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@carloskhalilguzman Carlos Khalil Guzman is fighting #Islamophobia with his camera.

After watching an upsurge in anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes over the past two years — including the fatal stabbing of two men in #Portland, #Oregon, last month by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs — Guzman said he knew he had to act but wasn’t satisfied with the usual tactics of protests and petitions. “I’m an activist on the side, and we protest, do all this stuff, but I felt like that wasn’t enough,” he told NBC News. “I had to find another way to get our voices out there and to tell our stories, and not just have someone else say what they thought about us.” So the 28-year-old #Brooklyn-based photographer looked to his craft. “To me, art has always been a tool of resistance,” he said. “Throughout history, artists have always used art to tell their stories and to resist the status quo. I thought I could use my photography to share the real side of the #Muslim community.” The result is “#Muslims of #America,” an on-going photo series that shows Muslims from all 50 states, from #NewYork to #Hawaii.

Entirely self-funded, Guzman has spent the past year-and-a-half crisscrossing the country on weekends and days off from his full-time job at a #photography studio in New York. He hopes to complete the series by the end of the year with 114 portraits — representing the 114 suras, or chapters, in the #Quran — and to eventually turn the project into a travelling exhibit.

Alongside each portrait is the subject’s favorite verse of the Quran or #hadith — a collection of the sayings of the #ProphetMuhammad (pbuh) — and an explanation for how it helps them through trying times—especially in dealing with present-day hate. “The whole idea of travelling to all 50 states was to show that we’re not just concentrated in major cities — we’re spread throughout the country,” said Guzman. “People might not think that there are Muslims in #Arkansas or #Kansas, so I wanted to find Muslims in all 50 states to show that we exist and are pretty much everywhere.” “We’re part of the fabric of the country,” he added.

Through “Muslims of America,” Guzman also hopes CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

#Somaliland authorities have arrested Ismail Omar Madar the #Quran recitor who was expelled by #UAE in the #Dubai International Holy Quran #Award.
Somaliland media is reporting that Madar is facing possible treason charges for representing #Somalia.
His arrest follows a statement issued by UAE authorities who dismisssed claims that Madar had been deported from the #Gulf state due to Somalia’s stance in the #Qatar crisis.
Upon his arrival in #Hargeisa Madar issued a press conference where he claimed he had been deported by #Imarati officials.
UAE authorities however stated that Madar had been disqualified for poor performance and given a 40000 UAE #Dirham as a send off package. #Muslim #Muslims #Somali #Somalis #Muslimah #Muslimahs #Hijabi #Hijabis #Niqabi #Niqabis #Hijab #Ramadan #Iftar #Allah #Islam

#Malaysia - He may lead his life in darkness, but 29-year-old Muhamad Firdaus Hairi suddenly found himself in the spotlight after a photo of him and his son went viral on social media.

Every morning at around 8am, Muhamad Firdaus leaves his house with his baby boy and walks to the Sentul Timur LRT station.

His routine commute to the baby-sitter’s before going to work has however earned him viral fame as “the blind man cradling his baby”. One morning, a stranger captured a photo of Muhamad Firdaus sitting at the LRT station with his son strapped to his front in a baby sling carrier.

The image was uploaded on #Facebook sometime in January, and has, to date, been shared by over 10,000 people.

Many of them noted how commuting with a baby is no easy feat, and expressed awe at Muhamad Firdaus' resilience in overcoming his challenges.

Since then, Muhamad Firdaus has also been featured in a Facebook series titled “Ordinary #Muslims doing Extraordinary Things”, which highlights his talent in memorising the Al-Quran and earning the title of al-hafiz.

Born in Port Klang, Muhamad Firdaus holds a diploma in Al-Quran and #Dawah from the Darul #Quran institute in #KualaKubuBaru.

