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Wajahat Ali
Wajahat Ali
Wajahat Ali is a playwright, journalist, and associate editor of Altmuslim.com.

Ramadan Blues – A Short Story


by: on August 15th, 2010 | Comments Off


A child prepares food for Iftar (evening meal) before the breaking of fast on the first day of Ramadan. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain)

The story originally appeared in the anthology, POW-WOW (Da Capo Press, 2009).

“I promise.”

The young boy – ashamed, dishonored, and fearing the wrath of a vengeful, omnipotent Allah – promised his Pakistani immigrant father with conviction and resolve.

“I promise not to eat during my fast. I will only eat at maghrib, after the sun sets, with every other fasting Muslim.”

This previous promise fell victim to a delectable and treacherous “M & M.” Like Eve and her apple, the young boy discovered his “fall from grace” stuck to the inner linings of his Husky pants’ pocket covered with a still edible chocolate-y goodness. His first attempt at fasting was hijacked by a stale, melted candy.

But, that was 2 days ago on the 27th of Ramadan. The blessed month – the young boy was taught – in which Muslims fast from eating, drinking, and being bad people, so Allah would be happy with them and forgive their sins and let them enter heaven and not go to Hell, where they would burn forever and ever and ever.

During the month of Ramadan, fasting Muslims were also forbidden from engaging in “adult activity” and “fornication” until sunset. The young boy asked his parents, “What does adult activity and for-nee-katyon mean? Is that what happens when men and women go to their rooms, lock the doors and it sounds like they’re hurting each other? ”

The parents, flushed with concerned, grave looks blindsided by a question they hoped to avoid till the boy was a teenager, sharply answered, “We’ll tell you when you’re older! Who taught you this word?”

“It’s in the book you gave me about Ramadan.”


“Muslim Americans Should Support Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage” – Michael Muhammad Knight for GOATMILK DEBATES


by: on August 11th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

THE GOATMILK DEBATES” will be an ongoing series featuring two debaters tackling an interesting or controversial question in a unique, irreverent manner.

Each debater makes their opening argument. They can elect to post a rebuttal.

The winner will be decided by the online audience and judged according to the strength of their argument.

The motion:“”Muslim Americans Should Not Oppose Legalization Of Same Sex Marriage”"

For the motion: Sabir Ibrahim [Read his post here] and Michael Muhammad Knight

Against the motion: Mahdi Ahmad[Read his post here] and Sister A. [Read her Opening Argument here.]


First things first: this is not an attempt to reconcile the Qur’an, Prophetic tradition, or classical Islamic thought with the cause of LGBTQ rights. Others more qualified than myself are doing that work. In fact, my argument depends somewhat on such a project being impossible.

Let’s take for granted that Islam has no room for the accommodation of homosexuality – ignoring not only the efforts of reformist scholars, but also the numerous queer Muslims who are at peace with their bodies, hearts, and Creator. For a moment, let’s pretend that these intersections do not exist. If the question of Islamic doctrine has already been answered, then our next question is how the Muslim community should treat a community with which it shares nothing.

Prop 8′s overturning interrupted the latest anti-Islamic hysteria, the proposals to ban niqab in Europe and uproar over New York’s so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” I oppose niqab bans and support the Cordoba House, because I believe in the rights of Muslims to live among non-Muslims and be recognized as full citizens. I believe that Muslims should support same-sex marriage because this respect is not only something we take; we must also give. American Muslims do not have an argument against same-sex marriage that is morally superior to objections against the Cordoba House. It’s the same issue: America is debating itself as to whether minority communities can live openly and proudly by their own values.


Mutual mistrust won’t stop extremism


by: on December 17th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Muslim communities and law enforcement agencies should follow Virginia’s example and work together to stop radicalisation.

The arrest of five American Muslims in Pakistan allegedly conspiring to join the terrorist groups Jaysh Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba exposes a troubling phenomenon of domestic radicalisation, but also highlights an evolved, proactive Muslim American community seeking partnership to curb extremism.

The five young, American born, basketball loving, community service volunteers from Virginia allegedly join a growing number of jihadist-wannabes. Despite appearing mild mannered, well educated and seemingly assimilated, they are often hijacked by an appealing and delusional narrative extolling the heroism of martyrdom which is promoted by extremists, who successfully use the internet for global recruitment and indoctrination. The justification for their criminality is rationalised by a perverse misunderstanding of their religion which is anchored by a growing resentment towards those state actors committing what they see as anti-Muslim violence and oppression.

Recently, the disturbed army major Nidal Hasan killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood allegedly retaliating against the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he often referred to as “war on Islam”.

Furthermore, two US Muslim men were convicted of plotting to aid terrorists by filming landmarks around Washington DC and sending the clips as potential target sites to terrorists abroad.

These isolated examples of imported radicalism nonetheless fuel the latent prejudices of a minority convinced their 4 million Muslim American neighbours represent a treacherous fifth column of stealth jihadists ready to spontaneously ignite. Despite the visible existence of millions of practising American Muslims who belie this stereotype by never engaging in terrorism, let alone felonies or misdemeanors, a study by the Pew Research Centre found that 38% of all Americans say Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions.