“Reclaiming Our Identity” (Our Podcast)

Tune in to our podcasts as we share news, stories, events, and updates from Muslim communities across the United States!

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Each quarterly podcast series will feature Muslim guests representing different communities from around the United States. These podcasts and our guest speakers will be highlighted in our magazine. To read the full stories associated with these stories Subscribe!

In our podcast series “Reclaiming Our Identity”, we will explore the history of the Muslim communities of the United States, their diverse cultural backgrounds, the complex struggles that exist within each community, and the powerful role that these communities have in defining what it means to be American.

We will also welcome special guests and role models to our podcasts to highlight the leadership initiatives that are being taken to address these struggles, to explore the diversity that exists within the Muslim communities in the United States, to recognize Muslim art initiatives, and to highlight upcoming Muslim events that are being hosted across the  United States.

Podcast Episodes for Issue 1, October 2018:

Podcast Episode 1 – The Other Ground Zero Masjid – The Assafa Islamic Center

Known by many as the Masjid on God Row, the sister to the Ground Zero Masjid, and one of the facilities that spearheaded the development of the unique Muslim cemetery in New Jersey, the Assafa Masjid offers the Muslims of Manhattan a wide array of services. Mufty Luthfur Rahman Qasimy helps us get a better understanding of the history of this 6-story Islamic center and the community relationships that it has helped to develop.

Podcast Episode 2 – Unapologetically Muslim: Islam, Leadership, and Service

In an effort to explore the intricacies of the Muslim American Identity, we interviewed William Antoun Salame, the Outreach Director for the Islamic Organization of North American.

In his interview, he reveals that the characteristics taught to Muslims by the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) (democracy, justice, equality, leadership, service, and integrity) are identical to the characteristics we attribute to the American Identity. Salame helps us explore what it means to be unapologetically Muslim by sharing the story of how he became a Muslim and how Islam shaped his life. He discusses leadership, service, the diversity of the Muslim American community, giving our listeners a sample of what it means to strive to follow the footsteps of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

Podcast Episode 3 – Masjid At-Tawheed – Faith, Service, and Advocacy!

The Muslim community of Grand Rapids has grown significantly since the 1980s. Today there are at least 6 masjids that serve the diverse community and provide services to the greater public. In our interview with Dr. Metwalli, we learn more about the history of the Muslims of western Michigan and the various community services they provide.

Podcast Episode 4 –Inspiring the Muslim Youth of America- MY-ICD (Muslim Youth – Islamic Center of Detroit)

Mr.  Sufian Nabhan is the Executive Director of the Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD), a grassroots membership organization that seeks to empower the American Muslim community through faith, education and social activism.

He uses his platform as president of the organization to encourage the youth to actively take a role in the community. Muslim Youth ICD (also known as MY-ICD) is highly regarded as one of the most impactful Muslim youth groups in the United States.

Podcast Episode 5 – The Chandelier of Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Coatesville Pennsylvania is known as the home of the oldest functioning steel mill in the United States. A lesser known fact is that it is also home to an exact replica of an ornate chandelier that is found in the masjid of the prophet Mohammed PBUH in Medina.

Living away from his home in India for the past 20 years, Mohammed Jamaluddin tells the story of how he has made Coatesville his home away from home. He also shares the story of his good friend, the late Abdul Aleem (Christian name Alexander Medley) and how his dream to build a mosque in Coatesville was fulfilled while he battled kidney failure on his way to perform Umrah as a part of his last wish.

Podcast Episodes for Issue 2, January 2019:

Podcast Episode 6 – Watch Yourself, An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Farjana Khan

PhD, Psychologist, Author of 5 books, Life Coach, and Activist. Dr. Farjana Khan is the Founder/President of A.K.K.I Inc. a non-profit organization that helps domestic violence victims, victims of In-Law Abuse (emotional and physical), victims of sexual abuse by family members, and victims of family drug abuse. She has been a part of many TV/Radio talk show appearances, addressing everything from Islamophobia and Education, to Muslim Family Therapy and Life Coaching.

Tune in to our podcast to hear about her latest publication “Watch Yourself” and to learn about her work as a psychologist.

Podcast Episode 7 – Go Live and LaunchGood!

Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt is a passionate Muslim American entrepreneur committed to building up the global Muslim community to reach its full potential. Chris was born in Malaysia, raised in the United States, became Muslim at 16, studied engineering & educational leadership at the University of Michigan, and has worked as an Intel engineer, an award-winning film producer, founder of Patronicity.com, and winner of the Magic Johnson Social Entrepreneur prize. He lives in Dearborn, Michigan with his wife and 2 kids.

Click on the link above to listen to our interview with Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt and learn more about LaunchGood (the WORLDS largest faith based crowdfunding project), his experience as a Muslim revert, and the story of a teenager’s campaign that led to the creation of the Elephant Clock! 

