Posts By: Maha Elgenaidi

Is Islamophobia Real?

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Some people ask the question, is there really such a thing as “Islamophobia,” or are Muslims merely indulging in a culture of victimhood? While most Muslims may feel that even to ask the question is an impertinence, there really are people out...

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Invocation at Notre Dame de Namur University Commencement

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This invocation was delivered at Notre Dame de Namur University’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9th, 2015. Maha was the first Muslim to present such an invocation. She was joined on stage by university President Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D. and Fedele Bauccio, Chief Executive Officer of Bon Appetit. Salam alaikum/Greetings...

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By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at Patheos. On April 7, congregants of Shaare Torah in Gaithersburg, Maryland, found their synagogue defaced with swastikas and profanity. The incident devastated congregants like Michael Weisel, who said, “When my wife called me and told me what happened, I was speechless. I started to cry.”...

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American Muslim Groups as “Native Informants” of Neo-Orientalism: Essentialism, Reproduction, and Intellectual Manipulation

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This paper originally appeared in Avicenna: The Stanford Journal of Muslim Affairs. This paper seeks to show how U.S. Muslim organizations are inadvertently contributing to a new form of Orientalism by reproducing old tropes in their efforts to combat it. The paper begins by analyzing the discourse underlying two typical...

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ING Speech at Women’s Interfaith Dialogue

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This speech was delivered on November 15th, 2014, for a gathering of over one hundred Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women who came together at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos for a discussion of the book “The Faith Club” by Suzanne Oliver, Ranya Idliby, and Priscilla Warner. Many organizations were...

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Being UnMosqued and Complacent is No Longer an Option

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at Patheos. I broke down in tears recently while recording an interview for the Taleef Collective, which really surprised me. I was talking with the filmmaker Mustafa Davis about my views on the purposes of masajid in the United States and how much the experience of...

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Face-to-Face Interaction is Key to Changing Misperceptions of Muslims

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Pastor Michael Barnes of Gordon Uniting Church in New South Wales, Australia, said it best, “I have found connection with people of other religious traditions to be fascinating and stimulating. It has caused me to rethink many views on life, God and...

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Coming in from the Cold: Pew Survey Reveals Continuing Icy Attitudes toward Muslims

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Prejudice against Muslims and Islam is still rampant among the U.S. public, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Institute. The widely respected polling organization took a novel approach, asking respondents to rate the “warmth” or “coldness” they felt toward...

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Ramadan 2014: Reclaiming the Sacred, Five Uniting Religious Principles

By Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director. This opinion appeared at the ING blog. As the holy month of Ramadan begins in earnest, we are excited to launch a new series on the First Principles of Religion. Each week during this month, we will provide a detailed reading of each principle, including holy texts from a variety...

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