Hajj: The Parallel Universe

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Flickr: Muhammad Ghouri

Allow me to sweep you toward a parallel universe, one that has been chronicled to change lives, the pilgrimage to the House of God, the Hajj.

Destiny opened the door to me in April 1989, when I made Ummrah, the lesser pilgrimage made in the off-season, with my husband and 11 other members of his family. By that time, we had been married seven years and had tried several interventions to procure a sustainable pregnancy.

It was said that water from the Meccan holy spring of Zamzam could cure. We all prayed, dutifully performed the sacred rites, the same as in Hajj, and I discovered myself expecting what was to be the first of our four offspring by the time we arrived after our Ummrah to Jerusalem. It was an experience that certainly changed my life, and I still recall the unique and other-worldly perceptions from it.

That is why I gladly accepted the offer of Dr. Badar Zaheer to edit and assist with editing and publishing his work, Hajj: Medical and Practical Solutions (ISBN: 978-1-4675-8505-7). At this time, it is in formatting for publication and Dr. Zaheer will be sharing information from it relevant to pilgrims who have medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some of the general cautions about avoiding dehydration, crowd control, fitness and conditioning before the journey, in-flight exercise, and emergency phone numbers while on Hajj. I will also field questions and inquiries on behalf of ladies who may prefer to talk to another woman about our special issues and medical needs.

The previous blog, “So You Think You Can’t Write” was intended to invite fellow teachers and writers to realize that everyone can document, employ the process of writing, distill through multiple passes of the editing process, and procure something rich. I was not disappointed in the result. There was the prospect that I might teach middle school writing this year, in addition to my other projects, but I was delivered something better suited to my interests with this Hajj project. I believe it will bloom into more editing projects and publishing of my own work and others’.

As preparation for this assignment, my local library presented The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter (ISBN: 978-1-56656-884-5). It is part of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys that I have cited before. The book meshes art, including print, textiles, photography, and various Islamic antiquities, with rich prose, quotations, and translations of script from those artifacts. It is a work of love and beauty, and it took me back…

…to Taif, where the Prophet Mohammad was once stoned and chased out of town by its people. Except that later, they greeted him back warmly when many of its residents accepted Islam. (Read the whole story here http://www.saudilife.net/saudi-arabia/84-personalities/252-taifs-most-epic-story) We’d driven all night through the desert in a GMC with seven children and six adults. I recall that we had to stop a few times for bathroom breaks and to pray at a mosque that was juxtaposed to a gas station. It was morning, and we saw a Saudi Arabia different that I’d seen in pictures. This place was green and mountainous. There was a garden park by a city center with fragrant flower bushes, and we ordered carry-out breakfast consisting of hummus, fava beans with lemon and salt, tea, and flatbread. Our next stop was to be Mecca, and I’d longed to see her. However, to my alarm, when using the restroom, I’d noticed that I’d started to spot blood. This condition did not permit me to pray. Dashed expectations, hiding tears while seeing my own reflection on the GMC’s window; I felt dismally that God did not want me!

We arrived outside the Harem (the Sanctuary) in Mecca, the place where all the Hajj photos show crowds circumambulating around the black cube-shaped building, the Kaba, the place of the first house of worship to God, build by Abraham (Ibrahim) who which monotheism is attributed.

It was necessary before entering the Harem to use the restroom (to find that I was able to pray again), wash and prepare for the rites. Outside the building, it was not clean, not feeling very hospitable, nor comfortable, and I was wearing a black abaya over a long, thin house dress topped off with a wrapped black headscarf.

We entered the immense, monumental building, and suddenly everything within me and around me became perfectly calm. I saw in the inner court the black Kaba in the center of a white, round, marble floor with pilgrims circling it in a consistent and orderly manner. I approached the periphery, my feet on comfortable, red carpeting, into a type of amphitheater surrounding the entire scene and on multiple levels.

