Greetings of Peace (al salamu 'alaykum) dear Friends,
I pray that you staying strong, keeping the news of Palestine front and center on social media or elsewhere, and also taking a step away when it gets too much. It is such a hard time, and in these moments, I am especially grateful for those in our community who are on the frontlines of the battle. For this reason especially, I am so looking forward to our upcoming Zoom Webinar: A Conversation with Professor Khaled Beydoun (@khaledbeydoun)! He has been doing tireless and heroic work on the social media front and elsewhere, keeping us informed of what no mainstream media channels will report. His latest book is The New Crusades: Islamophobia and the Global War on Muslims.
The event will take place on Saturday, December 16th at 7 pm Eastern Time via Zoom and simultaneously LIVE on the Usuli YouTube Channel. Register for the Zoom Webinar here. If you have any questions you would like for us to consider asking Professor Beydoun, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am determined to get completely caught up! Once again, so as not to overwhelm, below you will find the edited transcript for Dr. Abou El Fadl's amazing khutbah entitled, "Built on Racism: Modern Institutions and the Path to Liberation." In the next email I will share the transcript for Shaykh's incredible khutbah: "The Debasement of Shari'a and the State of Muslims." This past Friday, we were so blessed to have one of our Project Illumine Research Fellows, Shayan Parsai, deliver a brilliant khutbah entitled, "Parable of the Palm Tree: Morality as the Language of Deceit," as Dr. Abou El Fadl had a law school commitment, and it was FABULOUS. I will also share the transcript of Shayan's khutbah when it is available.
My latest piece on Substack.com is entitled, "Team Light v. Team Darkness: A Redline Moment. On Faith and Lessons from A Modern Day Hero." This piece was inspired by Wayne Hsiung, an animal rights activist, whose example of sacrifice was so inspiring, it made me rethink my own attitudes and behavior about veganism and animal cruelty.
Similarly, this brilliant piece by Wietske Merison: "Seagull: The invention of waste and the myth of 'away'," made me rethink my behaviors and choices about waste, recycling, and my role in helping God's non-human creation meet its fullest potential. This is really an incredible essay that is a MUST READ. Wietske writes as a "Muslim Birder," sharing powerful stories and reflections at the intersection of the Qur'an, nature, and God's incredible creation of birds. To say these essays are special is an understatement. They are rich with knowledge, insight, and wisdom week after week!
"Seagull: The invention of waste and the myth of 'away'," by Wietske Merison
On her Substack: Gift from the Heavens: Musings of a Muslim Birder
Although the news and images from Palestine are devastating, we must continue to pray and act in any way we can. May God empower us to take whatever action is within our means to make a difference. May God strengthen, comfort, and forgive us all. Ameen. Look forward to seeing you online soon insha'Allah.
In Peace and Hope,
P.S. Again, if you have any questions for us to consider for our conversation with Professor Khaled Beydoun, please email me! :)