I wonder as I remember.

Today people unloaded a lot of stress on me. Maybe it’s because I’m friendly, have an open nature or am just that person strangers like to confide in – but I heard a lot of post-memorial stories today.

From a previous resident of New York City unable to grieve until yesterday, I heard how he religiously avoided previous 9/11 coverage – only to break down completely at the first media clip of the memorial falls. From others I heard questions about why no one mentioned the number of people who have died in the War on Terror, or how the global media was decidedly silent about the Horn of Africa crisis for this one 24-hour period. A colleague told me how shocked they were after recognising some names among the victim’s solemn roll-call and felt raw wounds opening again. And even while believing this tenth memorial should bring closure, a close friend said that she still may not visit the site. She’s not sure she has the strength to face it.

The day after the 9/11 terror attacks I became an expert. 10 years ago I was a young convert to Islam. Only one and a half years old. A toddler.

I was an even younger muhajabah, having decided to put on the hijab only a few months prior to the attacks. I had barely even won the support of my parents and friends and was still trying to justify not shaking hands with men or explaining why I averted my eyes to everyone, including myself. I was fresh with enthusiastic Islamic ideals.


The Muslim roundup has moved back to Friday! This is a very special anti-witch-hunt edition, with two cups of radicalization, a tablespoon of terrorism, one egg-cup of shariah law, a pinch of hip hop, and hundreds of really awesome people. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes and say goodbye to mass hyseteria. And zombies.


1) If you’ve been out of commission with the flu, like myself, you may not be aware of the congressional hearings probing the “radicalization of American Muslims.” Headed by the new chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Republican Peter King, says the hearings aim “to establish and show the American people that there is a real threat of al-Qaida recruiting and of homegrown terrorists being self-radicalized within the Muslim community.”

Translation: there are radical, conservative factions operating in 80% of the mosques in the United States. They’re corrupting Muslim youth and gathering converts who then turn against America. They can do this so easily because Islam lends itself better than any other religion to violent extremism, it’s leaders hide behind apologia and the mainstream is doing nothing to keep the radical elements in check.

I give you, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat:

This hearing has already been tainted. There are no loud signs of reasoning coming through this hearing. The reason is because it has alrady been classified as an effort to deamonize and castigate a whole broad base of human beings. I cannot stand for that…

This hearing today is playing into al-Qaeda. Right now, around the world. It is deminishing soldiers who are on the front line who are Muslim, those who lost their lives.

2) So, are Muslims terrorists? Um… no.

3) But what about sharia law?

Yeah, about that. Check out this interview, Setting the Record Straight on Sharia with the brilliantly intelligent Intisar Rabb, a member of the law faculty at Boston College Law School where she teaches advanced constitutional law, criminal law, and comparative and Islamic law. By day. By night she’s a research affiliate at the Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program and a 2010 Carnegie Scholar.

On weekends I’m pretty sure she saves kittens from trees, attacks bad guys by shooting hijabs from her hands, and does other really awesome superhero things.

4) Finally, please check out this PSA by the My Faith, My Voice grassroots campaign, which asks Muslims from all over America to submit video of themselves talking about what Islam and America means to them. For the adorable baby Idrees, peace in Islam means taking long naps. Native Deen made a music video. What are you going to do?

The truly amazing, Amma Bonsu, host of the online talkshow Ammazing Series, recently invited me to be a part of a panel discussion on Islam.

Myself, along with the esteemed scholar, Dr. Timothy Gianotti and a lovely and opinionated med student answered questions pertaining to terrorism, hijab, equality, 72 virgins, and culture in Islam.

You can watch it here.

‘Miss Fran’ from the children show the Romper Room has converted to Islam.

“I discovered a God who, the Qur’an tells me, is closer to me than my jugular vein, who runs to me when I walk toward Him, and who profoundly cares about my existence and my soul,’’ she said.

Pappert-Shannon said her family has been accepting of her decision, including her 80-year-old mother, a devout Roman Catholic.

But not all understand her decision. Pappert-Shannon said she’s saddened by the response of some non-Muslims who are distrustful of Islam and have made mention of terrorism to her.

Like the majority of Muslims, Pappert-Shannon said she rejects any Muslim person or group that commits terrorism and “commits such horrific and un-Islamic acts.”

“Islam is a religion that extols peace, justice, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. There is zero tolerance for terrorism and honour killings in Islam,’’ she said.

When I shared this news on Facebook, my brilliantly astute, beautiful and earthy aunt posed this question to me via e-mail:

K, when I try to tell my friends or aquaintances that “Islam is a religion that extols peace, justice, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. There is zero tolerance for terrorism and honour killings in Islam,’’ as the Romper Room lady said, they invariably refer to the acts of terrorism by Muslims. All I can ever come up with is “well, you know extremists in every walk of life” or words to that effect.
How can I explain both sides of the tablet? Is it the use of the word ‘muslim’? as a people/religion? Is Islam only muslim and are all muslims believers in Islam?

Here is my response:


This man is an alleged terrorist:

Khurram Syed Sher of London, Ontario has been arrested and charged with being part of a domestic terrorist conspiracy. One group member allegedly possessed explosive devices, was in contact with a terrorist group linked to the Afghanistan conflict, had terrorist literature and 50 electronic circuit boards, for possible use as remote-control triggers for bombs, and one of the men was trained overseas to make explosive booby traps.

The operation was called Project Samosa.  Khurram is a former Canadian Idol candidate and is seen in the above video wearing traditional Afghani clothes, speaking in a fob Pakistani accent, dancing the Robot and Moonwalk and singing to Avril Lavigne’s Complicated.

Is this for real? Project Samosa? Canadian Idol?