Minnesotans and Iraqis Work Together for Reconciliation

By Luke Wilcox Iraq can seem far from Minnesota, both geographically and culturally. While nearly six years of military operations in Iraq have brought images of war and its consequences into American homes, the culture and people of Iraq have rarely followed. Many Americans support peace with Iraq, but know little about Iraqis and wonder how much impact one person can realistically have in a violent world. For a group of Minnesotans and Iraqis, the answer is, “more than you think.” For the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) and the Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT), interpersonal and local community connections Read More …

What’s Troubling About Charter School Debate: The Hate

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota The Minnesota Department of Education has issued a report clearing Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy of the major allegations leveled against it and requesting that the school address smaller areas of concern. The May 19 report states that the school’s core business—curriculum—is nonreligious, in full compliance with all Minnesota statutes. The Department of Education’s areas of concern related to how the school structures its voluntary Friday prayers as well as the timing of after-school busing. In a statement, Tarek school officials said that they take these concerns “very seriously” and will be getting together with Read More …

Energy Conservation: Religious Duty and Good Sense

By Rafi Sohail, Engage Minnesota Conservation of natural resources is a key to ensuring the longevity of our planet and its inhabitants. Islam has a rich tradition of drawing our attention to properly taking care of the environment. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) point toward conservation, sustainable development, and resource management. The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) remarked, “The Earth is green and beautiful, and God has appointed you his stewards over it.” This holistic environmental philosophy assumes a fundamental link and interdependency between all natural elements; if one of these is abused, then the natural world as a whole will Read More …

What Are You Going to Do?

By Emily K. Bright, Engage Minnesota It’s not the first time you’ve been a victim of a hate crime, nor is it the last. It’s 8:30 on a winter evening, and you’re closing up your store. The entrance door is locked, half the lights are off, and you’re mopping at the far end of the room when three men barge in the exit door as though they mean to rob you. Two of the men have their hooded backs to you. One of them you can see. He’s over six feet tall, with short reddish blonde hair and a goatee. 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 …