Posts By: Maha Elgenaidi

Holy Week, Passover, and Rajab: On our responsibilities toward the stranger

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered at a Maundy Thursday foot-washing ceremony in Morgan Hill on Thursday, March 29th, 2018. Salam alaykum/peace be unto you. We are standing here together during a sacred time in many faiths. For Muslims, we are in the month of Rajab, the seventh month of the Islamic...

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Muslim women don’t need saving from their religion

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at Religion News Service. In an average week, I deliver presentations to hundreds of people on various topics related to Islam and Muslims. Oftentimes, such presentations yield real changes in public perception of Muslims, but almost as often, I’m confronted with antiquated, negative stereotypes. I recently...

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Being A Good Neighbor

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered at the Shia Association of the Bay Area (SABA)’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Interfaith Event on January 14, 2018. Salam alaykum, Martin Luther King, Jr., said about neighbors: “The ultimate measure of a person is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort...

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Interfaith effort in Menlo Park seeks to unite what political rhetoric divides

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Our country is living through a time of intense polarization and suspicion — especially in regard to Muslims. Efforts to restrict Muslims’ travel and immigration, and proposals to register Muslims and surveil mosques, bear witness to deep-seated fears and divisions that...

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Gratitude in Islam

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered at an interfaith youth event on “Gratitude in Islam” at the South Bay Islamic Association on November 18th, 2017. You can watch an excerpt from the speech here. Salam alaikum everyone. I want to start with a funny story that has a serious point. Once upon...

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Toward Muslim-Jewish Understanding

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered at the public symposium “A Golden Age in the Golden State? Muslims and Jews Creating a Culture of Understanding” at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center on November 5th, 2017. Now I want to bring the topic of Muslim-Jewish relations into the present. Islamic Networks Group, the...

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A Muslim Response to Anti-Semitism

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered at a special Tent of Abraham event at Temple Beth El in Aptos, California on October 29th, 2017. There’s no question we’ve seen a sharp uptick in anti-Semitism over the past year. The Anti-Defamation League has reported that an unprecedented 167 bomb threats have been made...

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Religious literacy can fix the faulty foundation beneath Trump’s Muslim ban

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at Religion News Service. The judicial system has dealt a third legal defeat to President Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, instituting a temporary restraining order and injunction to block its implementation. The courts brought up the question of intent by noting public statements by then-candidate...

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