Event: Speaking Religious Truth to Political Power: Values and Voices 2021

I'll be speaking on a panel for Values and Voices.

American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters is a national nonpartisan campaign bringing together scholars of diverse faiths to speak to our leaders in Washington, DC and a wider interfaith following about the religious texts and teachings connected to our American values and the pressing issues our day. Gain insight from these religious thought leaders who provide hope and unity during a time of hardship and division and challenge us to live up to our nation's highest ideals.

The event is free, but does require registration here.

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A Return to Values and Voices for 2021

I'm pleased to be writing for Values and Voices again. My letter for this year is Letter 7. My previous letter can be found here. I return to the letter of Imam Ali (as) to Malik al-Ashtar.

In the seventh century, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, successor to the Prophet Muhammad’s religious and political authority, wrote a letter about good governance. This letter is recognized through history as a model for good leadership. Although it is grounded in a Muslim ethical worldview, it is broadly applicable in practice. One of the points of the letter that I would like to bring to your attention is this line: “A nation in which the rights of the weak are not wrested in an uninhibited manner from the strong will never be blessed.”


Interview on Ms. Marvel’s America

In their co-edited volume, Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal (University Press of Mississippi, 2020), Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid focus on the superhero Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. The first Muslim superhero to headline her own series, the teenager Kamala Khan is also a second-generation Pakistani immigrant who lives in New Jersey. Her complex identities and storyline in the comic world of Marvel welcomes a multifaceted exploration, one that exists at the nexus of religion, gender, culture, race, and much more. By bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines including literature, cultural studies, religious studies, pedagogy, and communications, the edited volume engages in a fascinating conversation around the character of Ms. Marvel. The book contains accessibly written essays from and about diverse voices on an array of topics, such as fashion, immigration, history, race, and fandom. The volume also includes an exclusive interview with Ms. Marvel author and cocreator G. Willow Wilson by gender studies scholar Dr. Shabana Mir. This text is a fantastic classroom resource that can work in numerous courses on Islam, such as those that focus gender or American Islam to broad courses on religion, such as religion and popular culture. The text is also useful text for educators, such as those in primary and secondary school, who may want to incorporate Ms. Marvel in their own curriculum.