My father-in-law, who knew no English, gently took my hand and led me, with an excited look in his eye, and explained many details he thought I should know about it in Arabic. Somehow, I understood everything he said, and he even pointed out to me the Station of Abraham, where a footprint cast in mud is attributed to be his and housed in an ornate case on the clean, cool, white marble floor.

Our niece and my husband’s sister walked the expanse with me all around the amphitheater, and witnessed the men and women circumambulating just below our level but in closer proximity to the Kaba. Then we prayed and sat for I do not know how long. Time stood still; I was content, felt I was home, and did not care to ever leave that place. I was bewildered and in love with the immense feeling of peace, simple, such simple peace.

Eventually, we were summoned to drink Zamzam water from those big thermos containers that football coaches get drenched with after a victory. I was told to drink until I was bloated from it, and then we went to the next rite which was to kind of jog or speedwalk from one end of a long hallway to another. That was formerly the span between two desert mounts, Safa and Marwa. This was where Abraham’s maidservant, Hajar, the mother of Ishmael, who was the brother of Issac, ran in desperation seeking water for herself and her young son. That event is what procured the miracle of God revealing the spring water of Zamzam to her. She was lost in a hopeless place, and God provided relief. The miracle of it parallels our lives and encourages trust in God.

After drinking yet more from Zamzam, we went on to Muzdalifah to gather some pebbles and to Mina where we threw them at the Jamarat pillars, symbolically re-enacting an event whereby Abraham obeyed Angel Gabriel’s order to pelt the Devil in rejection of temptation. Finally, we blazed the desert in the GMC to arrive at Mt. Arafat to conclude our rites and went on to Medina, the friendly city where the Prophet, established a community, received more revelations of Qur’an, and lived 10 years before being able to return to Mecca in a peaceful homecoming and transfer of authority where no one was to be harmed after many years of conflict.

Next, we visited the coastal city of Jeddah, a more liberal, humid, and crowded place where ex-pats work and trade. Completely exhausted, we drove all the way back to Riyadh, and shortly thereafter flew to Amman  eventually traversing to Jerusalem where I learned that Zamzam and prayers really worked! My first child was born that December.

If you are going to Hajj, I do recommend Dr. Zaheer’s book (ISBN: 978-1-4675-8505-7), but we are not certain if it will be quite ready in time for this Hajj. If you are an arm chair traveler, you will be swept as near as possible—without having to pay for plane fare—to that parallel universe experienced by those on Hajj.

They say the Kaba  is the Heart of the Universe, and it may well be because the continuous focus and worship of those toward the Creator is a unique power, a force, a love without limitations through time and space. I still feel it.

The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Mecca. Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings.

In it are signs manifest; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to God. Those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, God stands not in need of any of His creatures (3:96-97 Holy Qur’an)

Hospital, Hope, and Historic Legacy

Hospital, Hope, and Historic Legacy

Perched on the 7th floor of a suburban hospital, I peer at the Chicago skyline in the distance. Here for five days after my father suddenly “lost power” in his legs while feeding the birds in his yard; it was 92 degrees and he was stranded, baking for a few hours before a neighbor miraculously found him. While the event was unpleasant, he feels blessed as his children have risen to the cause as his advocates with numerous staff and specialists, tests, logistics, and he instigated a chain of reunions and collaborations that give him satisfaction, and above all, the feeling of love. We anticipate discharge to a physical rehabilitation within days.
1367685774908 With all the nasty news headlines, political and economic stresses, it distills down to this—we prevail when we have Hope. In Dad’s case, all testing so far was mercifully unspectacular, and an additional benefit, as I ponder it, is that rehab guided by professionals may speed up his recovery from winter doldrums to result in out-performing me in golf! I had better get my own training on track, in spite of numerous overseas relatives who have added to the complexity of my task schedule.

Yet, before spring sprang with its tulips, redolent lilacs and hyacinths, I was prompted to read Tariq Ramadan’s Islam and the Arab Awakening. It was not part of the Muslim Journeys book list, but I wish it was because he has a global following. This review will summarize contents and some of my own perspectives derived from his ideas.

