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 …

‘Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbors’

Face-to-face Meetings Provide First Step Many Minnesotans—perhaps you, if you’re reading this post—want to better understand their Muslim neighbors. Of course, most of us have busy schedules, and it’s difficult to approach strangers, even if they do live in your neighborhood. It might seem easiest to read about Muslims. Dozens of books offering to “explain” Muslims have appeared in the last few years; you might order one off Amazon.com or pick one up at your local bookstore. You could turn on the television and find Muslims depicted and described on CNN and Fox News; you can find Muslims talked about Read More …

Ertijal (Improvisation): A Film Where Small Victories are Possible

Reviewer Deborah Young calls Ertijal, a documentary about three Palestinian oud-playing brothers, “uncontroversial.” Documentary: Ertijal (Improvisation) Screening: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Feb 22 Oak Street Cinema 309 Oak Street S.E. Minneapolis 55414 While an “uncontroversial” film set in Palestine and Israel might sound like code for “ignorant” or “milquetoast,” this film is neither. And while Ertijal, directed by Raed Andoni and appearing at Minneapolis’ Oak Street Cinema on Feb. 22, doesn’t explicitly engage in polemics, it does achieve the unusual in portraying Palestinians as full-spectrum human beings. They are not only interested in politics, as eldest brother Samir Joubran remarks in Read More …

Film Challenges Convention on Muslims, Africans, Slave-Era America

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota WATCH IT TV program: Prince Among Slaves Airs: 7 p.m. Tues., Feb 5 on TPT Ch. 17 11 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10, TPT Ch. 2 Officially, the first mosque in the U.S. was erected in 1929. This building was constructed by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in Ross, North Dakota, and has since been demolished. But those Midwestern immigrants were hardly the first observant Muslims in the Americas. Others had worshiped on U.S. soil hundreds of years before. It is difficult to say how many African Muslims were brought to North America as slaves. Scholars Read More …