Real Talk on Palestine, No. 4! Conversation with @GazanGirl

Greetings of Peace (al salamu 'alaykum) dear Friends,


I pray that you are managing as well as can be expected. If you have been as glued to social media, independent news, and global reporting as I have to keep up with what is happening in Palestine and around the world, I am sure that you are feeling the effects of emotional exhaustion. But as one apt social media post put it, "You're tired of seeing it? They are tired of living it!" I can only imagine what it feels for those who have family and direct connections to Gaza and Palestine. May God give them strength and honor them for their struggle. And may God help all of us do what we can to make a difference.


Last weekend, it was so reassuring to see the protests around the world for Palestine! In Washington, DC, where many from Columbus made the 8-hour drive to join in, there were reports of 300,000 in attendance, comprising the largest Protest for Palestine in U.S. history. The pictures of the turnout were incredible!





Protest for Palestine, Washington, DC, 4 November 2023



I am so proud and honored to announce that we will be having our second conversation with our dear friend and superstar, Lara E. aka @GazanGirl this weekend! Lara is a Palestinian-American Lawyer and co-host of The Palestine Pod, where she and her Jewish-American comedian co-host talk about all things Palestine. We had the pleasure of having a conversation on Palestine with Lara back in May, 2021 and are thrilled to be able to connect with her again this weekend via Zoom webinar/YouTube Livestream. Click here to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87049316099


Conversation with @GAZANGIRL

Link to Register for Zoom Webinar



This week, I wrote a piece in response to what I truly hope is a shift taking place in the world. I hope I am not wrong, but people are noticing that Palestinians are not just human beings, but superhuman, fueled by unshakeable faith. People are not just noticing, but they are inspired. They are stepping up in support in a way that we have not seen before. It does not change the reality on the ground today, but I pray it is an opening for change.


Shortly after 9/11, there was a brief moment in time when people genuinely wanted to know what Islam was about and why Muslims apparently could commit such atrocious acts of terror. This was before the Islamophobia industry kicked into gear. There are countless stories of people who converted to Islam through this process of discovery. They were expecting to find something horrific about the faith and instead, were utterly surprised and enamored to find something life-transforming. I was inspired to write something about finding faith in this moment that might create a bridge of understanding for those who are searching, and also to reflect on how the Palestinian people have taught the world what it truly means to be Muslim. How in the midst of absolute darkness, they have shown the world undeniable light. May God elevate and honor them. There is a voice note from a Muslim mother in Gaza linked in the piece that is indescribably moving. I hope you will listen to it. 


"What It Means to be Muslim: The True Test of Faith"

On my Substack: In grace and song: Love Letters to God from an unlikely Muslim convert



And I absolutely must highlight my favorite piece to date by Wietske Merison, who as a "Muslim Birder," shares powerful reflections at the intersection of the Qur'an, nature, and life lessons from coming to know God's incredible creation of birds. Her new piece this week is called "Arctic Tern: Migrants following the light." So divine!



"Arctic Tern: Migrants Following the Light" by Wietske Merison

On her Substack: Gift from the Heavens: Musings of a Muslim Birder


I am looking forward to the Shaykh's khutbah later today, which undoubtedly will be on Palestine once again, and which has been a source of insight, comfort, and strength for so many of us in these dark times. 


Let us pray for all the Muslims around the world who are suffering. May God empower us to take whatever action is within our means to make a difference in these very difficult times. May God guide, comfort, and forgive us all. Ameen. Look forward to seeing you online soon insha'Allah.


In Peace and Hope,


The Movement to Reinvigorate Beautiful and Ethical Islam has begun.  Join us.

Your donation to The Institute for Advanced Usuli Studies will help fund important work to combat extremism and ignorance. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to research and education to promote humanistically beautiful and morally elevating interpretations of Islam. We seek to support our brightest minds to advance knowledge and to build a community of individuals founded on dignity, respect and love for all of God's creation. See The Usuli Institute Credo for our statement of values. Please give generously to support a beautiful, reasonable and vibrantly human Islam for future generations to come. All donations are tax-deductible and zakat eligible.


Subscribe to Our E-mail List for Weekly updates and Latest News: