Famous Muslim Photographer Peter Sanders

Peter Sanders speaks to CNN about his faith and photography.

CNN: What made you decide to start taking pictures of Muslims instead of rock stars?

Peter Sanders: I didn’t just become a completely different person. I’m still that same person that did all that stuff in the ’60s, it’s just that my point of reference slightly changed.

I still listen to Dylan and he’s still an inspiration to me, I just found that photographing Muslims was slightly more interesting because they came from a world that I could only aspire too — people who spend their lives in prayer, study and worship.

“Fordson” Movie

“Fordson” is a feature length documentary film that follows four talented high school football players from Dearborn Michigan as they gear up for their big senior year rivalry game during the last ten days of Ramadan, a month when Muslims traditionally fast every day from sunrise to sundown.

The story is set against the backdrop of the stunningly beautiful Fordson High School, a public high school built by Henry Ford in 1922, which was once all white, but now boasts a 98% Arab population. As our team readies itself to play its affluent, cross town rival, we unearth the adversity faced by a community that is desperately holding onto its Islamic faith and trying to gain acceptance from their fellow U.S. citizens in post 9-11 America.

Through the eyes of the team, their coaches, and their fans, we get an unprecedented glimpse inside the lives of a community that is home to the largest concentration of Arabs in any city outside of the Middle East, and their determination to hold on to the American Dream.

You can contact the producers at fordsonthemovie@gmail.com

Happy Ramadan

Happy Ramadan.

There’s a  new site called Ramadaning.

A blurb from their website:

Ram·a·dan·ing [ruhm-uh-dahn-ing]

-verb

Definition:

1. To Ramadan

2. To find oneself in awkward situations involving food, drink, and worldliness while observing Ramadan.

Ramadan is a blessed month that is observed by approximately 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide.  This spiritual month centers around increased worship and abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual activity from dawn to sunset.   To learn more about Ramadan, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan.

Along with being a joyous and extremely spiritual period, Ramadan is also a time of humor and sometimes, just plain awkward and strange situations. Our job is to chronicle and share those awkward moments.  We have had them.  You have had them.  Why not share?   So . . . send us your stories/pictures/videos via thislink!  And check back often for updates!

Wishing you a wonderful, inspiring, and redeeming Ramadan.

Much love,

Hasan & Shahzad

It’s a cute website, quirky. It’s worth a look, but I would suggest during non fasting hours due to the pictures of delicious food.

Muslim Stars of the World Cup

Elan, a great Muslim magazine came out with a timely article, while not nearly as comprehensive or complete– it’s a stab at an interesting subject:

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is now underway, and while there are a number of majority-Muslim countries in this year’s tournament, many of the best Muslim players don’t in fact play for these countries. Here’s a break down of some key players who are openly Muslim:

Nicolas Anelka: One player is Nicolas Anelka, a starter for the French national team.  Anelka, who plays for one of the top British teams in Club play, Chelsea, would be considered by some as the top Muslim player in the world. He converted in 2004, while he was playing for one of Britain’s other top Club teams, Manchester. Anelka told The Independent: “My religion offers stability and keeps my feet on the ground. It helps me to know who and where I am.”

You can read more here.

The Death of Riad Hamad

WTF. I am supremely disgusted:

Riad Hamad

According to Austin Police Department Sgt. Joe Chacon, the death of Austin schoolteacher and peace activist Riad Hamad remains under investigation. Chacon says homicide investigators are “open to all possibilities” but that the initial investigation reflects that Hamad appears to have committed suicide. Hamad had been reported missing by his family on Monday night, April 14, and (partly by means of a cell-phone GPS search authorized by his wife) his car was found Tuesday afternoon in a parking lot off South Lakeshore Boulevard, on the south side of Lady Bird Lake. A land and water search turned up nothing more, but a little after 2pm on Wednesday, passersby on the hike-and-bike trail on the opposite (north) side of the lake, just east of the I-35 bridge, spotted a body floating near the shore. Hamad’s eyes were covered in duct tape, his legs and his hands also bound – fueling Internet-amplified rumors that he had been murdered. According to a report that day by KXAN-TV news, “Park-goers who saw the body said the death did not look accidental. They said the man’s face was wrapped with duct tape, and his arms appeared to be tied in front of his body.”

On Thursday, April 17, APD released a statement saying, “The bindings of his hands and legs and placement of the tape were consistent with Hamad having done this to himself.” Chacon told the Chroniclethat additional evidence – including a security videotape of the parking area where Hamad’s car was found and statements from persons who knew him that “he had been experiencing suicidal thoughts” – also support a finding of suicide but that police are waiting for completion of the entire investigation, including the full autopsy and toxicology report, which will take several weeks. “For all intents and purposes, as far as we know right now,” Chacon said this week, “this was a suicide.”

