As friends celebrate Christmas, Muslims navigate religious, cultural implications

Rehana Ahmed doesn’t recall meeting many Catholics at her Catholic high school. In fact, she estimates that about 80 percent of the students at Cathedral High School in Lahore, Pakistan, were just like her: proudly practicing Muslims. Right up until she graduated in 1967, she read Scripture in her Bible study classes — ”an easy A,” she recalled — attended church services and, come the holiday season, belted out the Christmas carols she knew by heart. She and her peers always looked forward to the school’s Christmas parties, where Santa Claus would arrive with mountains of presents....

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace saves itself from closure

Patricia Payton was reliving a nightmare. Just three years ago, the Diocese of Paterson had closed Holy Family School, the Catholic elementary school her fourth-grade daughter had been attending since kindergarten. Payton and others fought the closure for a year, launching a fundraiser and reaching out to alumni, to no avail. At the time, she had felt sadness and melancholy. Now, though, she burned with anger.

The Good Muslim: When Positive Portrayals Prevail

In spite of the American desert that is positive Muslim representation, a small handful of oases have appeared in the years since The Lion of the Desert. Those appearances, though transient and forgotten, were enough to demonstrate that Hollywood’s regurgitation of trite Muslim narratives is not just damaging because it further marginalizes Islamic media representation, but perplexing because it leaves a deep well of narrative potential untapped.

Rift: The Uyghurs and the Hui

The differential treatment of the Uyghurs and the Hui is linked to this basic logic: the Uyghur have mostly failed to fully assimilate into Chinese culture and thereby represent a potential threat, while the Hui tend to be more politically unengaged and have assimilated into Han culture. As such, they have won unusual tolerance from the Chinese government, which has previously ignored isolated instances of religious fundamentalism amongst the Hui. The Chinese government has attempted to fashion the Hui into exemplars of legitimate Chinese Islamic expression as political counterpoints to the Uyghur separatists. ----------------------Note: This article was cited by University of Chicago professor Robert R. Bianchi in his 2019 book, China and the Islamic World: How the New Silk Road is Transforming Global Politics

The Divide: A portrait of Muslim student life at Yale

Ishrat Mannan ’17 stood by a lonely table, pamphlets in hand. Her disinterested classmates streamed past her, lining up to attend the event of the day: a talk by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, titled “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.” Even though the physical distance that separated them could not have been more than a few feet, Mannan found that she and her fellow Yalies might as well have been in different ideological worlds. In one, Islam was a symbol of peace and a way of life. In the other, it was a foreign relic of a bygone era, interesting to study but not to take seriously. “That huge divide,” recalls Mannan, “just felt really, really disheartening.”