News Recap – Week of 02/16/2020
Published: February 16, 2020 • Updated: August 19, 2020
Author: Yaqeen Institute
Imam Omar Suleiman Calls for American Unity at Bernie Rally
This past Friday, Imam Omar Suleiman spoke at Bernie Sanders’ rally in Mesquite, TX. In his speech, he called for “[a]n America of safety, dignity, love and unity. An America where we uplift our most vulnerable, celebrate our diversity, and unlock our collective genius.” He ended his speech by asking the audience: “Tell me what America looks like”, to which they replied the chant made popular during the nation-wide protests against the Muslim Ban, “This is what America looks like.”
In his speech, he emphasized (as he has in past op-eds) that it may seem that America has broken its promise to certain communities, that by united together, we should intend to fulfill that promise of an America of unity. prosperity. equitability. and magnanimity.
Teresa Woodard tweeted:
“Imam @omarsuleiman504 is speaking now. 'I never thought I’d speak at the Mesquite Rodeo.' He also says the crowd tonight 'is what America looks like.' #WFAA”
Although Imam Omar Suleiman has not endorsed any specific candidate, he has stated in the past:
“My work politically revolves around eliminating suffering, domestically and abroad. This shapes how I view militarism, poverty, policing, mass incarceration, environmental issues, healthcare, immigration, and torture. The Prophet (saw) said, 'find me amongst the oppressed. Are you given aid and support by Allah except by how you treat your most vulnerable?' I believe that we as Muslims, especially those who claim orthodoxy, should assert ourselves in these areas.”
Dr. Ihsan Bagby Speaks Against Hate Speech
On Jan 23, Muslim Students attended the first Kentucky Muslim Day at the state’s Capital. As they were boarding their buses in Frankfort, Kentucky, a group of men equipped with megaphones and posters shouted hateful speech at the children.
Ihsan Bagby, a local leader of the Muslim community spoke at the events in Frankfort and was interviewed by local station WKYT. He explained that the exchange was the first time many of the children encountered hateful speech against Muslims but emphasized that the Muslim community’s relationship with other Christians was cordial. "I don't think that is the Christian message," said Bagby. "I can't imagine Jesus doing that."And Dr. Ihsan Bagby should know, as an associate professor in the department of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky whose research focuses on Muslims in America. In 2001, he published the results of the first comprehensive study of mosques in America, entitled The Mosque in America: A National Portrait. He is a well-published author and received his PhD in Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan.
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