence both spiritually and professionally. Islamophobia isn't our story. Neither is war or domestic violence. Poverty isn't our story either. Those strings of fabric are only pieces of our quilt of life. Muslim women are women! We are diverse. We are courageous. We are thoughtful. We are mothers, wives, single and ready mingle young and old women! We love Islam. We love our prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) ! We love to pray! We love our families. We love our Muslim men and boys! We love our hijabs and we love shopping for them, too! We even love going home and taking off our hijab and chilling - carefree! We love our sister-friends and we value lazy days sleeping in and waking up to a good cup of coffee or tea! 🙂🙂🙂🙂

Muslim women are women!

We struggle. We have attitudes some times. We might fight or yell or curse, too! We make poor decisions! We fall for the wrong guys! We get divorced.  And even when we make the good relationship decisions - we don't like our husbands every single day! We hide food for our kids so we can have it later. We may even eat last piece of cake! We don't like our husbands every single day (two times worthy)! Yes, we get hot in our clothes during the summer - but so do you, too!

Muslim women are women!

We are Tried and Tested -- and we are also blessed with amazing, beautiful, loving, creative, and fun lives, too!  This Women's History Month get to know some Muslim women, it just might change your life. Just like following American Muslim women are changing lives and spreading awesomeness in their communities:

1. Anse Tamara Gray

As the founder and director of Rabata, Anse Tamara Gray supports positive cultural change through individual empowerment, spiritual upbringing of women by women and the revival of the female voice in scholarship. Rabata provides online classes and workshops for Muslim women taught by Muslim women on Islamic and secular issues that afforded and accessible. She runs around the world - literally - bringing Muslim women and non Muslim together to help break down misconceptions. She is champion of Muslim fiction and even opened one of the coolest bookstores in Minneapolis: DayBreak Press Global Bookshop and Gathering Space. Alhamduleelah, every time I see Anse - no matter is going on or how wacky her day has been - she is smiling and warm and supportive. So for that reason and so many more this women's history month, I celebrate my sister-friend for her love of Islam and her love of women and education and books!

2. Chaplain Matiniah Yahya, M.Ed is the founder and director of the New England Muslimah's Get-A-Way Retreat, Educator, and one of the first Muslim women chaplains at Yale-New Haven Hospital  - and I love her for the sake of Allah and myself. I have known sister Matiniah most of my life, Alhamduleelah!  For over 40 years she has always, always loved helping sisters through New England build and learn and grow!  Allah has blessed her with so much energy and love and vision, Mashallah! I  have had the honor of working with sister Matiniah on many projects, including the Muslimah-Get-A-Way youth program and I have never left her presence without gaining something beneficial, something kind, and something supportive.   

3. Atiyah Angela Havens is an educator, fashion designer, and the owner of Amatullah Treasures - a boutique of clothing and accessories that helps Muslim women and non Muslim alike shine, dazzle, and feel modestly beautiful. Atiyah, a Brooklyn, NY native has helped bring modest fashion to the forefront of Philadelphia and surrounding cities.

4. Fashion Designer Jenneh Mariam Williams is the owner of AL Mujalbaba Fashions and a fashioner designer from Queens, NY. For decades sister Jenneh traveled with her fashion all across the United States to Muslim events, programs, workshops and retreats to sell her designs of jilbabs, hijabs, and accessories. I actually bought with my own money my first jilbab from sister Jenneh back in the mid 90's! Her garments and hijabs are famous! I once saw a sister in Kuwait with one of sister Jenneh's outfits on and I knew from across the street that it was indeed a Al Muljababa New York outfit! I never pack a travel without atleast one or two of her hijbas - their that important and so is sister Jenneh for helping and supporting a generation of Muslim women dress well and feel good! 

5. Sohadah Mohammad is the owner of Madina Therapy, LLC! I was first introduced to sis. Sohadah while was working in Madina, Saudi Arabia as a Speech Therapist. Now that sis. Sohadah has relocated back to the States she has brought her experience and care for the special needs and elder community with her and opened a much needed agency right in Eastern Massachusetts. "Currently, we are serving the Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas through skilled occupational therapy, Hijama Cupping, Special Education Consultations, Disability Advocacy, Mental Health Life Coaching, and Spiritual Care with 1:1 in person services and online.

6. Asiya Jamilah Nasir is the founder of J.E.S.S.I.C.A Cares an empowerment program that targets Muslim girls in New York, Philadelphia, and Delaware. J.E.S.S.I.C.A Cares offers empowerment workshops, 8-10 week academies, book clubs, community initiatives like feeding the hungry, visiting the sick in the hospital, and spiritual classes for Muslim girls as well. Sister Asiya's mission is help encourage Muslim girls to understand the honor of being a Muslimah. 