In an interview with Malaysiakini at a health centre in #KualaLumpur where he used to work as a blind masseuse, Muhamad Firdaus shared the ups and downs of his daily life. His wife Noor Hidayah Ibrahim is also blind, while their one-year-old baby Muhammad Razin Hamizan was born with normal vision. #Muslim #Malaysian #Malaysians #Islam #Allah #Ramadan #Iftar #Halal #Muslimah #Muslimahs #Hijabi #Hijabis #Niqabi #Niqabis #Hijab #Hijabs

A #Dubai expat has described how "lonely" his first #Ramadan was as a new convert to Islam because his family did not celebrate the holy month.

Mathieu Garvi's first Ramadan was in 2011 back in his home country of #France. The 27-year-old said it was a difficult time for him as he had no one to share his experience with.

Garvi had a #Christian upbringing. His father is an #atheist and his mother a Christian. He decided to convert after studying about #Islam and reading the #Quran. "In the beginning it was a little lonely to be honest. It was a bit difficult because my family wasn't celebrating and so I was pretty much by myself at the time," Garvi said. "I remember the time being difficult because I couldn't share it with anyone. It wasn't like here, where they have big feasts. It was very personal and my own journey. I had a long day of fasting because in France, you open your Iftar at about 9.30pm. I had to go to work and I couldn't complain. At the end of the day, I didn't have anyone to share the experience with." During his first Ramadan, Garvi's family made sure the regular family dinner was served at Iftar time as they knew he was fasting.

Although, Garvi believes that his journey helped him become "closer to #God". He said at the time where he'd be fasting for more than 12 hours, he had only God with him. "I would pray and say that I'm doing this for you and that I'm going through this difficulty for you. It was difficult but eventually I got invited to Iftars by some families. It was nice being able to share that experience with people," Garvi said. "It was a very spiritual experience and wasn't all about food and celebrations like it is here. It can get a little superficial here. I was all by myself and I had to go through it and I did with the help of God." He ended Ramadan and spent his first #Eid with a #Muslim #Moroccan family back in France. He said they helped him experience what a family Eid was like and what the Ramadan ambience in a Muslim country would be like.
Garvi got married this year and said that this his first Ramadan truly "not alone". #Allah #Iftar #Halal #Muslims #Muslimah #Muslimahs #Hijabi #Hijabis #Niqabi #Niqabis

Terrified #Christians are escaping Isis militants in the #Filipino town of #Marawi by wearing hijabs borrowed from #Muslims.

There are around 1,500 people trapped in the besieged Filipino city, which is about 60 miles south of Cagayan de Oro.

Almost 100 people have escaped on foot, while others have swum across the river. Medics tending those who have made their way out alive recounted the resourcefulness of those who fled. “Some of the stories that stuck were Muslims helping protect #Christian workers by letting them borrow a hijab,” said Dr Gioia Ancheta, head of the psychosocial therapy team.

The civilians face starvation, being held as human shields and are also under attack from bombing assaults by the military who are trying to oust the jihadists.

There are reports that some local residents are so hungry they had “started to eat their blankets”, according to local politician Zia Alonto Adiong, who is managing the relief and rescue efforts. “Some residents are eating (cardboard) boxes. They just dip it in water to soften the material and eat it,” he said.

#Islamic militants stormed Marawi three weeks ago, leaving 290 people dead, including 205 Isis fighters, 58 soldiers and 26 civilians. Mr Adiong said that residents reported seeing terrible carnage left by the fighting. “Dead bodies, at least 100, scattered around the encounter area,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera said his security forces were edging towards the business area of Marawi City, which is under the control of the combatants who have sworn allegiance to Isis.