Ramadan analyzes historic, geopolitical, and currently relevant perspectives. In his prescription for Arab and Muslim majority countries, he echoes a call I have heard even from OIC business research circles, that there is need for reform in education to foster innovation, critical thinking, and establishing a mission based stance toward collective responsibility, which may even question leadership if a better solution may be conceived. He recognizes the need in light of economic ripples from globalization, and the necessity of guidance and requirement to utilize young people in work. In particular, the value of women’s education and autonomy is acknowledged, and resolving poverty and corruption, which has undermined societies.

In timely manner, he qualifies that Islamic shariah implies a call for justice, dignity, and freedom. It supports religious, cultural, and political pluralism. Ramadan’s expertise is qualified, as he holds a PhD. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and he contends that shariah is not constitutionally rigid and reductive. He also explains that the often misunderstood term of jihad “resists racism, dictatorships, corruption and oppression.” He states that “only when Muslim societies actively envision and work for nothing less than these values can they achieve liberation.” This is a far different portrayal of these terms—shariah and jihad—than what the American public has been led to believe.

Efforts of a deliberate misinformation campaign have been revealed, as I have learned of several reports in the past year. Truly Machiavellian, there are enough well plotted schemes that convince this to be reality, not a conspiracy theory. Yet, Ramadan does not address these at all. What he does note though are the inequities of powerful nations in their willingness to engage in resolutions within Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia as contrasted with Syria and Yemen. Specific interest was abetted to unrests in petromonarchies of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Meanwhile, we also see further power plays and economic polarization in Greece and Cypress, and we question when will the purge end? Who loses and who gains? How can “they” get away with it, and can the juggernaut be halted without a hard landing? The printing of fiat currency is heading toward Jupiter with futile hope of ever meeting debt obligations on every scale. It’s a house of cards, and even my overseas guests—who sport the shopping malls have reported that designer brands are selling out, while middle-America is not even in the mall or they’re just window shopping.

My eldest children have commented that nearly all their classmates from high school and college have no job, and this we see in Arab societies as well. Educated and un or under employed, we have too many PhDs. What benefit was their education for? A better effort is required for guiding students toward employable fields and majors. Ramadan writes that “critical intelligence is mandated to resolve the waste of human capital. Globalization and unemployment needs some turnkey solutions, and although not everyone is an entrepreneur, we must utilize resources in a fulfilling and sustainable manner.” Working to eliminate poverty is a solution; yet, the widening gap of haves and have nots is directly oppositional to the solution required.

Ramadan’s writing expresses hope for Muslim majority societies to take the initiative in building its own alternative order. In my mind I sense powerful potential parallels with the Dark Ages and subsequent rise of the Golden Age of Islam which eventually catalyzed into the Renaissance. However, with the internet and social media’s pan-identity of “we” there is optimism to breach entrenched nationalistic, gender, and religious divisions in exchange for a united, humanistic bond with willingness toward inclusion.

The power of the people was just a glimmer in the Arab Spring, and we wait for its awakening to cure the malaise threatening our existence. To build, Ramadan calls for the following three priorities
• The dignity of the individual and labor
• Defined conditions for fair and equitable trade
• Compassion and efforts to relieve the poor

While Arab and Muslim majority societies seek solutions, it is fair to evaluate weaknesses, in order to recognize their vulnerabilities. Since Ramadan clearly rests the responsibility to ultimately lie with the people, irrespective of corrupt leaders and plots, he diagnoses that many greatly lack Spirituality. Of course, there are deeply spiritual people scattered in every society, he qualifies that the masses are not devoid of “religion,” rather they lack its deeper infused essence. “Adherence to rituals, and even moral concern, fall short of spirituality depicted as having a rock solid base in a meaning to life and peace in one’s heart resulting from an unshakable belief that permeates one’s personality resulting in inner security and serenity.”

