The Hijab Hurdle in Sports

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) is joining other athletic governing bodies in derailing the aspirations of some Muslim women to excel in sports. This month a referee in Bahrain barred the Iranian national women’s team from competing against the Jordanian women’s team in a bid for a spot at the 2012 Olympics. Also this month USA Weightlifting barred Kulsoom Abdullah of Atlanta, Georgia from the Senior Nationals competition this July in Iowa. In both cases the reason cited was the hijab included in their uniforms.

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Civility 101: Do Unto Otters

Review of Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller (New York: Henry Holt and Company LLC, 2007).

Shrillness, vitriol, and a distinct lack of civility characterize much of our public discussion in America these days. America is torn and tense. One example is that the topic of Islam in public discussion has become almost radioactive. A jolting, disturbing reminder spread across the internet last week in video footage of loud, rude, and at times vicious anti-Muslim protesters who held a rally in February at a mosque in California. And Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalization in America have been the focus of intensely polarized—and not particularly civil—national debate.

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Monks in Algeria: Loving Thy Neighbor at Gunpoint

A review of the film “Of Gods and Men.”

What does it mean to love your neighbor? What does it mean to love your neighbor when a neighbor is pointing a gun at you and your other neighbors? The film “Of Gods and Men,” which won “best film” at France’s equivalent of the Oscars on February 25th, is based on a true story. It follows the lives of French Catholic monks in Algeria in the 1990s as the country descends into violent conflict between a secularist state and radical Islamists.

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“Mooz-lum”: Faith Flourishing in Freedom

A review of the film “Mooz-lum.

In the new film “Mooz-lum,” an American school teacher tells a Muslim pupil his name is spelled wrong because there is no “u” after the “q.” Another little boy, relishing the chance to make fun of the kid sitting next to him, shouts, “It’s a Mooz-lum name!”

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American Identity and the Challenge of Islam

A review of Akbar Ahmed, “Journey into America: the challenge of Islam” (Brookings Institution Press, 2010).

“The challenge of Islam,” as Akbar Ahmed calls it, is ushering in a new chapter in the history of American identity. But in the ideals of America’s Founding Fathers Ahmed finds hope for a vibrant, inclusive American future—if, that is, Americans remain faithful to these ideals and preserve America’s true identity.

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