1- The longing for love, 2- The search for knowledge, and 3- Unbearable
pity for the suffering of mankind.” Bertrand Russell
This article shared by Tahir Mahmood.
In an America where public American narratives of Muslims are limited to images of terrorists and poverty-stricken refugees, our perception of Muslim history may be similarly warped. Especially in a small state such as ours, the scarcity of Muslims to counter the dominant stereotypes about their culture furthers the narrative. That’s what makes the work at the International Museum of Muslim Culture so important.
#The Jackson museum, the first of its kind in America, provides a valuable resource for both Muslims and African Americans to learn more about their legacy. It’s had its ups and downs: After the Sept. 11 attacks, someone threw a brick through one of its windows, which resulted in a massive wave of support from Jackson’s government and local colleges and universities.
#The museum’s exhibition, “The Legacy of Timbuktu: Wonders of the Written Word,” highlights how West African Muslims contributed to the world’s knowledge and may have even been responsible for your favorite blues song.
#IMMC’s co-founder and executive director of the exhibition, Okolo Rashid, acknowledges that disrupting false narratives is a central part of her work at the museum. When she gives tours of the exhibition, many visitors are surprised to find out that a huge contingent of black Muslims and that Muslims are responsible for inventions such as the loom.
#While the museum is small (it takes up one wing of the Mississippi Arts Center, where it moved in 2006) and lacks the deep pockets of big museums such as the Smithsonian, word of mouth and public support has ensured the museum’s residency in the Jackson area since 2001.
#“It’s because the significance of the story (of African Muslims) and the lack of knowledge behind it,” Rashid says.
(Shared By Tahir Mahmood)
Post submitted by Michael Toumayan, HRC Religion and Faith Program Manager
Last week, one of the clearest shifts in the decades-long debate over Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) came into light from the largest U.S.-based Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), joined a broad interfaith coalition, calling ENDA a “measured, common sense solution that will ensure workers are judged on their merits, not on their personal characteristics like sexual orientation or gender identity.”
In a historic advancement for the LGBT rights movement, the Senate on Thursday approved ENDA, a bill that protects against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite advances in anti-discrimination in the workplace, Muslims continue to face unfair job discrimination. Our shared experiences of discrimination can provide a common basis to work with one another to mold a more inclusive America.
Commenting on the shift of tone, Dr. Sharon Groves, Director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program, regarded ISNA’s support of ENDA as a major step in right direction.
“LGBT Muslims both in the U.S. and abroad need to hear from organizations like ISNA that their experiences as Muslims are recognized in the spirit of Islam’s emphasis on compassion and respect for all humanity,” said Groves.
The movement for greater acceptance of LGBT people in Islam is growing. LGBT Muslims continue to be at the forefront of cutting edge scholarship at the intersection of Islam and issues affecting the lives of LGBT Muslims. Around the nation and the world, LGBT Muslims and their allies are working to build an inclusive faith — and having some notable success.
A Pew Research survey released in August 2011 found that 39 percent of Muslim Americans belief homosexuality should be accepted by society. Still, there is greater support for societal acceptance of LGBT people among U.S. Muslims today than there was a few years ago when only 27 percent accepted. Today, LGBT Muslims are a cornerstone of the LGBT community. Muslim Americans have enriched our country with Islam’s core teachings of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice.
JERUSALEM — The Knesset is nearing a moment of truth: It has to vote by the end of the month whether to finally draft ultra-Orthodox men into the Israeli army. A proposed law that would lift a long-standing exception allowing Haredi men to avoid military service while they studied the Torah seemed all but ready to pass. Until a last-minute dispute over what to do with anyone who tries to dodge their duty.
The so-called Haredi draft was one of the main reasons that Israel’s previous governing coalition collapsed. The most significant reform under consideration by the current government, it is once again threatening to bring about a “full-scale political crisis,” as one political leader involved with the legislative process told me Monday.
In 2012, Israel’s High Court ruled that the exemption for Haredim amounted to unequal treatment under the law and was unlawful. Since then and under pressure from the public, the governing coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — which contains no Haredi parties — has been hashing out the details of a conscription bill for Orthodox men.
The effort was spearheaded by the Zionist-religious Habayit Hayehudi and the centrist Yesh Atid parties, but now they are at loggerheads over how to deal with Haredi draft-dodgers. Legislators from Habayit Hayehudi say: Fine them, for example, by withdrawing housing subsidies. Legislators from Yesh Atid say: Jail them, as is done with others.