He calls out that rhetoric and formality have taken precedence over the spiritual core, and that some people incorporate Sufi practices while maintaining parallel to them secular lifestyles. We’ve seen this in American society where there was a rising interest in Buddhism and yoga. While not all who choose yoga as their form of exercise connect to the spiritual relation to it, the popular rise of it into mainstream was sparked by people seeking to fill a void.

Who could blame them for casting away religion when it seems that all dogmatic religions “take away” and “restrict,” rather that enrich? Moreover, the argument that religion “gives comfort” can easily be dismissed because many other less polyanna-ish pursuits can also give at least a temporary comfort.

Ramadan contends, “What lies at the heart of spirituality is the willingness to not resist against life’s challenges, because at some point exhaustion sets in, if unabated. When the human reaches its limit in its ability to suffer, the only recourse is to reach beyond one’s self to an entity who never fatigues, who creates all, and can deliver ultimate relief. Certainty of this entity’s existence and a personal connection to it defines one as a Believer. The depth of the relationship between Creator and Believer determines the degree of spirituality. Just as muscle improves with effort, spirituality is deepened with effort to connect with one’s Creator. In our often busy lives, this requires an investment of time and consciousness. That justifies why Muslims pray 5 times a day, to maintain that “hand hold” and bond.”

Far from simply hiding and praying, a spiritual person is called upon to actualize virtue in caring for themselves, their fellow humans, plants, creatures, and the environment. The manifold aspects of this can be applied to all realms of life. For me, Ramadan’s clarification reminds that aspects of this should resonate throughout education, social, political, economic, cultural and artistic work. For every type of occupation, I can easily perceive its relevance in serving for a greater good, whether it be through social work, fine arts, math and science, literature and communication, law, health care and fitness, politics, agriculture, animal husbandry, travel, logistics, trade, manufacturing, marketing, finance, and defense. All are acceptable if they serve toward building and preserving a legacy of dignity for all, and respecting the benevolence and wisdom of the Creator. This respect and acceptance of the Creator’s higher authority is what feeds spirituality. Behaving contrary to one’s inherent autonomy, status of trust, honor, and responsibility erodes it.

My vocation in Education—inclusive of the plurality of languages, customs, arts, cuisines, and other facets of culture—can help us discover our own pan-identity. Giving meaning and worth to other cultures gives respect and bonds humans as global partners.

——-Enough heavy analysis; levity also bonds humans. To that extent, I’ve a hankering for reading something by P.G. Wodehouse. After all, balance is a characteristic of Islam, and much time hanging out at the hospital with Dad has me chomping at the bit to get moving outdoors as soon as I can assure he is comfortable in an interim setting to get his legs and lungs ready for golf.

Halal Fests Making a Wave in America!

Halal Food Tour Realizing the potential of Halal foodies at their community’s Halal Food Festival, co-founders of the popular web show Sameer’s Eats, Sameer S. Sarmast and Saad Malik, were blown away when the anticipated 1000 attendees swelled to a wave of 4000! Last August’s festival was planned with the local New Jersey Muslim Youth Community Center (www.myccnj.org), and Malik reported that most vendors even ran out of food. Mesmerized by the diverse crowd, Malik turned to his partner and said, “Dude, this is mind boggling. We need to take this on the road.”

Stoked by inspiration, Sarmast confirmed, “We saw that great Halal food brings people together no matter their race, religion, or professional background. This year we’ve decided to spread Halal food across America. We’re putting on five big events in five cities. We look forward to working with local organizations in each city to help their initiatives and more.”

The Halal Food Tour (www.halalfoodtour.com) has them partnered with Yvonne Maffei, the personable and effervescent publisher, cookbook author, and blogger of My Halal Kitchen (www.myhalalkitchen.com). The five city tour will kick off with Los Angeles on April 13th; then to New York in June, Washington DC in August, Chicago in October, and finally to Houston in December.

Besides appearances by Maffei, several other celebrities have signed on to appear at some of the venues. Mo Sabri, singer and lyricist; Preacher Moss, the thought provoking writer and founder of “Allah Made Me Funny” Muslim Comedy Tour; Aman Ali, reporter, storyteller, and co-creator of “30 Mosques in 30 Days;” and Omar Regan, who is best known for his acting and comedy talent. This creative production team is seeking many more popular Muslim personalities and businesses in each city that represent the diverse American Muslim landscape. The ticketed events are expected to bring much publicity to the nascent Halal Movement in America.

