Author: Wisconsin Muslim Journal

2019 Inaugural Committee Interfaith Service “Our Wisconsin, Our Values”

Faith leaders from across southeastern Wisconsin gathered on Saturday, January 5th at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee for an Interfaith Service with Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor-elect Mandela Barnes. The audience of more than 200 included many elected officials including Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, as well as many newly elected leaders such as Attorney General Josh Kaul and Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. Lieutenant Governor-elect Mandela Barnes called Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church as his church for many years, and Senior Pastor Reverend Louis Sibley III, was his pastor and mentor....

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IRC Book Review: The Sky of Afghanistan

Elise Bellin, MLIS is the IRC Librarian and this book review is part of an ongoing series that focuses on a range of books within the IRC collection as a service to the community. The Sky of Afghanistan by Ana A de Eulate and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer, © 2012 – ISBN: 9788415503040 In a country that has seen more than its share of conflict, one Afghan girl has the courage to never give up, to dream of better tomorrows with the “bright kite of peace” flying overhead and eventually morphing into a map of Afghanistan. Letting her imagination...

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A black Muslim hero: Othello adaptation explores religious roots of Shakespeare’s tragic Moor

An adaptation of Othello subtly reinterprets the tragic hero’s religious identity, presenting to audiences the possibility that the Moor of Venice was a closeted, practicing Muslim. Produced by the English Touring Theatre, there is an Arabic recitation in the opening scene and an image of Othello with his hands cupped in what is unmistakably a Muslim prayer. “I was very aware of the racism Othello suffers because of his skin color, but there was a much more insidious and layered thing that was happening to him as an outsider,” said director Richard Twyman. “The biggest thing is within the...

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Wisconsin Women join #TweetYourThobe in support of Rashida Tlaib

Women in Wisconsin and across the country used social media on January 3 to share photos of their traditional Palestinian gowns. It was a celebration of the day that Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) was sworn into the 116th Congress. Along with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Representative Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim women to join Congress. She announced last month that she would wear a Palestinian thobe when she was sworn into Congress. The hand-embroidered gowns are considered one way Palestinian women can show pride for their heritage. The gowns typically represent the city the person wearing...

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Thomas Jefferson’s Quran: A Founding Father’s vision of American Islam still matters today

The new Congress includes its first two Muslim women members. One of them, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, considered getting sworn in privately using a copy of the Qur’an from the library of one of America’s Founding Fathers. “Islam has been part of American history for a long time.” I explored this little-known history in my book “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders,” said Tlaib. Islam, an American religion Muslims arrived in North America as early as the 17th century, eventually composing 15 to 30 percent of the enslaved West African population of British America. (Muslims from the Middle...

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Milwaukee’s Rohingya refugee community is one of the largest in America

Many people still have not heard about one of the world’s fastest-growing refugee crises: the Rohingya exodus out of Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country also known as Burma. After long waits in countries like Malaysia or Bangladesh, a tiny percentage of the world’s Burmese refugees end up right here in Milwaukee. In fact, they are the top arriving refugee group to Wisconsin. Carolyn McCarthy noticed. McCarthy is a nurse practitioner at the Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic in Milwaukee. She said over the past three years, she has noticed many of her newly-arrived refugee patients are Rohingya. That made...

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