Does Islam need ‘reform’?

I am truly upset and angry that more than 12 people have died because of some vile cartoons. It should not have been, but it is so. I think the important task for people in France now, as well as around the world is to come to terms with it and deal with the aftermath.… Continue reading Does Islam need ‘reform’?

Is there a ‘rational’ way to Discuss Immigration Reform?

America is a country that equally loves and hates immigration. With public opinion on this issue being divided, it does not look Americans will reach a consensus on what is good for the country, anytime soon. If history is any indicator, then this question has not been settled in the last three hundred years. So,… Continue reading Is there a ‘rational’ way to Discuss Immigration Reform?

How to write about Islam?

Amidst all the noise about the end of the world scenarios being portrayed as a result of ISIS conquest of parts of Iraq and Syria and equally banal assertions that Islam is somehow inherently violent, and needs ‘reformation’, the common man out there is left confused. As someone studying Islam in America, I am at… Continue reading How to write about Islam?

How Not to Think of Lobbies in America

How does one think about a special interest group? Are they the ‘tail wagging the dog’? Or more realistically, just power-brokers who are go-in-betweens, managing perceptions, raising money and buying out influence, for those who they work? The answer is something in between. While I don’t agree that lobbies are all powerful, they do wield… Continue reading How Not to Think of Lobbies in America

Is there a ‘God Problem’ in the West?

Is there a ‘God Problem’ in Western societies? Given the rise of the atheist movement, best exemplified by people such as Christopher Hitchens, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins and other famous celebrities who make a living dissing religion; the question is: Do they have a point when they say that religion makes no sense and… Continue reading Is there a ‘God Problem’ in the West?

What is the role of religion in philanthropic giving?

A report I read recently claimed that British Muslims are more generous than all other faith communities in the U.K. The report said: “Followers of Islam gave an average of $567 compared to Jewish givers who donated around $412, according to the survey of just over 4,000 people in the U.K. Christians gave considerably less.… Continue reading What is the role of religion in philanthropic giving?

Innovations in Philanthropy: Community Foundations and Faith-based organizations undergoing a radical shift

“There hasn’t been any ‘innovation’ in Islamic philanthropy in the last 1400 years,” said Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and founder of ‘Zakatability,’ a startup that is aiming at efficient zakat distribution through online technologies. His organization is all set to change this, using a combination of traditional norms and modern technologies. While one… Continue reading Innovations in Philanthropy: Community Foundations and Faith-based organizations undergoing a radical shift

“Inter-faith dialogue isn’t inter-faith agreement” – Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Truah

Q : Can you tell us about yourself and your organizational affiliation? RR: Truah and Rabbis for Human Rights, North America are the same organization, as we changed our name in January this year. I am a conservative Rabbi and the Director of North-American programs. We also do work on issues in Israel and West… Continue reading “Inter-faith dialogue isn’t inter-faith agreement” – Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Truah