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Also inspired by the huge attendance of the New Jersey festival, Irfan Rydhan, the Event Director of Jam-Productions is collaborating in partnership with Atif Qureshi of Zabihah.com ( the world’s largest guide to Halal Restaurants and Products) and Javed Ali, founder of ILLUME Media (www.illumemagazine.com) to produce “California’s First Halal Food & Eid Festival” aka “Halal Fest” (www.HalalFest.com) for August 17th in the main parking lot of NewPark Mall in Newark, CA.

The event is open to the public and is scheduled approximately 1 week after Eid ul-Fitr. Rydhan stated that their intent is to cultivate awareness of delicious Halal food, promote Muslim businesses, and express diversity and cultures in an atmosphere of fun for the whole family with children’s air jumpers, super slide, and merry-go-round. Halal Fest will feature Halal food trucks, restaurant booths, and a large bazaar with approximately 30 vendors selling a variety of clothing, jewelry, arts & crafts, books, and other novelties.

Nationally recognized Chef Jimmy Sujanto of Padi Restaurant in Berkeley, CA that features Indonesian Halal dishes, will be there to conduct a Live Cooking Demonstration. Representing a variety of cuisines, arrangements have been made for Indo-Pakistani , Middle Eastern, African-American Soul Food, and Indian-American Fusion as well as the standard food festival fare of burgers, fried chicken and pizza – all Halal of course. Surely, it should entice everyone to explore some new flavors and bridge cultural gaps to familiarize neighboring communities with Halal food from Northern California.

For the adventurous set, the multi-talented partners have signed on a live skateboarding demonstration by professional American Muslim skateboarder Jordan Richter (read his story here: http://www.illumemagazine.com/zine/articleDetail.php?Wayward-Son-The-Jordan-Richter-Story-13769), and other activities for the whole family to enjoy are in the works.

Will this be the year for Americans to really catch the wave? Don’t miss it; sign up if you are a Halal enterprise or vendor. These events are likely to be the start of something big for Americans who really love food, and who doesn’t appreciate great Halal, healthful delights that appeal?

Rout Out Islamophobia!

Emir Abd el-Kader’s seal

Once again the media broadcast another alarming headline about an American community protesting the construction of a mosque based on a fear of “creeping shariah.” With many people not even believing in God, one would think it more productive to work on the large percentage of people that do not even believe in God Almighty. …ditto for the guy who passed me a scrappy note from a Bible institute about “What Every Muslim Should Know” while shopping for window treatments in JCPenney! Dude, I already know about Jesus and the miracle of the virgin birth. That is Islam too.

Over the years I have witnessed episodes that really did not register consternation over Islamophobia, but I suppose the cumulative effect IS stirring up my concern because of the uptick in incidents leading toward the presidential election. In fact, according to a presentation made at the ISNA Education Forum last Spring by Purdue University students Amina Shareef and Adrien Chauvet, titled Disrupting Islamophobia, it is specifically political situations that have historically and consistently been correlated to the fear or discrimination that characterizes Islamophobia. Furthermore, it is perpetrated by mis-education and historical amnesia. There are organizations who benefit from casting Muslims as “the other,” and they are heavily backed with finance and influential connections.  Even the mainstream Republican party is served by fortifying the “us versus them” stance, in spite of the fact that ideologically many business minded Muslims identify with being Republican (click on the hyperlinks for some interesting perspectives).

