Author: Wisconsin Muslim Journal

David Najib Kasir: Painting a Syrian identity with art to build cultural understanding

David Najib Kasir, a Syrian-American artist based in Milwaukee is best known for his contemporary oil paintings. Featuring common themes of family, love, life, and loss, he offers a look into his own life through his artwork. Kasir sat with the Wisconsin Muslim Journal to discuss his inspirations, cultural identity, and how the two merge on the canvas through a unique and colorful geometric design style. Originally from the Chicagoland area, Kasir came to Milwaukee as a student pursuing an art education at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). However, both Milwaukee and Chicago are a striking...

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IRC Book Review: The Politics of the Veil

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 Politics of the Veil: Understanding France’s Headscarf Debates by Joan Wallach Scott, © 2010 – ISBN: 9780691125435 When it comes to religious symbols such as the Islamic veil, misconceptions abound causing much in the way of racism, identity, and secularism, to name but a few. All over Europe veiling, from the fairly moderate hijab to the more extreme coverings of niqab or burqa, is...

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Program teaches McFarland students the skills for making positive social change

What started as an effort to bring in a guest author to look at diversity, empathy and marginalization evolved into something bigger that will continue throughout the year at McFarland High School. The Spartan Peace Project kicked off last Thursday with a morning-long event filled with speakers and a hip hop performance to jump-start the formation of a new club, Hip-Hop 4 Peace, at the school. Two of the speakers were Arno Michaelis, a founding member of a major skinhead organization, and Pardeep Singh Kaleka, who is the oldest son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh...

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Hanadi Bu-Ali: Surgery as a form of art employed to help cure people

Growing up as a sickly child in Bahrain, Hanadi Bu-Ali M.D. made it her mission to become a doctor and try to cure all the sick children she knew. That life journey led to Milwaukee becoming her home, and specializing in Oncoplastic surgery for breast cancer. Dr. Bu-Ali’s creative passion and sensitivity has directed her attention to not only care about the well-being of people, but also those connected individuals and relationships impacted by illness. | Q&A with Hanadi Bu-Ali Wisconsin Muslim Journal: What is your fondest memory of Bahrain, and is there anything about the country that you...

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“Presenting Islam” workshop helps students articulate their faith

Referencing Muslim wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov’s performance in an Ultimate Fighting Championship match on October 6, Dawud Walid asked Sakinah Rahman, a Muslim college student wearing a long, loose black dress paired with a colorful headscarf, why she dressed so conservatively in comparison. Walid’s question had no malicious intent. In fact, Walid is the executive director of Michigan’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group. “That Khabib guy, he was out there last night wearing those short-shorts. Why do you look all oppressed, covered up and all?” The question was part of an exercise...

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Khallid Shabazz: On becoming the highest ranking Muslim chaplain in the U.S. military

Shortly after converting to Islam, then-Sgt. Khallid Shabazz struggled to find his way while his devout Lutheran family and fellow Soldiers questioned his move. And with a few Article 15s for insubordination on his record, Shabazz, a field artilleryman at the time, wanted out of the military. Then, one day while training out in the field, an Army chaplain approached him and struck up a conversation. “Honestly, it was like a revelation from God,” Shabazz said. “When it hit my ears, I knew that was what I was going to do in life. It was incredible.” The Christian chaplain...

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