Author: Wisconsin Muslim Journal

Milwaukee Streetcar opens new transportation option for Muslims working downtown

Milwaukee’s new $124 million streetcar started passenger service on November 3, and immediately began connecting people and neighborhoods on its opening weekend by adding another mode of public transit for the Muslim population who work downtown. The Hop is a new, modern fixed-transit network that further enhances Milwaukee’s aspirations as a world-class city with cultural attractions, educational institutions, and historic architecture. The M-Line’s 2.5-mile network of 18 stations loops from Upper Downtown at Burns Commons to the Historic Third Ward at the Intermodal Station. One of the popular stops along the route is the Milwaukee Public Market, with its...

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First two Muslim women in Congress, a Somali refugee and a Palestinian immigrant

Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee and Rashida Tlaib, a social worker born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, will increase the total number of Muslims in the House to three. A onetime Somali refugee and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants shared the historic distinction Tuesday of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress. Both women – Ilhan Omar, 37, and Rashida Tlaib, 42 – are Democrats from the Midwest and outspoken advocates of minority communities that have found themselves in the sights of US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. Omar won a House seat in...

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Naureen Akhter: An accidental career in politics

Naureen Akhter didn’t prepare for a career in politics. And then, the 2016 elections happened. Following the election of President Donald Trump, Akhter started a group to cater for Muslim Americans called Muslims For Progress, where they held voter registration drives, and created social media groups to discuss local issues and policies. Prior to that, she was a primary caregiver to her children and ran her food blog (which, if you’re clicking on this link, good luck). Then she heard Alexandria Ocasio Cortez speak at a rally in summer 2017. “I found her message super refreshing,” Akhter recalls. “The...

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#CallingAllMuslims effort makes local push to “Get Out the Vote” for midterm election

With the importance of the 2018 midterm elections as a referendum on the current state of politics and the direction of the country, the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition participated in the national phone banking effort on November 1 to remind voters about going to the polls and participating in the democratic process. The day was part of the larger #MyMuslimVote campaign, a national nonpartisan program to increase civic engagement in U.S. Muslim communities through voter registration and mobilization efforts. #MyMuslimVote was designed to ensure that Muslim voices would be heard through their vote. Most recently, the campaign launched a...

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What the “law of the land” means in a democracy for Muslim voters

Muslims must follow the law of the land wherever we live, regardless of whether it is ruled by Muslims or non-Muslims. Sharia scholars have told us this for centuries, because Muslims have lived as religious minorities since the beginning of Islam. Many scholars even said that if Muslims do anything hostile against a non-Muslim host country, they could be prosecuted for that in a Muslim-ruled land. But, there is something different about what “law of the land” means in a democracy. For American Muslims, the law isn’t imposed on us by a Christian king; it is created by a...

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Clothing company faces harsh backlash over racist message connecting niqab to lack of freedom

A brief advertisement entitled “freedom is basic,” starring influential Israeli model Bar Refaeli and released on October 29 by Hoodies, an Israeli apparel brand, is receiving resounding castigation for its racist, retrograde, and Islamophobic content. In the video, Refaeli is shown with most of her head and hair covered by a black niqab, a garment traditionally worn by some Muslim women in the interest of modesty. Across Refaeli’s face is splashed the question “Is it Iran here?” in Hebrew. Refaeli rips off the garment and tosses her blonde hair, revealing a red, white and blue sweatshirt and jeans, while...

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