Podcast Episode 8 – Southpaw Michigan, an Exclusive Interview with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed

Abdul El-Sayed has worked tirelessly to ensure government accountability and transparency, promote health, and reduce cross-generational poverty across Detroit. Abdul takes a strong stance on public service and works to protect and defend the vulnerable in our communities. In his campaign to become Governor of Michigan he inspired many young Muslims Americans across the nation to step up to civic engagement and to take a stand for their rights and for representation. He continues to do so through his advocacy work with SouthPaw MI. Abdul lives in Detroit with his wife, Sarah. He loves water sports, working out, good biographies, coffee, and Michigan sports.

Southpaw Michigan supports candidates and causes that move us toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable Michigan. They believe that people – not money – win elections, and support candidates through grassroots organizing and fundraising support.

To learn more about Abdul El-Sayed, the lessons he gathered from his campaign for governor of Michigan, his take on his arrest during the protest on Woodward (“The Fight for the $15”) and his ongoing work with Southpaw Michigan, listen to our exclusive interview!

Podcast Episode 9 – An Introduction to Islamic Papercutting, The Life and Work of Tusif Ahmad

“The art of papercutting involves the artist cutting a whole painting from a single piece of paper resulting in a painstakingly intricate and fragile piece of art.”
Tusif Ahmad’s interest in art began in his teenage years when he started creating pieces of art doing pen and ink work. He was mostly interested in creating landscapes and capturing and preserving the beauty of our world in his work at the time. Throughout his journey around the world, he has used his work to share the beauty of Islam and the stories of the Quran.
Tusif Ahmads Story: I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and began my visual art learning from Rawalpindi Arts Council. I came to Australia in late 2006. Being a self-taught artist, I have been working on papercutting since 2008. Throughout the year I have been exhibiting my work in many well-known galleries around the world. I have received awards and recognitions throughout the years.
To rejuvenate the ancient tradition of paper cutting, I add elements from Islamic traditions to my own style. My style of papercutting is very unique and different from the traditional cuttings. One must see my original artwork, in order to understand what I create. I am a full time artist and works from my own studio in Kwinana, WA.

Podcast Episode 10 – Muslim American Journalist, Malak Silmi

Malak Silmi is a journalist at Wayne State University currently working as a community relations intern at the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office and contributing to her campus newspaper, The South End. In the past, she contributed to The Mirror News, the Detroit Metro Times, and has freelanced for the Detroit Free Press. She is an active member of the Muslim Youth of the Islamic Center of Detroit (MY-ICD) and is a significant change agent in her community. She has helped to coordinate the MY-ICD youth events and the Muslim Revival Conference at the Edward Hotel in Dearborn, MI. In addition to her work in journalism she has assisted as a marketing intern for helping hand USA.

To learn more about her work in journalism, her tips on networking, and her opinion on how being a Muslim shapes her take on journalism, check out our interview with Malak Silmi!

Podcast Episode 11 – The Islamic Communication Network and Sojourner TV

Brother Waliyyuddin Abdullah is the head of the Islamic Communication Network in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is producing a cable television network that will highlight the African American experience and the experiences of other minorities in America, captured in a TV series called Sojourner TV. This series gives a voice to  many that have gone unheard for generations and this is one way that Brother Abdullah takes a stand against injustice.

In our interview, the Islamic Communication Network’s founder, Waliyyuddin Abdullah tells us more about the Islamic communication network. He also shares a story that highlights the oral tradition of memorizing the Quran,  how Islam and the African American community are intertwined, how he came to be a Muslim, and how his understanding of Islam has changed over the course of his life (sharing how his experience with the Muslim Brotherhood shaped him and how his trip to Hajj continues to bless his life on a day to day basis).

Podcast Episode 12 – Muslims in Fresno Taking a Stand Against Injustice and Oppression

Listen to our podcast interview with Reza Nekumanesh to learn about the successes and struggles of the Muslim American community in Fresno, his views on the Muslim obligation to stand against the oppression of the innocent, and his reflection on a visit to an ICE detainment facility.

About Our Guest (Reza Nekumanesh)
Reza Nekumanesh has a M.A. Islamic Leadership for the Bayan College of Claremont-Lincoln University), a B.A. Philosophy & Religious Studies from California State University, and he is currently working on completing a Certificate in Public Theology and Social Justice at the American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union. His major areas of research are Shi’a Law and Jurisprudence, Theology, Islamic History, the teachings and evolving ideologies of Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), the American-Muslim identity and experience, environmental ethics, religious violence, non-profit management and inter and intra-faith cooperation. Reza has been serving the Muslim community in Fresno for the past 20 years.  He is a strong advocate for social, racial, economic and environmental justice and interfaith understanding and cooperation. As a part of the community he serves on many boards including an organization called Faith in the Valley.

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