Somali immigrants fleeing civil war first settled in Georgia and Tennessee. But they were alarmed at what they felt was an environment too promiscuous and too violent for their children. So they went on a search for a smaller, safer place to raise their families, and about a thousand ended up in Lewiston, Maine. More
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five so-called pillars of Islam, an obligation of Muslims worldwide. Muslims use a lunar calendar, and Ramadan begins with the new moon. But for devout Muslims, it’s not enough to calculate mathematically when the crescent moon rises. It has to be seen. More
Muslims, Jews, and Christians all tell the Abraham story, with its chilling account of God's command to Abraham to kill his own son. Today, scholars for the three faiths are examining their common and different understandings, hoping that will help bring Middle East peace.
In the wake of 9/11, American Muslims say they have experienced increased discrimination and suspicion — and violations of their civil liberties. “We are misunderstood, and therefore, the challenge has been how we can reintroduce ourselves in a language that is familiar with our fellow American neighbors,” says Imam Yahya Hendi of Georgetown University. More
Read some of the responses UNC freshmen wrote on their required reading assignment this summer, APPROACHING THE QUR’AN: THE EARLY REVELATIONS by Michael Sells. The book is a collection of translations and commentaries on the short chapters or suras of the Qur’an. It includes a compact disc recording of reciters chanting some of the suras. More
In the aftermath of 9/11, as many Americans tried to learn more about Islam, much was said about “madrasahs.” They are the Islamic schools, some of which, in Pakistan, taught young men not just the Qur’an but terrorism. Madrasahs, it turns out, have a long and distinguished history in the Islamic world and may hold the key to whether Muslim scholars can once again welcome the ideas of others. More