Islamic Law and the Boundaries of Social Responsibility

The face of the Other should strike doubt and obligation into any person of conscience, forcing us to continue asking, “Am I doing enough?” This, of course, threatens an infinite obligation: other people’s traumas, precarity-inducing misfortunes, addictions, and struggles will never cease, especially in the city.

Bridging the Abrahamic Traditions

In a world where violence seems to prevail, it can be hard to believe in a God of love. Starr’s beautifully crafted book offers and enter into a space where divine love is illuminated as a central teaching and core ethic within the heart of these three monotheistic traditions.

Assimilation for Muslims and Jews?

Twenty U.S. states are considering laws that would prohibit courts from considering any “foreign law” in their deliberations. These laws raise the specter of fundamentalist Muslims turning the United States into an Islamic theocracy. There is no question that this perceived threat is absurd. And while Muslims currently bear the brunt of this fear-mongering, other groups’ religious practices may also soon fall under the scrutiny of these new laws, revealing seams in the supposedly flawless integration of Judaism and American life.

Conquering Veils: Gender and Islams

My cause has always been twofold: women’s equality and Islam. For the world to make sense to me, women and men had to be of equal worth and dignity, just as Islam had to be the true religion. Before I encountered the extremist interpretation of Islam, my world seemed wonderfully whole. Afterwards, my world became fragmented. To glue it back together, I had to reconcile sex equality and Islamic piety.

Internal and External Challenges for Muslims

While barriers to understanding and implementing human rights are the biggest challenge facing the community from within, particularly in the international context, from without, Islamophobia is a huge problem. The Danish cartoon controversy is a prominent case in which there was a marked failure of communication.

Islam and Homosexuality

In 2002 I began a long and lonely journey, daring to visit some of the darkest corners of the taboo that permeates the consciousness of that unlikely character: the gay or lesbian Muslim.

The Jihad Question

Most Americans have some image from September 11 that has stayed with them during the year since the attacks. Mine was not a television image. It was a single line of print: "One of the hijackers left a Qur'an in his rental car at Logan Airport."

Why the United States Needs a Strong, Peaceful Islam

The United States holds a position of military and political dominance unique in world history. The Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea but held no sway in the rest of the world. The British Empire was global in reach, but confronted countervailing powers in Europe and in the continents where it had outposts. Neither constraint applies to the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

A Muslim Voice Against Terrorism

Muslim voices against terrorism have not been silent, but it is the trend, perhaps even the policy of major media, to downplay the voice of reason, the voice of faith, and the voice of principle, in favor of the shouts of the extreme, the wails of the grief-stricken, and the threats of the treacherous. The voices of peace, justice, mercy, and tolerance are not difficult to find among Muslims and Islamic media, who consistently denounce acts of terrorism and reject them as illegitimate and unacceptable Islamic strategies or methods.