Transforming Anger: Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“Today, remember that MLK was an organizer who confronted unjust government policy of racism. Arrested 30 times, stabbed in the chest, sued for perjury, home bombed, and more; so America live up to its promises of Liberty & Justice for All.”
–Rep. Keith Ellison

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Below is a presentation that I made regarding the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I prefer to remember him as someone who acknowledged the suffering and oppression taking place and turning to God to receive wisdom and understanding on how to transform that anger which is justified into a transformative force for himself and his community and beyond.

 

This is an excerpt from a forthcoming book, currently titled Reflections of Faith: Lessons from the Prophets.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US.  She was the chair of the Interfaith Relations at Islamic Center of Minnesota.  She has completed training in restorative justice at the University’s Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.  She was a 2008-2009 policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  She is a public speaker and writer and lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

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Conversations must have boundaries to lift the chaos

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is much worse.  –Nigerian Proverb

fedwa wazwaz
A companion of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, named at-Tufayl was once told, before he had become a companion, that he shouldn’t listen to Muhammad. Don’t listen to him, al-Tufayl was told. He’s a wizard. He’s a magician!

The Prophet’s enemies told at-Tufayl that the Prophet had fragmented the community, that his words were like magic, and that he severed the ties between father and child, between husband and wife. You must avoid him, the community told at-Tufayl.

At-Tufayl said that they insisted and insisted until he decided that he would not hear anything from him, and inserted earplugs so he would not hear a word from him.

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A time to celebrate diversity

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“Our differences can bring us together to know one another.”

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I was very honored to receive an email inviting me to the University of Minnesota’s tenth annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast which will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:45-9:45 AM, at the McNamara Alumni Center. The Breakfast will bring together the University community and external stakeholders—alumni, donors, community organizations, and corporate entities—to recognize the students, faculty, and staff doing the work, and to reaffirm the University’s commitment to equity and diversity.

Awards will be given to outstanding students and to an outstanding unit promoting equity and diversity.

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Become CPR Certified

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

When my daughter and her classmates became my instructors, I learned how to do CPR and received free lessons in humility.

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Monday, November 6th, 2017, I received a text message from my daughter reminding me of the CPR training today at her high school.  She is part of a program for First Responders which trains students in Opportunities in Emergency Care.

While I agreed to become CPR certified, she along with her classmates were getting their certification for becoming CPR instructors.

I actually forgot about the training but was glad I had no other plans to cancel.  The training was very informative.

We learned how to do chest compressions on an adult, child, and infant in case of a cardiac arrest.  We got to practice a few times, including how to use an AED, a medical device used to deliver shocks between cycles of chest compressions.  It was an informative and busy night.

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Allahu Akbar: We Love Life

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Genuine faith sleeps under all that rubble. It helps us to focus and recognize that God is greater than what we see and hear and understand.

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Before anything else, I want to condemn the tragic loss of life in Manhattan. To the victims’ families, I would add:

It is with great sorrow and sympathy that we send our condolences to the families and loved ones connected to the tragic event in Manhattan. The shock of unexpected violence and death can bring about bewilderment and trauma, and it is difficult to make sense of let alone bear. We pray that God comforts their souls in this difficult time.

I also want to take time to discuss the phrase Allahu Akbar, which has been misused by those plotting murder, but also used by billions of Muslims throughout their daily lives. We begin each prayer with the phrase “Allahu Akbar.” But what does it mean, and how do we interpret these words in our lives?

I shared something about the phrase “Allahu Akbar” earlier this year. In light of recent events, I would like to share an updated version along with a video. You can see, in the video, the happiness that comes with the nonstop usage of “Allahu Akbar” at the discovery of a child found alive after a building collapse.

That’s because, Allahu Akbar, or “God is greater,” shows a great love of life.

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