After a decade of work to create a viable journal devoted to the study of religion in Africa and the African diaspora, I told my board last week that I was ready to step down. It is a good time for me to do so since the journal is in an incredibly strong position. In addition to co-founder Sylvester Johnson, its editorial team now includes … Continue reading Concluding My Service to the Journal of Africana Religions
Joy supreme has reigned in the Syrian colony on Willard Street since 3 o’clock on Wednesday morning when David Freije hugged to his breast for the first time in eight years his wife Martha and their seven year old daughter Salomey, whom he had never seen before. Indianapolis Morning Star (1905) It took all of grocer David Freije’s hard-earned $400 in savings, the equivalent of … Continue reading Indianapolis’ Syrian Colony, Buried under Lucas Oil Stadium
Originally published in Mondoweiss, January 14, 2020: The “usual suspects” are already being rounded up. U.S. citizens with Iranian names and backgrounds are being selected for special screening at the border. City police departments in New York and Los Angeles have vowed to be on alert for Iranian terrorists. It’s been the same story for decades. Nearly anytime the United States has a military conflict … Continue reading How Anti-Muslim War Makes U.S. Democracy Impossible
Today I received my very first copy of Muslim American Politics and the Future of US Democracy. It is always a thrill to receive the actual book. This book is the culmination of my thinking since 9/11 about the central importance of Muslim Americans to the political future of the United States. I admit that the book is a jeremiad, a lament about the country’s … Continue reading “Muslim American Politics” Is Published!
In this article, published in the June 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Sylvester Johnson and I call forth a vision for the future study of African American religions in the United States by examining how transnational contact and diasporic consciousness have affected the past practice and are likely to affect the future practice of Christianity, Islam, and African-derived, Orisha-based … Continue reading The Transnational and Diasporic Future of African American Religions in the United States
Originally published in ReWire/Religion Dispatches, March 20, 2019: In addition to anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism, one of the pillars of the contemporary global white terrorism movement is anti-Muslim hatred. That hatred is founded on a kind of forgetting, an historical erasure. This forgetting can be seen in the ideologies of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who murdered 77 people in 2011, and Brent Tarrant, the … Continue reading The Forgotten History Behind Anti-Muslim Terrorism
The IUPUI Religious Studies Department hosted the culminating event of the Community Competition to Prevent Islamophobia today. The presentations are summarized in this PowerPoint. Participants included Amy Guess and Kate Grabowski of Candles Holocaust Museum, Sajjad Jawad of Catholic Charities, Amina Dalal of the Islamic Society of North America’s youth community, Umaymah Mohammad and Ahmed Abbas of the Muslim Youth Collective, and Kristopher Steege and … Continue reading Community Celebrates Efforts to End Anti-Muslim Discrimination
Originally posted at Mizan, March 14, 2018: On October 19, 2008, a little over a fortnight before the November 4 election contested by Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, former Republican Secretary of State and retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Colin Powell appeared on the NBC News Sunday morning program Meet the Press to endorse the Democrat. Powell outlined multiple reasons for … Continue reading Muslim Messiahs? American Civil Religion and U.S. Military Service
The Association for the Academic Study of New Religions has announced that Edward Curtis is the first prize winner of the 2017 Thomas Robbins Award for Excellence in the Study of New Religions for his article, “Science and Technology in Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam: Astrophysical Disaster, Genetic Engineering, UFOs, White Apocalypse, and Black Resurrection,” in Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, … Continue reading Curtis Wins Thomas Robbins Award
Originally published in the Indianapolis Star, Feb. 18, 2018: Almost half of Americans say that they go to one every week. It’s where Americans often get married, introduce their kids to the community, mourn their dead, raise money to assist those in need, organize community service, and even negotiate business deals. It is, of course, the religious congregation, and as Alexis de Tocqueville indicated in … Continue reading “Indy Star”: What’s American about American Mosques?