An autopsy was performed by Travis County Chief Medical Examiner David Dolinak, generating yet another controversy over official autopsy procedures. On April 17, when Hamad’s body was transported by a funeral home from the medical examiner’s office to the Islamic Center of Greater Austin on Manor Road, said Imam Ibrahim Dremali, it was in a “barbaric” condition, one that he had never seen in 20 years of preparing bodies for burial. Dremali said the body was seeping blood from one incision and was inadequately sutured, and in spots the flesh was torn as though “an animal might have attacked him.” He said two experienced colleagues working with him “panicked” at the sight of the corpse and left the room, and he had to use towels and tape to clean Hamad’s body and to pad the brain cavity and the torso, in order to make it presentable for burial. Later, he demanded and received a meeting with Dolinak and APD Chief Art Ace vedo. Afterward, Dremali and Dolinak each told theChronicle that they believe the meeting was useful and should lead to better medical examiner practices, but Dremali said he “cannot accept” the apology offered by Dolinak for any misunderstanding or mistakes. “I believe they were sending us a message,” he said, “and that’s what I told the people here [at the mosque], that they believe they do not have to respect the bodies of Muslims.”

Asked about Dremali’s charges, Dolinak said that although there may have been some misunderstanding over his office’s expectation that the funeral home would be doing the final, cosmetic preparations of the body, he insisted, “We did absolutely nothing on our part to show any intentional disrespect.” He said they followed standard autopsy procedures and that he simply can’t say what Dremali may have experienced in similar situations before. “In most cases, all the final preparations [of the body] occur at a funeral home,” he said, “but as in any religion, there is a whole spectrum of practices, depending on the family’s wishes. We’ll certainly try to work with [local Muslim clerics] better on the next case.” Dolinak also could not confirm what Dremali described as apparent facial bruising on the body.

You can read more here.

Afro-Arab singer Malika Zarra & Takin’ It to the Streets event

Moroccan jazz artist Malika Zarra talks about the hardships faced by North Africans in Europe.

Source

She’ll be at the Takin’ It to the Streets event along with others like Mos Def.

InfoWhat: Takin’ It to the Streets: Urban International Festival
When: June 19th, 2010
Time: 9am-9pm
Location: 6734 S. Kedzie Ave. in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois Click here to see the map
Price: FREE*

*donations encouraged

20,000 people. 200 vendors.

100 artists. 4 stages.

1 day.

Takin’ It to the Streets is a Muslim-led festival where artistic expression, spirituality and urban creativity inspire social change.

Takin’ It to the Streets bridges today’s cultural divides by connecting diverse racial, ethnic, and religious communities through a dynamic festival. The festival will enrich cross-cultural community building not only in Chicago, but around the world.

Featured Artists:

  • Mos Def – Grammy Winner
  • Brother Ali – Minnesota, USA
  • Tinarwein – Mali
  • Chabab al Andalous – Morocco
  • And many more!

Four Stages:

  • Unity Stage: Reflects this unifying principle and showcases the diverse musical talents of contemporary artists
  • Hip Hop Pavilion: Bringing together the elements of MCing, DJing, Breakin’, and graff art, with skateboarding and workshops
  • World Music Stage: Blending global expression of traditional art forms through international artists
  • Streets Stage: The festival’s signature stage bringing together dynamic performers and inspiring speakers

Activities:

  • Faith & Justice: Speakers, panel discussion, and dialogue on a variety of issues relating to spirituality & social change
  • International Bazaar: Cultural artifacts, multi-ethnic cuisine, community organizations and more!
  • Health & Wellness Fair: Free health screenings, information on healthy living and refreshments 
  • Sports Arena: 3-on-3 Basketball tournament open to all
  • Family Zone: Rides, interactive games, children’s activities, and family-friendly performances
  • Prayer Center: A quite space open all day for meditation, reflection and prayer

Additional Streets 2010 Events

Since its inception in 1997 as a single-day event, Takin’ It to the Streets has steadily grown in attendance and impact, and in 2010 it is preceded by a full week of events that embrace a new Muslim cultural renaissance.

Salaam Film Festival June 13-15: University of Chicago

A three-day festival highlighting the power of film as a tool for peace and social change. The festival will also screen films from the One Chicago, One Nation online film contest. Click here for more info

Melodies from Morocco June 16: Old Town School of Folk Music

The festival continues with a performance by the renowned Orchestre Chabab Al Andalous from Morocco Click here for more info

Dandana: A Celebration of Muslim Voices June 17: Millennium Park

World Music artists Tinariwen, from Mali, and Omar Faruk Tekbilek, from Turkey, will perform at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Click here for more info

About the Producer

Takin’ it to the Streets is produced by the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a globally recognized leader that aims to change, serve and inspire by working on social justice issues, delivering a wide range of direct services, and cultivating the arts in urban communities.

The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Learn more about IMAN: www.imancentral.org

Side Image

http://streets2010.com/

New Campaign: Inspired by Muhammad

A fancy website and ads on the UK metro to boot has plastered polished ads detailing how people have been “Inspired by Muhammad.” Take a look at the website and you won’t be disappointed, it’s complete with colorful pictures and videos.