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Islam

Malcolm X and the Difficulties of Diplomacy

Malcolm X’s African Odyssey

In 1964, Malcolm X embarked on a 23-week journey across Africa and the Middle East. The ambitious campaign of personal diplomacy to raise awareness of racism in the United States would transform his religious and political outlook but also reveal the limits of postcolonial solidarity.

Tampa’s Muslims Thrive, but Political Crosscurrents Create Dilemmas

Muslim American Dilemmas

Tampa’s Muslims are shaping local, statewide and national elections with the increasing political power that comes with such a substantial presence. But that influence is far from monolithic: The Muslim community’s shifting political crosscurrents and fault lines mean it doesn’t align neatly with either camp in the country’s increasingly polarized landscape.

Why Pilgrims Are Dying on the Hajj

Why Pilgrims Are Dying on the Hajj

A recent overhaul of Saudi Arabia's visa system has caused the rise of an international network of “Hajj racketeers.” When unauthorized pilgrims reach Mecca, stringent new security measures force them to undertake long, arduous treks on foot under the scorching desert sun to fulfill their religious duties.

For Pilgrims Traveling Unofficially, Performing the Hajj Can Be a Harrowing Journey

For Pilgrims Traveling Unofficially, Performing the Hajj Can Be a Harrowing Journey

A trusted friend informed me of an opportunity to perform the Hajj, albeit informally. I had often heard the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," but I never imagined that my journey to Mecca outside the official pilgrimage system would lead me to a nightmare.

How a Childhood Memory Opened a Window on Islam in China

How a Childhood Memory Opened a Window on Islam in China

References to Islam were just about unheard of during my upbringing in China — except for the stop-motion cartoon of Ah Fan Ti. Decades later, lightning would strike to trigger a reinterpretation of those days — reverberating beyond my childhood and into today’s world of migration, faith and ethnic rivalry.

A Historical Novel Charts the Inner Life of the Philosopher al-Ghazali

A Historical Novel Charts the Inner Life of the Philosopher al-Ghazali

Ahmed Vall Dine’s novel “Danishmand” (“The Wise Master”) is not simply a work of historical fiction. By imaginatively documenting the life story of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, one of the most prominent figures in the Islamic intellectual tradition, it allows us to join him on his spiritual quest.

An Academic Is Fired Over a Medieval Painting of the Prophet Muhammad

An Academic Is Fired Over a Medieval Painting of the Prophet Muhammad

An instructor who showed an Islamic painting during a visual analysis was publicly impugned for hate speech and dismissed without due process. As a scholar specializing in representations of the Prophet Muhammad, it is my duty to share accurate information about the painting at the heart of the controversy.