Prominent Muslim Scholar to Speak in MN: ‘Is Coexistence Feasible?’

Dr. Jamal Badawi Scheduled to Appear Feb. 20 at University of St. Thomas By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota ATTEND IT Presentation: Dr. Jamal Badawi: “Is Coexistence Feasible? An Islamic Response.” 7 p.m. Weds., Feb. 20 O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN Although Muslims in the United States and around the world have repeatedly condemned terrorism and extremism, Muslims stand falsely accused by nationally known commentators and influential religious leaders of remaining silent. What does Islam say about terrorism? Sadly, we are forced to prove that we condemned terrorism. This is a situation Read More …

MN Writer’s New Children’s Book Inspired by Hadith

The Runaway Scarf, a new book by Twin Cities-based writer Corey Habbas, is a story about human justice and freedom inspired by an Islamic hadith. The 52-page illustrated children’s book is set to be available at the end of February. Habbas is also a regular contributor to EngageMN.com. “I was mad after watching that movie Hidalgo,” Habbas said, “because it was such a distortion about Muslims, and that is what inspired this book. I wrote it in 2004 [after the movie was released], and it took me a long time to get it published!” The book follows an African slave, Read More …

New partnership with Twin Cities Daily Planet

Engage Minnesota is now a content partner with the Twin Cities Daily Planet, a pioneering web portal that brings together a wide array of Minnesota’s community and neighborhood news publications. The Daily Planet invited us to contribute columns from our web site to theirs in exchange for them linking back to us. We felt it was a natural match, since the Daily Planet shares our mission of highlighting Minnesota’s diversity — that’s why we have linked to them ever since we launched this site. We are delighted for the chance to share Minnesotan Muslim voices with a broader audience, and Read More …

Hijab and the city

By Corey Habbas “Look at any advertisement. Is a woman being used to sell the product? How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be…taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing. Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this?” So asks a Muslim teen, Sultana Yusufali, in an article she wrote for Toronto Star Young People’s Press. Her indignation is not unlike that which Muslims living here in the Twin Cities and elsewhere feel when they see women treated like commodities.

Arabic not dangerous to America, but Arabic illiteracy dangerous to Muslims

This month, the Arabic language came under attack when Debbie Almontaser, principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, New York’s first public school that integrates Arabic language and cultural studies with a public school curriculum, explained that the English translation for the word “intifada,” literally means to “shake off.” Almontaser had been asked to explain a word on the T-shirts circulated by the AWAAM (Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media), a Brooklyn-based organization that empowers girls and women.

The attack on Khalil Gibran International Academy is one of the most recent examples of America’s fear of the Arabic language, but it is only one of numerous examples throughout the nation. In August 2006, JetBlue Airways refused to allow an Iraqi man to board a flight at Kennedy International Airport because he wore a t-shirt inscribed with Arabic and English. The phrase read, “We Will Not Be Silent.”