Policing Our Attitudes About the Police

By Zainib Ahmad I never thought I would dress up like a firefighter, oxygen tank and all, and put out a car fire, visit the dispatch center where 911 calls are handled or fire an actual shotgun. For the past month I have been doing that and more while spending my Thursdays at the fire station in Lino Lakes. I am one of eight women and twelve men participating in a nine-week Citizens Public Safety Academy sponsored by the Lino Lakes Police Department and Fire Station. This experience is teaching me a lot about the hard work these brave men 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 …

Myth-busting

Some myths in Middle East politics and religion need to be deconstructed. By Elias Karmi Myth: The “Ancient Feud” Unfortunately, a few academics have fallen for this one. The myth is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in an ancient feud between Ismael, the perceived ancestor of the Arabs, and Isaac, the ancestor of the Children of Israel, both of whom are the sons of Abraham from different mothers. From the point of view of Muslims, this is particularly absurd. Muslims highly revere both Ismael and Isaac – peace be upon them – as holy prophets whose brotherhood transcends sharing Read More …

A U.S. Muslim response to teacher’s jailing in Sudan

or, What Would Muhammad Do, Part 2 By Ibrahim Hooper {Note: The author is a University of Minnesota graduate who worked in television and educational outreach in Minnesota before becoming national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Because of user interest in the furor over the British teacher jailed in Sudan for allegedly disrespecting the prophet, EngageMinnesota is reprinting Mr. Hooper’s commentary with permission.} During last year’s protests over publication of the Danish cartoons designed to insult the Prophet Muhammad, I wrote a commentary called “What Would Muhammad Do?” Given the ongoing controversy over the jailing of Read More …

Bridging the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors

By Heba Abdel-Karim Imagine this scenario: You live in the same area with your Minnesotan Muslim neighbor. This person, his actions, beliefs, and practices seem a bit peculiar to you, as you have not encountered many Muslims. All you know about Muslims is what you hear others say, from the media and the like, but they are otherwise unfamiliar. You wish to get in contact with him or her—even with a simple “hi”—but you may subconsciously have second thoughts because of how Muslims are negatively labeled by others. This, along with some other reasons, makes it seem like the gap Read More …