Taking Heart: Visit a Mosque, Share a Meal

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota From a Taking Heart picnic, summer 2007. Gail Anderson isn’t asking you to make a new best friend. “I think if next Wednesday night, we get a number of Christians to walk into a mosque— that’ve never been in a mosque before—then I think we’ve done something,” said Anderson, unity and relationships organizer with the Minnesota Council of Churches. Anderson helps head up the interfaith project “Taking Heart,” which brings Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors together over good meals and good conversation. The next event, set for May 14 at Masjid Ummat Muhammad, was designed Read More …

Interfaith Panelists Recognize and Accept Differences

Five University Groups Discuss How They Can Work Together to Improve Humanity’s Future By Heba Abdel-Karim and Lolla Mohammed Nur, Engage Minnesota “Imagine a world where people from different religious backgrounds come together to create understanding and respect by serving their communities.” – Interfaith Youth Core (www.ifyc.org) On April 9, the Hillel Jewish Center, in union with the University of Minnesota’s Muslim Student Association, hosted and organized an interfaith discussion that brought together people of different faiths. The topic of the event was “humanity’s future,” and representatives of a number of different faiths spoke about how they see humanity progressing, Read More …

Islamic Awareness Week: Creating Da’wah

By Lolla Mohammed Nur, Engage Minnesota There is little doubt that many Minnesotans misunderstand Islam and the Muslim community. Misconceptions of Islam, however, did not arise out of empty air; the actions of a radical few have led people to see Islam as a barbaric religion. Although the frustration of “radicals” may be understood, there certainly are more peaceful ways of expressing one’s Islamic beliefs to the non-Muslim community, namely through spreading knowledge (da’wah). Islamic Awareness Week is an example of such peaceful expression. The week includes a range of activities, from a simulation of “flying while Muslim” to a Read More …

Basimah Hasan: Changing Images Every Friday at 4

Talk-Show Host Aims to Correct Distorted Picture of Muslims and Islam By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota It was 1998 when Basimah Hasan left her hometown of Chicago for Minneapolis. In the Twin Cities, she attended nursing school and began her career at North Memorial Hospital. She says that there is a “big difference” between the Minneapolis and Chicago Muslim communities. TV Show: “Islamic View” Airtime: 4 p.m. Fridays Time-Warner cable Ch. 16 “[There are] more Muslims in Chicago, and they’re more active. Here, everyone seems to be in their own ethnic groups. You don’t see a lot of activities Read More …

Learn the Process, Join ‘Muslim Day at the Capitol’

By Thasneem Ahmed and Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota Many, perhaps most, of us want to make our voices heard. We want to affect the political process, but may not know how or where to begin. Is it enough to phone in our opinions? To send an email? What is the best way to communicate with our legislators? Many Minnesotans, perhaps, could use a “beginner’s guide” to political advocacy. The fourth annual Muslim Day at the Capitol, scheduled for Tuesday, March 18 at the Capitol Building in St. Paul, provides just such a guide. Thasneem Ahmed was able to attend Read More …