There are around 200 Islamist fighters who have taken up sniper positions, he said. “The battlefield is very fluid.” #US troops are located close to Marawi City but are not actively fighting Isis insurgents, a #Philippines #military spokesman said. “There are some US personnel who are operating equipment to provide information on situation awareness to our troops,” Brigadier General Restituto Padilla told a news conference. “I do not know the exact number and the specific mission. They are allowed to carry rifles for self-defence. But they are not allowed to fight, they only provide support.” CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

Mehmet Dervis, 42, was physically assaulted when inside an Assad regime prison [Anadolu]. This #Ramadan, #Syrian families across the country and around the world will be breaking their fast in the absence of a loved one.
As favourite delicacies are prepared and relatives gather, the empty chair at the table will be a painful reminder of those who are absent but never forgotten. Many will experience the ongoing pain and torment of having no news as to where their relative is being held, or if they are alive or dead.

A recent report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) estimates that the number of detainees is likely to exceed 215,000. Ninety-nine percent of these have been detained by Syrian regime forces. Last month alone, SNHR documented 577 cases of arbitrary arrest, of which 423 were arrested by regime forces, including 44 children and 88 adult women.

Most of these were civilians arrested in areas under regime control. Those detained include activists and the family members of armed opposition fighters. They also include many men in the 18-42 year age group who have been arrested for conscription purposes and will likely be sent to the front lines to fight.

The inhumane conditions in regime detention facilities have been widely documented by local and international human rights organisations and corroborated by the harrowing testimony of those who have been released.
Prisons are overcrowded and unsanitary. Detainees are given inadequate food - are sometimes purposefully starved - and suffer from medical neglect. Torture is practised on an industrial scale. Women, and men, have suffered rape and sexual abuse.

In February, Amnesty International released a report accusing the Syrian regime of the crime of extermination. The report estimates that 13,000 people were executed in #Saydnaya military prison near Damascus, with mass hangings occurring on a weekly basis.

In January 2014, 'Caesar', a defector who had worked as a military police photographer responsible for recording deaths in regime custody between 2011 and 2013 released 55,000 photos of corpses to human rights investigators. CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

@amani Amani Al-Khatahtbeh came to #Cannes from #NewYork to judge female-empowerment advertising as part of the Glass Lion jury. But she said she spent her first hours in #Nice being harassed by airport officials who demanded she remove her #headscarf upon entry to the country.

Al-Khatahtbeh, who is #Muslim, is the editor and founder of a website called muslimgirl.com whose mission is to correct misconceptions surrounding Islam. She said she has hired a #French lawyer and plans to file a lawsuit. "I went to get my passport stamped and they refused to stamp my passport with my headscarf on," said Ms. Al-Khatahtbeh, who arrived on Friday at the Nice airport. "I wear a headscarf on my passport photo so there was no security issue or identification reason," she said, speaking after a press conference in which jury members discussed the Glass Lion award winners.

An official kept saying, "This is #France, here you have to show your hair," she added, saying he threatened to send her back to New York. "He kept on saying things that were borderline sexual harassment, like I want to see your hair," she said. Al-Khatahtbeh responded that she would only remove her scarf in front of a female officer. So officials took her to an isolated office, she said. "It was very dehumanizing," she said.

After she removed her headscarf, she got her passport stamped and was allowed to leave. But upon exiting she decided to write down the badge number for the officer, which she said angered the officer. "He got extremely hostile, extremely aggressive. He said 'You are taking down my identification, I am going to take yours,'" said Al-Khatahtbeh, who says she is a U.S. citizen. The officer, she said, began arranging for her deportation back to the #US and called her a troublemaker.

Then she told him she was a journalist and jury member for the Cannes Lions festival. "I have a platform and people here will hear about what you are doing to me right now," she told him. Then officials brought in a female #DeltaAirlines employee to mediate, she said. "She kept telling me 'Keep your mouth shut, don't say anything, let him say what he wants,'" she said. CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

It’s been several hours since news broke of horrific attacks on two different #mosques: one in #London, where a man allegedly mowed down several people standing outside their house of worship, and another in #Virginia, where a 19-year-old #Muslim girl who left evening prayers only to be murdered with a #baseball bat.

