May 23, 2014

A Labyrinth Emerges in Houston's Freedmen's Town

By Mike Pardee
A multi-faith, highly diverse group of volunteers has been hard at work in April and May on a uniquely exciting art and service project. This motley group of pilgrims is collaborating to install an 11-circuit labyrinth in a prayer garden right in the shadow of Houston’s skyscrapers downtown. They have worked on constructing the labyrinth’s foundations for the past 5 consecutive weekends. In the final 2 weeks of their project (Saturday mornings May 24th and 31st), they plan to finish installing the labyrinth’s serpentine path itself. New volunteers who would like to participate are welcome to join them either day. Their aim is to dedicate the completed labyrinth structure and other enhancements during a closing celebration at 10:00AM on Saturday, June 7th.

May 16, 2014

Apostacy, Blasphemy and Other Ugly Things

By Ayesha Richards

This week, the western world was in shock at yet another barbaric punishment from a Muslim country. Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who converted to Christianity, was sentenced to death by a Sudanese Shariah court. As a result, yet again I had to field countless questions and comments from my customers and colleagues at work. As a nurse, I suppose people know and trust me, and as the only Muslim woman in a busy private practice, I suppose I am the only guide to all things Islamic for many.

May 11, 2014

The True Meaning of Motherhood

By Shahina Bashir
Source: Greed for Ilm
It’s that time of the year again. Your mailbox is overflowing with advertisements from various stores enticing you with valuable coupons. And each time you log in to check your email messages you are bombarded with more solicitations. You walk into your local mall and every store is claiming it has the best sale of the year. Yes, we are headed straight into one of the biggest celebrations of the year- Mother’s Day. It is the second most gift giving holiday following Christmas. But is Mother’s Day all about giving gifts and taking moms to their favorite restaurants for a meal?

May 7, 2014

Muslim Inmates Aren't Treated Fairly in Texas

Texas discriminates in limiting religious services for Muslim inmates to one hour a week, under supervision by guard, chaplain or volunteer, a federal judge ruled. Bobby Brown raised the challenge by resurrecting his 1969 class action against the Texas Department of Corrections over its treatment of Muslim inmates. Though the department, now known as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or TDCJ, was bound by a 1977 consent decree to treat Muslim inmates equally as compared with adherents to Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths, it moved to terminate the consent decree in August 2012.

May 3, 2014

Hucksters and Texas Tent Revival Politics

By Carol Morgan
Source: Houston Press
Religious liberty is at the very heart of what it means to be an American, yet Texas conservatives and our state's activist pastors have conveniently forgotten that. Lately, it feels as if Texas is waging some sort of religious war on a number of different fronts. Throughout history, politicians have embedded a few religious references in their speeches, but nothing close to what we're seeing lately. Beginning in earnest with Ronald Reagan's nomination in 1980 and continued by Bill Clinton, "Religispeak" has evolved into a must-have tool for every conservative's campaign rhetoric and policy effort. In the same way that sex sells in the media, politicians discovered that religion does also.

May 1, 2014

Religion and Worker's Rights

By Jessica Nguyen
What do workers' rights, immigration reform and government accountability have in common? For many, the answer is religion. After all, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and virtually every other religion in the world teaches values of mercy, justice, and rights to the downtrodden in society. So it should come as no surprise that religious groups across the country are coming together this May Day, as well as other days of the year, to fight for rights to workers, regardless of faith, immigration status or socio-economic status.