ISLAM-OPED is a syndication service of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues. ISLAM-OPED commentaries are offered free-of-charge to one media outlet in each market area. Permission for publication will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Please consider the following commentary for publication.
The Trump White House Ramadan Celebration That Wasn’t
By Nihad Awad
President Donald Trump just ended the almost 20-year White House tradition of marking the Islamic month-long fast of Ramadan by not hosting a celebratory “iftar” (fast-breaking) dinner. This year also marks the first time since 1999 that the State Department failed to officially host a Ramadan dinner. Such a break in American tradition and values reflects the Trump administration’s outright hostility toward the American Muslim community and its discomfort in acknowledging that Muslims are a part of our nation.
[NOTE: An edited version of this commentary was published today by the Washington Times. SEE: True Islam Teaches Equality]
By Ibrahim Hooper
In her recent anti-Islam diatribe masquerading as a legitimate condemnation of female genital mutilation (FGM) [“The Islam clash in America,” The Washington Times, April 18, 2017], Cheryl K. Chumley made a number of ill-informed, inaccurate and offensive statements about Islam and Muslims.
Author: Jimmy Jones
For African-Americans, the annual time period between Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on January 15th and the end of February is bittersweet. This is because we hear quite a bit about Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of Black History for about six weeks, only to be shunted aside again on March 1st of every year.
Nevertheless, we rightly remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a genuine American hero. So was recently departed astronaut and senator John Glenn, the first American in space.
Yet neither of these men could have soared to the heights that they did without the passionate, persistent, consistent, and competent help of women who just happened to be African-American.
In John Glenn’s case, the full story of these women was finally told in the book “Hidden Figures,” written by Margot Lee Shetterly and released as a Hollywood film with the same title.
Mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson made calculations that were invaluable to the success and safety of America’s first manned space flight by our hero John Glenn.
I am a bit familiar with the racial mores of the part of the country in which these women worked. The Langley Research Center is located in Hampton, Va., near where I spent four years (1964-68) as an undergraduate at the overwhelmingly Black Hampton University.
By Nihad Awad
This Fourth of July weekend, friends and families around the country will gather together to celebrate the freedoms we cherish as Americans, those for which countless generations have struggled and sacrificed so much.
We celebrate our freedom from oppression, freedom to practice our religion, representation in our government, and self-determination.
Yet as recent events targeting African-Americans have made abundantly clear, we still have a long way to go to achieve full equality under the flag we will fly high this weekend.
By Nihad Awad
Word Count: 618
In one of his most famous statements, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
On the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, it is time to reflect on Dr. King's words and examine where we stand as a nation on the issues of justice and mutual understanding.
Dr. King's struggle for justice must be carried on by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, because that is what he taught and demonstrated through his life's work.
By Nihad Awad
Word Count: 810
There is a growing attempt by some commentators to label the recent bombings in Boston as "jihad" and to blame the deadly blasts on a non-existent concept they call "radical Islam."
I call "radical Islam" non-existent because radicalism or extremism is not permissible in Islam. Islam prohibits extremism and an essential part of the faith is moderation. A more accurate term might be "Al-Qaeda ideology."
Muslims have interacted with the Roman Catholic Church and its leaders -- sometimes negatively and sometimes positively -- for hundreds of years. These interactions have included negative periods of needless and counterproductive conflict, as well as positive cooperation on issues of importance to families of all faiths.
By Gadeir Abbas and Adam Soltani
Published in The Oklahoman on February 13, 2013.
Years ago, Saadiq Long — an American citizen born in Oklahoma — served in our Air Force with distinction. For a time, he even provided technical support to military aircraft destined for combat. Who could have guessed that such a man would be deemed too dangerous to board commercial aircraft?
Nihad Awad: American Muslims Are Indebted to Dr. King
By Nihad Awad
In my position as the leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest American Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, I am eternally grateful for the vision, struggle and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He did not struggle only to free his own generation, and his work will continue to bless many generations to come in America and around the world.
ISLAM-OPED: Dr. King's Legacy Mandates Respect for Due Process, End to Drone Killings and Warrantless Surveillance
By: Dawud Walid
Word count: 626
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day symbolizes many important moral and ethical principles, including the citizenry's responsibility to end the federal government's abuses of civil and human rights, both at home and abroad.
By: Ibrahim Hooper
WORD COUNT: 489
As many people make promises to themselves to improve their lives or their societies in the coming year, here is a suggested New Year's resolution for media outlets in America and worldwide: Drop the term "Islamist."