Popular Culture

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I Don’t Want To Be Charlie Hebdo

I am still reeling from the Charlie Hebdo killings, as are many others. For the life of me, I do not understand how a human being can be so consumed by anger that they feel the need to take a life, and must condemn the killings from my own conscience. However, I do not have […]

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Tweeting “Like Real People Do”: A Reflection on Narcissism, Social Media, and the Politics of Collective Memory

I have fallen head over heels for the music of Hozier recently. For those of you who have not heard of him, he is an Irish blues/soul musician who has been blowing up the charts with his single “Take Me To Church.” The video, serving as a powerful message against LGBT violence, can be seen […]

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Image courtesy of Washington D.C. Library

Invoking The Power From Within During the Season of Advent

Patience is not a quality that I demonstrate very well, but I can respect the holy merit of patient waiting. Advent is the season where Christians wait, long, and prepare for the birth of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. In Judaism, we too long for the Messiah, who has historically been described as a prominent political or […]

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The Peace and Violence of Christmas

At church this Christmas Eve, we read one of my favorite passages. Isaiah 11:1-10 begins by prophesying the coming of the Messiah, the Rod of Jesse, and it ends with that unsurpassable vision of the peace he shall bring about: ‘The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the goat, … and a little child shall lead them.’ […]

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Obama Administration Renews Lease on Racial Profiling

Originally Published in TIME.com On Monday, the Obama Administration unveiled updated guidance on how federal law enforcement should address racial profiling. Rather than discarding the ineffective practice, the new guidance issued by the Department of Justice gives profiling a new lease on life. The new guidance opens by saying that profiling is wrong, yet proceeds […]

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An Interview with Dr. Eboo Patel at the American Academy of Religion

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my heroes, the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core Dr. Eboo Patel, at the American Academy of Religion’s National Meeting in San Diego, California. In the interview, I wanted to focus on five key aspects of the national interfaith youth movement: religion in the media, the emerging […]

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A Reflection on the Ask-a-Muslim Billboard Controversy

If you were from Columbus Ohio, you would know that Cleveland Avenue is a dangerous stretch of road. It has had the rather dubious distinction of being rated the “most dangerous intersection in Columbus”[1] for several years in a row. From 2008-2010, there were 249 crashes alone[2] some of them merely fender benders; but there […]

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Author: Sharon Azran/B’Tselem. Creative Commons license, from Wikimedia Commons. Source: http://www.btselem.org/photoblog/20140115_hebron

“There is no such thing as Palestine!”–Dispatch from Palestine

“You can’t teach me anything about Europeans,” once commented the deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Europeans had killed his father. “You can’t teach me anything about Palestinians.” Palestinians had killed his mother. The deputy mayor embodied a common sentiment among Zionists, many of whom had suffered dear losses to one or another enemy of the Jewish […]

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Courtesy: Prayer of Peace

Celebrating Religions On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is such an American holiday. Turkey, stuffing, apple pie and football… what could be more American than that? Well, how about religion, or rather many different religions? It used to be that Thanksgiving was strictly a family affair. Extended family members would often brave snow storms and other kinds of bad weather to arrive […]

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#MuslimApologies and Racism Tour Guides

It all started a couple months ago, when #MuslimApologies started trending on my Twitter feed. I scrolled through things like: We're TRULY sorry that we took Europeans out of dark ages & let them study our science, our books & attend our universities #MuslimApologies — Abdullah al Andalusi (@AbdullaAndalusi) September 26, 2014 I'm sorry that Muslim women […]

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