7. Sr. C. Islaah Abd'al-Rahim, M.Ed is an author, educator and principal of a Muslim school, community worker, and historian from Baltimore, MD. Sister Islaah has worked many Islamic and public schools  in Baltimore and New Jersey, she is a member of sister committee of Masjid As Saffat and the largest and longest running Muslim Women's Conference. She has presented at many conferences and workshops on education, Islam, and Muslim women for over 30 years. She is also serious with her poetry and has penned and staged several plays. Mashallah,  I think I was about 11 or 12 when I attended one of her plays and had one of light bulbs moments - "I can do that, too!" I absolutely love her lectures and her care and love for the Muslim community! Sister Islaah is a beautiful pearl in our community, Mashallah and if you can get to Maryland this April to sit in one of her workshops at the Women's Committee of Masjid As Saffat Conference - you won't regret it, enshallah!

8. Natasha Somalia Hair Care is a brand, a business Muslimah, a hair stylist and an author - and I LOVE IT! Seriously, for those who have read my first novel, The Size of a Mustard Seed  you know the back drop of  the story and where all the tea was drank was in the hair salon, Covered Pearls. Well, sis Natasha Somalia is the owner of Covered - The Salon in Philadelphia!  Not only that, sister Natasha has her own line of hair vitamins and hair products as well! I cannot wait to try this sister's products this summer and get a hair appointment as well! If you have tried her products or have had your hair styled by her, please send us a review! 

9. Sakina Abdul Malik has been a long time Muslim homeschooling advocate in upstate New York. She has helped many Muslim families of multiple children successfully homeschool their children into careers and college. Now Sakina has taken her years of experiences and love of educating Muslim children back to her hometown of Philadelphia and is working with the New Madina Learning Institute! If you read the blog you know that I am also homeschooler who advocates for Muslims in the West to establish collective learning co-ops, centers, and schools so that our children learn together to love love, support, and work in our communities. So I am excited and pleased to see Masjidullah's New Madina Learning Institute flourish and help raise the next generation of Muslims with the help and support of sister Sakinah!

10. Author Emma Apple  is such a cool sister with so many talents, mashallah! She is the an award winning artist who just happened to illustrate my first children's book, Hind's Hands ~ A Story About Autism which is a book that is near and dear to both of our hearts for similar reasons. She is the founder of Blue Hijab Day for Autism Awareness and she is author and illustrator of the charming Owl & Cat on Islam books! Not to mention we both have daughters named Hind/Hend - and Autism parenting Mamas advocating for inclusiveness and awareness, she is super easy to work with! Make sure check out her books! 

Friday, March 9, 2018

#BlackMuslimReads - Hijab and the Policing of Black Women and Girls by Nisa Muhammad

By Nisa Muhammad

On February 1, 2018, World Hijab Day was observed and encountered opposition from an unlikely source. A number of Black Muslims were taken aback on February 13, World hijab Daywhen 10 feminist faculty members of Spelman College released a letter expressing their concerns with the Spelman student who organized fellow students and Spelman faculty who participated in World Hijab Day. It included concerns about the women around the world who protest World Hijab Day spelman-collegeand Muslim women who are forced to wear the hijab (in Saudi Arabia and Iran) with violent consequences if they refuse. While the authors took great care to express their thoughts and concerns about Muslim women who wear hijab from around the world, their failure to mention the many Muslim women who chose to adhere to a command from God to cover their hair, speaks to their incomplete or misunderstanding of hijab. Unfortunately, many people, fail to grasp and comprehend our perspective. It is so foreign to them why any woman would want to cover her hair every time she walks out the door, so contrary to their order of freedom and justice, that it just does not compute.

Why do some women care what or how Muslim women dress? This feigned concern for the rights of Muslim women “forced to wear hijab” seems to be a double standard.  The Spelman faculty wrote about the women in Iran who are protesting the laws requiring them to wear hijab.  However, there were few if any historical protests for the women in Iran in the late 1930’s when they were forced to remove their hijab with violent consequences if fullsizeoutput_75a6they did not.  It was unlawful for them to wear hijab. Women were relegated to their homes because they could not, would not come out uncovered. That was so long ago you may think, however, in Turkey until 2013, just five years ago, it was unlawful for women to wear hijab to government offices, hospitals, universities, and schools. That meant Muslim women who wore hijab could not go to school, to the hospital, work for the government or go to university. Where was the outcry for those women who only wanted to show their devotion to God?

Read More On Sapelo Square 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

#BlackMuslimReads-Lifting Black Voices, Influencing Society By Layla Abdullah-Poulos

Image Source: Bashirah Mack @msbmack

The Black Muslim experience in the United States is intrinsically linked to the tragedies and triumphs of African Americans since before our country was one.
By Layla Abdullah-Poulos
Black History Month presented Black Muslims across the country opportunities to focus on the extensive historical ties and heritage that merges their faith and race.
NbA Muslims, in partnership with Djarabi Kitabs Publications, #Muslim Girls Read and the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, hosted #BlackMuslimReads—a month-long event that involved daily highlighting of literature and writings from Black Muslims. Participants shared their Black Muslim reads on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
There was also a Twitter chat anchored by five Black Muslim authors, where partakers shared thoughts on how to appreciate and amplify the written works of Black Muslims as well as support writers and authors.
African American Muslims remain the quintessential influence of Islam on the American experience, an extension of the contributions of Black Muslims globally and historically, which include cultural productions impacting society.

Read more at Patheos