Details are still emerging, but the incidents share at least one major commonality: In both cases, the perpetrator does not appear to be Muslim.

Now, as the minutes tick by, a growing number of frustrated journalists and pundits have noted that President #DonaldTrump — a notoriously prolific tweeter — has yet to respond to either tragedy. Instead, #Trump tweeted and then promptly deleted a message promoting his lawyer’s appearance on Fox & Friends, before tweeting his support for a congressional candidate in #Georgia hours later.

As frustrating as Trump’s selective outrage may be, a team of researchers from #GeorgiaStateUniversity say the issue of unbalanced attention to these kind of attacks extends far beyond the Oval Office. It’s also a common problem within the media.

According to a new study covered in a Washington Post op-ed in March, attacks by people claiming to be Muslim received 449 percent more coverage on average in recent years than those perpetrated by virtually anyone else.

Erin Kearns, the lead author of the study, told ThinkProgress her team looked at attacks specifically designated as “#terrorist incidents” by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), which is housed at the University of #Maryland. The GTD updates their just list once a year, so Kearns and her fellow authors only looked at incidents occurring from 2011–2015. “When attacks are perpetrated by a Muslim, they receive drastically more coverage,” Kearns said in a phone interview.

Kearns says her team is still conducting research for the final paper, which is currently in the peer review process. Since publishing their initial findings, the group has expanded its research to include coverage of incidents dating back to 2006. They are also considering other factors that could enhance coverage, such as the target of an attack CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

“The prison world is completely different; the rules are different, the environment is different, the food is different. You can only see the sky through the iron bars. And the water, however good its quality, seems to taste bitter. “In the beginning, I thought prison was the greatest calamity to befall me, but as I look back, I realise it was the best thing to have happened to me. Of the 15-year term, I spent seven years, three months and 22 days inside and I emerged from the experience a better human being. “I learnt how to live by principles regardless of personal interests. I discovered the #Quran, memorised two-thirds of it, and I discovered that I did not lose seven years of my life but rather I have gained years of life. How? I quit drugs and smoking during my first year there. So the prison gave me extra years of life even after deducting the seven years I spent there. “However strange it may sound, sometimes I miss the prison ... I miss the solitude in which I studied the Quran, I miss my friend Saeed Al Muhairi, the library that I was working in, each book I read, and every book I wished I could have read. “I miss policeman Saleh Mohammad Belamish, the perfect #model for good morals, I miss policeman Ahmad Ghuloom who found purpose in helping others, policeman #Adnan who always made me feel that I was his friend. “I miss Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah Othman, an #Ethiopian who helped me memorise the Quran and Shaikh Abdul Qadir, who taught me how to work ... I miss Colonel Ahmad Suhail, who gave me the confidence and opportunity to be creative and work, and Brigadier Khalifa Al Merri, who gave all the option to change, and encouraged us to do it. “#Ramadan inside the prison is a period of reflection. Beginning with the Asr prayer to the Taraweeh, life is about what we wish to make of it. There are religious and cultural events, entertainment options ... In addition, there were various sports activities, such as the five-foot #football, #basketball and #volleyball, rope tethering, #tennis, and other fun #sports. “From one Ramadan to the next, there is a sense that you are evolving, changing. CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

#INDONESIAN tribesman Muhammad Yusuf believes his conversion from animism to #Islam in a government-supported program will eventually make his life easier. “Thank #God, the government now pays attention to us; before our conversion they didn’t care,” says Yusuf, the #Islamic name he has adopted.

Yusuf is a member of the “#OrangRimba” tribe. His small community now gathers around a stilt-mounted wooden hut, while children inside wearing Islamic #skullcaps and #hijabs enthusiastically recite the #Quran.

Not far away, other members of the tribe who remain faithful to the old ways stalk through palm oil trees in a desperate hunt for prey in an area that was once lush #Sumatran rainforest.

Stick-thin and wearing only loincloths over their weather-beaten skin, they brandish homemade rifles as they search for their next meal.