Yet, Muslims have an obligation to stand up and not be complacent. That is why I’m writing this, because we have to let people know the truth and stand up for what is right. Shareef and Chauvet quoted that 44% of Americans polled would support government curtailment of Muslim civil liberties, according to research quoted by CAIR and Cornell University (2011), but that may be because 60% of Americans have never met a Muslim (Care2Causes Editors). In this vacuum of experience, people tend to buy in to what authoritative figures and organizations purport, and it is exactly those well financed, highly organized entities who have been so deviously deceptive and influential that anti-shariah laws exist in 23 states. This is laughable, as shariah has never posed any threat to civil law, and even in Islamic societies, it is civil law that prevails.

To counter the supposed threat and hopefully put to rest the allegation that “to be a good Muslim, you have to hate,” I encourage foremost that critics actually read and study the Holy Qur’an. Be mindful that the original is in Arabic, a language still extant and very rich in meaning; but since most Americans are not versed in any foreign language, they need to rely on translations. Not all translations are necessarily true too, as there are those with malevolent intentions. My best advice is to use several, and preferably ones who have translated and given some interpretive footnotes (tafseer) by a Muslim. There have been several Islamophobes who take verses out of context and fail to relate the relevant circumstances which transpired at the time of some of the revelations.

To clarify, the Holy Qur’an is originally a series, not chronologically arranged, of recitations that were transmuted into a corpus. The verses often came to address specific events that gave guidance to the recipients at that time, around 1400 years ago. However, much of the guidance is still relevant today to those seeking and choosing to follow, and anyone who believes can be considered a Muslim. It is not based on race, nationality, just acceptance that God is god, and that Mohammad is a prophet of God, as was Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, Lot, and many others, including Adam.

Muslims have, like most groups, some virtuous members and some who give a bad image due to misdeeds and variances in interpretations. That can be said for many other religious, political, and ethnic members, but Islam purports noble values that are in alignment with the upbringing I always had as an American. These held the importance of respect for parents and authority, honesty, cleanliness, hard work, charity, scholarship, family obligations and neighborliness, as well as honor and humility before God and man. Sadly, our country is losing the preservation and recognition of the importance of these attributes, but there is still hope. I’m pleased to note that my sons’ high school advocates the motto: Respect, Responsibility, and Engagement. This overarching theme encourages them to make the best of the education and opportunities for growth offered. Traditionally, Muslims have held values in high esteem, similar to values we in America have assimilated from democracy and the concept of a republic. The lack of democracy in Muslim lands today is derived from colonialism, but as we see from the Arab Spring, times are changing.

John W. Kiser immortalized and shared the rich history of Emir Abd el-Kader, who has a town named in Iowa in respect for him http://www.truejihad.com/. I just love what one student wrote after reading Kiser’s book, “Abdelkader’s life embodied the words of the Qur’an 5:7, ‘Let not your hatred of other men turn you away from Justice. Be just…that is closer to piety.’ — Madi Johansen, Decorah Iowa.” There are many families in Iowa who have long standing roots in America, and they are Muslim of Arab descent. There is also evidence that some African Americans who were brought to this land as slaves were Muslim and forcibly made to adopt Christianity in order to live.

The current issue of Islamic Horizons features “What Happened to Islamophobia” by Meha Ahmad that cites that Muslims want just what every other American wants. What was interesting was what was NOT chosen as high priorities for Muslim Americans, namely Islamophobia. It wasn’t even on the list, but Foreign policy was #6 and Religious freedom was #9. Immigration reform, economy, and the environment were priorities, and these are similar areas of concern for Latinos and other ethnic groups as well. Americans stand united on many issues, but these do nothing for the agenda of the Islamophobes. Their power comes from divisiveness, the trumping up of a fabricated threat. It serves a purpose to help close ranks and give status to those who want to keep Muslims from becoming enfranchised, trusted, and becoming a force to influence just regard for those everyday folks.

The wool has been pulled over the eyes of many people, and they have no way of knowing anything different until more Americans and Muslim Americans become better educated, more willing to open up to participate and work together within our society, and to simply give more effort to correct misconceptions gently, patiently, and consistently.

