Monday Thought

On Muslim YA Novels

I was a bookworm growing up, and so it was easy for me to get lost in the stories I was reading. For a very long time, I was particularly attracted to the ease with which Young Adult literature pulled me in.  As much as I would want to be absorbed into these stories and […]

دماوندی, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Scholarship In Islam Is Challenging Patriarchal Leadership

For so long, I had grown up believing that social justice discourse, particularly through a gendered lens, was a completely separate sphere from Islamic discussions.. This post, for example, is not something that I am used to seeing. I mean:  a religious scholar calling out the systemic abuse and silencing of women in religious circles, […]

On Initiation Rites and Child Marriage

There are 18.6 million people in Malawi. Many of them are subject to some sort of initiation ceremony. These ceremonies are religiously followed and form the basis of a version of  cultural survival. Still, there is the troubling fact that a number of children drop out of school after going through such initiations.  This may […]

Artist unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Naked and Not Ashamed

As a child, I watched and sang along to the iconic soundtracks of The Prince of Egypt and Joseph: King of Dreams DVDs until the CDs were scratched beyond recognition and would not play anymore. Like Joseph, I was a young dreamer. I had dreams of heaven and otherworldly places. My mum would encourage me […]

The Role of Sex Workers in Religion

Present day sex workers are devalued, abused and oppressed. But prostitution is one of the oldest professions, even featured in The New Testament as Jesus is condemned for mixing with female ‘sinners’. ‘Sacred Prostitution’ has been happening for centuries and in a variety of cultural practices including in India, Ancient Greece and even Japan.  Sex […]

Photo of the author at the Trinity River, courtesy Eleanor Forfang-Brockman

The Mystery of the Trinity (River)

Sit a while here on the banks of the West Fork of the Trinity River and watch the water flow by on this late October morning. See how the slanting sunlight plays across the ripples in the reflection of the cottonwoods and hackberries and grapevines and elms that cluster along the banks. Feel the cool […]

I, Acarpentier, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A Welcome Back Yak

From: Kanin To: Sunny Hi there Sunny! Welp, we kind of took an inadvertent (?) Preachy break there, huh? I dunno about you — except I kinda do cause we just had a chat about it — but I think I kinda needed it. Like…stuff got busy! My kid turned one! There was a whole […]

Kublanov, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Beer and Home

Yuengling is an objectively terrible beverage. Even a quick pull from a longneck that originated at the longest-running brewery in the United States leaves you wondering just what the fuck you’re  doing trying to put a thing that actually tastes like spoiled grain (yes, I know) into your  body. And that’s to say nothing of […]

Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

How People Grieve Through Religion

My friend recently lost his baby. The baby had emerged from her mother crying and kicking that day, like all newborns. But a few hours later, she was dead. They suspect an undetected complication.  For a while after I heard the news, I could not decide on what to say if I reached out to […]