Author: Wisconsin Muslim Journal

Local artists share feelings about their creative craft and Muslim identity

UW-Milwaukee held a panel discussion about artists and their Muslim identity on May 2, as part of its ongoing Muslim Milwaukee Project. The event, “Arts and Belonging among Muslims in Milwaukee,” generated an important discussion about the diversity of Muslim experiences and voices in the city. Panelists included Samir Ghani, Photographer and musician; Aya Mustafa, Artist; Liala Amin, Artist and designer; Ali Hamadeh, Poet; and Ali Lubbad, Musician. “I don’t have an identity as a person on the Internet. If you go to my website, my Facebook page, or my Instagram, there is no photo of me at all....

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Childhood experience in war-torn Iran shapes Shabnam Lotfi’s bid for State Assembly seat

Madison attorney Shabnam Lotfi recently announced that she is running for the Wisconsin State Assembly seat being vacated by retiring State Representative Terese Berceau in the Democratic primary set for August 14. The 77th District comprises the near west side of the City of Madison, including much of the University of Wisconsin campus, as well as parts of the City of Fitchburg, the Village of Shorewood Hills, and parts of the Towns of Blooming Grove and Madison. “The 77th Assembly District stretches from Observatory Drive to Allied Drive,” Lotfi said. “After listening to friends and neighbors, I’m convinced we...

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Politicians exploit extremist hate on Facebook to push anti-Muslim agenda

In early May, Facebook made a rather strange and disturbing set of announcements. In response to concerns raised by several civil rights organizations about hate groups using their platform to harass and at times, to threaten Black, Muslim, Arab, and other minority communities. Facebook executives announced that they were asking Laura Murphy, former Director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to conduct an “audit of [Facebook’s] impact on underrepresented communities and communities of color.” What was troubling was that Facebook coupled this action with the appointment of former Senator Jon Kyl to conduct a...

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Tippecanoe library branch hosts a celebration of Arabic culture

In celebration of El día de los niños, el día de los libros (Children’s Day, Book Day) and its focus on diversity, the Tippecanoe Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library hosted a free Arabic culture event for local residents. Librarians at the location had not been able to present much programing about Arabic culture, which was a population represented in the surrounding neighborhoods. They saw the children’s literature holiday as an opportunity to involve that community and engage cross-cultural learning. “It is a celebration for those who are already familiar with Arabic culture, and also as a way to...

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Authentic Syrian restaurant proposed for historic building on South side of Milwaukee

Mohammed Hani Sawah plans to renovate a 96 year old building located at 3060-62 S. 13th Street, and open a Middle Eastern deli. The new dinning spot would breath new life into the vacant building, which the City of Milwaukee has held since obtaining in 2016 through a tax foreclosure. The eatery will also bring traditional Syrian cuisine to an area already growing with a variety of food options from the Middle East. According to the city’s disposition of land report, Riham Silan will operate the restaurant, which will include a deli, coffees, and desserts. Per Muslim tradition, no...

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IRC Book Review: A Small Fortune

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. A Small Fortune by Rosie Dastgir, © 2012 – ISBN: 9781594488108 What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with some money? Would you give it to family? Which part of the family? Would you pay off your debts? One could go on for a long time questioning you on the idea of how money changes things, but let’s get right to the point...

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