Shareef and Chauvet offered the following resources which you may find useful:

A. History of Muslim-Christian Encounters.

1. Geaves, R., Gabriel, T., Haddad, Y. and Smith, J. (eds.) Islam and the West Post 9/11. : Ashgate, 2004.
2. Haddad, Y., Smith, J. I., and Moore, K. (eds.) Muslim Women in America, Gender, Islam, and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
3. Haddad, Y. and Haddad, W. Z. (eds.) Christian-Muslim Encounters. Gainsville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1995.
4. Watt, W. M. Muslim-Christian Encounters: Perceptions and Misperceptions. London: Routledge, 1991.
5. Watt, W. M. The Majesty That Was Islam: The Islamic World, 661-1100. New York: Praeger, 1974.
6. Esposito, J. L. The Islamic World: Past and Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

B. Understanding Islamophobia.

1. Abrahamian, E. (2003). The US media, Huntington and September 11. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 24, (3), 529-544.
2. Esposito, J. & Kalin, I. (2011), Islamophobia: The challenge of pluralism in the 21st Century. New York: Oxford University Press.
3. Al-Saji, A. (2010). The radicalization of Muslim veils: A philosophical analysis. Philosophy of Social Criticism, 36 (8) 875-902.
4. Cole, M. Maisuria, A. (2007). ‘Shut the f***up’, ‘you have no rights here’: Critical race theory and racialisation in post-7/7 racist Britain. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies. 5 (1).
5. Dossa, S. (2008). Lethal Muslims: White-trashing Islam and the Arabs. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 28(2), 225-236.
6. Elgamri, E. (2008) Islam in the British broadsheets: How historically-conditioned Orientalist discourses inform representations of Islam as a militant monolithic entity. Reading, UK: Ithaca Press.
7. Fernandez, S. (2009). The crusade over the bodies of women. Patterns of Prejudice, 4(3) 269-286.
8. Ho, C. (2007). Muslim women’s new defenders: Women’s rights, nationalism and Islamophobia in contemporary Australia. Women’s Studies International Forum, 30, 290-298.
9. Razack, S. (2005). Geopolitics, culture clash, and gender after September 11. Social Justice, 32 (4). 11-31.
10. Brinson, M. E. (2010). Muslims in the media: Social and identity consequences for Muslims in America. (Dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Doctoral Dissertations and Theses. (3427827).
11. Council for American Islamic Relation (CAIR): http://www.cair.com/AmericanMuslims/ReportsandSurveys.aspx

C. Interventions Against Islamophobia.

1. Jackson, E. J. (2009). Teaching about controversial groups in public schools: Critical multiculturalism and the case of Muslims since September 11. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertation and Theses. (3392076).
2. Jackson, L. (2010). “Images of Islam in US media and their educational implications” Educational Studies, 46, 3-24.
3. Phelps, S. (2010) Critical literacy: Using nonfiction to learn about Islam. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(3), 190-198.
4. Niyozov, S. (2010). Teachers and teaching Islam and Muslims in pluralistic societies: Claims, misunderstandings, and responses. Int. Migration & Integration, 11, 23-40.

D. General Interest.

1. Shaheen, J. G., and Greider, W. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. New York: Olive Branch Press, 2001.
2. Gottschalk, P., and Greenberg, G. Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008.
3. Herman, E. S., and Chomsky, N. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon Books, 2002.
4. Kincheloe, J. L., Steinberg, S. R., and Stonebanks, C. D. Teaching against Islamophobia. New York: Peter Lang, 2010.
5. Esposito, J. L., and Mogahed, D. Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. New York, NY: Gallup Press, 2007.

Some additional titles (that are on my “to read” list), which you may wish to check out are:

1. Shryock, A. Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the politics of enemy and friend. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.

2. Lean, N. The Islamophobia Industry: How the right manufactures fear of Muslims. London, UK: Pluto Press, 2012.

3. Sheikh, Z. U. Islam: Silencing the Critics: A candid analysis of the most discussed faith in today’s world. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

As Education is the key to understanding, it is also the means to thwart ignorance and hatred. Please visit my website at Genius School to learn more about how I may serve your needs. Your comments, sharing, and feedback are always welcome.