Yusuf’s group converted to Islam, the predominant faith in #Indonesia, and gave up their nomadic ways in January in a bid to improve livelihoods that have been devastated by the expansion of palm oil plantations and coal mines into their forest homelands.

Authorities insist the move is positive but critics say it amounts to a last throw of the dice for indigenous groups driven to desperation by the government’s failure to properly defend their rights against rapid commercial expansion.

Indonesia is home to an estimated 70 million tribespeople, more than a quarter of the total 255-million population, from the heavily tattooed #Dayaks of #Borneo island to the #Mentawai who are famed for sharpening their teeth as they believe it makes them more beautiful.

But as a nomadic group, the Orang Rimba — whose name translates as “jungle people” — are a rarity. The 200 who recently converted in the Batang Hari district of #Jambi province — a handful of the approximately 3,500 Orang Rimba — decided to turn to the Muslim faith after being approached by an Islamic NGO, and the social welfare ministry has helped with the process.

Community leader Yusuf conceded the reason they were converting was because food was increasingly hard to find and they were constantly locked in disputes with companies on whose lands they hunt CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇

#AbuDhabi: A group of #Indian #women has joined hands to prepare home-cooked #iftar meals for people who end their fast at a #mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Members of #Facebook group called Style Diva said they meet every three days to cook the meals which feed up to 50 people, mostly construction workers visiting a mosque near Khalifa Hopsital to end their fast. #Style #Diva founder Jonia Mathew said the interfaith initiative is aimed at fostering communal harmony and brotherhood. “There are 17 of us from different faiths and we work as a team. The menu is very basic and largely comprises vegetable dishes and curries prepared in north Indian style. We start around 4.30pm. By 6.30 the meal boxes are packed and ready to be delivered to the mosque,” said Mathew. “The bulk cooking is a challenge, of course, but we pull it off thanks to the teamwork,” said volunteer Archana Nair. {Inspiration} “Mahatma Gandhi said the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others and that’s what I am attempting to do. I get immense satisfation in preparing these iftar meals and am glad to be part of this wonderful initiative,” she added. #Muslims #Muslim #Muslimah #Muslimahs #Hijabi #Hijabis #Allah #Islam #Quran #Ramadan #Niqabi #Niqabis #India #Indians

An imam who protected a man suspected of attacking #Muslims outside #FinsburyPark #Mosque from angry members of the public has described how he stopped “kicks and punches” that were coming from “every angle”. Mohammed Mahmoud was one of the first on the scene of the attack and intervened to save the suspect from a crowd that had formed.

Speaking next to the police cordon in north #London on Monday afternoon, the imam said: “We found that a group of people quickly started to collect around the assailant and some tried to hit him with either kicks or punches. “We managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm. We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle. “We pushed people away from him until he was safely taken by police into custody.” Mr Mahmoud said he had had been helped by other members of the local community who prevented the suspect from being hurt. “It wasn’t me alone; there were a group of brothers … who were calm and collected and managed to calm people down and to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that would have taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in.” {Finsbury Park attack}

He also spoke about the “demonisation” of the Muslim community and warned that people with “ulterior motives wished to divide this great country and this great city”. “It was touching our non-Muslim neighbours woke us up this morning to give us their support,” he said. “It is proof that the fabric of this society is not torn, but that we have to continue to keep the fabric of society, and this community of London, intact.” Praising Mr Mahmoud's “bravery and courage”, Toufik Kacimi, the chief executive of the nearby #Muslim Welfare House community centre, said the imam’s actions “prevented further injuries and potential loss of life”. Mr Kacimi said the suspect had been shouting “I’ve done my bit” and “you deserve it” during the attack. #UK #British #Britain #Britains #Islam #Muslimah #Muslimahs #Hijabi #Hijabis #Niqabi #Niqabis #Allah #Quran #Ramadan #Islamophobia

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