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            Muslim WakeUp! seeks to bring together Muslims and non-Muslims in America and around the globe in efforts that celebrate cultural and spiritual diversity, tolerance, and understanding. Through online and offline media, events, and community activities, Muslim WakeUp! champions an interpretation of Islam that celebrates the Oneness of God and the Unity of God’s creation through the encouragement of the human creative spirit and the free exchange of ideas, in an atmosphere that is filled with compassion and free of intimidation, authoritarianism, and dogmatism. In all its activities, Muslim WakeUp! attempts to reflect a deep belief in justice and against all forms of oppression, bigotry, sexism, and racism.

            January 28, 2005

            Israel/Palestine

            Remembering Auschwitz: Comparing Palestinians' Unique Suffering with Holocaust Leads Nowhere

            By Ayman S. Ashour

            The horrible genocide committed against the Jews by Nazi Germany, with the collaboration of other Europeans, during WWII was one of the worst events of the 20th century. To be sure, the last century had many other horrible episodes of genocide: the Gypsies, the Armenians, the Hmong, the Tutsis, and others. Horrors perpetrated by the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution make the 20th century a very bloody one indeed.

            Meanwhile, some Muslims and other sympathizers of the Palestinian cause have taken to comparing the ongoing suffering of Palestinians to the Holocaust.

            The mass killing of millions of people from the very old to newborns with industrial efficiency for the sole purpose of exterminating a whole race is beyond words in its cruelty, criminality, abhorrence and indeed in its uniqueness. The road towards peace and reconciliation does not go through denial of the suffering of Jews; understanding the narratives of the "other" is a prerequisite for any real reconciliation. Those Muslims and other supporters of the Palestinians who deny or minimize the Holocaust do major disservice to the Palestinian cause and cause more Jews and Israelis to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinians.

            Continue reading "Remembering Auschwitz: Comparing Palestinians' Unique Suffering with Holocaust Leads Nowhere"

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            January 27, 2005

            US Politics

            Dangerous Alliances: Islam Can Only Survive in a Secular America

            January 26, 2005

            Egypt

            Let Them Be Scandalized: An Egyptian Woman Challenges Society's Ideas of Dishonor

            By Ginan Rauf

            Today I am in a celebratory high-fiving irreverent mood and I have literally been dancing all over the house with that irrepressible?farha that takes hold of the body when it cannot contain itself or resist the temptation to, well, dance for sheer joy. And this is decidedly not the ecstasy of prayer or the tawdry belly dance of the video clip in our image driven cyber space culture(s). This, my friends, is the taste of freedom that eludes our sanctimonious speech makers and the joy of rebellion that animates emergent communities and throws a shadow of light across the dark ages that are our night.

            This is the time to celebrate Hind el-Hinnawy, a 27 year-old Egyptian costume designer who with one bold gesture scandalized a religiously conservative society wallowing in its own schizoid hypocrisy and had her baby in that ambivalent zone of civil?(urfi) marriage, going on to file a paternity suit against the famous, or by now infamous, actor, Ahmed Al-Fishawy.

            Al-Fishawy apparently had dabbled in religious education in an era when religious instruction has become a favorite pastime for celebrities, a highly lucrative endeavor for redeeming reputations and enhancing respectability.

            Continue reading "Let Them Be Scandalized: An Egyptian Woman Challenges Society's Ideas of Dishonor"

            Posted by ahmed at?12:23 PM |?Comments (91)

            January 24, 2005

            Gender Issues

            Acting on a Frontier of Religious Ceremony: With Questions and Quiet Resolve, a Woman Officiates at a Muslim Wedding

            By Kecia Ali

            It hit me the moment I hung up the phone: I had nothing to wear. In retrospect, it seems an awfully girly thing to have focused on, given the substance of the conversation. I had just agreed to become the first woman, to my knowledge, to officiate at a Muslim marriage, giving the wedding sermon and administering the vows to the bride and groom in front of 350 assembled guests. Most would be Pakistani and all, undoubtedly, would be dressed to the nines. And I had nothing to wear.

            Tayyibah Taylor, editor of Azizah magazine, had called me the previous week with an intriguing request. A friend of a friend was seeking a woman to preside at her nikah ceremony, to be held in six weeks' time in Tampa, Florida. She had been looking for months and wasn't having any luck. A few of the academics and activists she had contacted were unavailable on the appointed day. But most were simply uncomfortable with the idea. None had ever seen or heard of a woman performing a wedding, and while, in theory, there was nothing to prohibit it, no one wanted to be the one to actually break the unspoken barrier. Although she didn't say so in so many words, the bride-to-be was getting frustrated: it was time for Muslim feminists to put up or shut up. Would I do it?

            Continue reading "Acting on a Frontier of Religious Ceremony: With Questions and Quiet Resolve, a Woman Officiates at a Muslim Wedding"