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Many federal courts have issued orders against President Trump’s targeted travel ban impacting seven Muslim-majority countries. Those cases will take a long time to resolve. Meanwhile, many of us wonder where to focus our attention ‘next’. Each day brings a new political tremor, a petition to sign, march to join, or meme to post.
Yet, while we know it is important to be vigilant, informed, and to show up, how can we do so most authentically? Moral outrage on behalf of someone else is not always the most helpful response. Our aware and peaceful presence, openness, and willingness to lend a hand may be. We decided to devote this edition to Muslim voices and concerns, because stopping and listening feels so important right now.
This is also the time of year Kosmos calls for essays from our Readers. The theme is this: ‘In what ways can we work to transform our activism in the new climate?’ Is ‘activism’ and its concomitant warlike terminology – strategy, tactics, opposition – the way to justice? Or is conscious engagement a process that measures the choices we make every day? More details below.
Also, the Kosmos Seed Grant deadline is less than two weeks away and invites projects that advance direct inclusive action. The Call for Essays and our $2500 Seed Grants are special opportunities we extend to Kosmos Community Members. Membership is $12/year. Our community-supported model enables Kosmos to continue. We don’t want that to be a barrier though, so if your circumstances make it impossible to become a Member, let us know and we will work with you.
Ayah Chehade, in her ‘Letter to Our New President’, expresses what many of us feel. The current political climate has propelled us into action and helped clarify what is most important. We want to stand on the side of Life, in Ms. Chehade’s words to ‘protect and cultivate’ our Earth and all beings. May we stand strong.
In loving cooperation,
The Kosmos Team
Please direct all inquiries and comments to email@example.com.
Twice a year Kosmos invites our community members to submit an essay up to 830 words. We choose two or three essays to publish in our print edition of Kosmos Journal and several others in Kosmos Online and on our website. We are preparing the next issue of Kosmos Journal right now, and hope you will participate. Our theme this Spring is ‘Activism in the New Climate’.
By Zehra Naqvi, via The Huffington Post
“I arrived as an immigrant and achieved much more of the American Dream than I had imagined I would be able to. Being Muslim in America is being made to feel like I somehow snuck under the radar to pull it off — that the Dream wasn’t meant for people like me.”
By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, adapted from a new preface to ‘The Return of the Feminine and World Soul’
“Like many of my generation I grew up in a soulless, materialistic world. But when the bleak post-war years of the fifties turned into the sixties a new color entered the spectrum of consciousness, as spiritual traditions came from the East. With these traditions arrived different spiritual practices: meditation, chanting, hatha yoga and Sufi whirling. These practices and their teachings have an inward, soul-oriented dimension, and are often accompanied by feminine qualities and a holistic consciousness very different to the reductive consciousness of the prevalent masculine mindset. They often cultivate a way of “being” that give us access to a different way of living more in harmony with our soul or inner self. “
By Ayah Chehade, via Muslim American Society
Thank you. And I mean this sincerely. Here’s why:
For a while now, I’ve been praying for clarity – for God to clear the path for me and show me exactly what it is that I should pursue – what is important to me and what, in the end, would be good for both my livelihood and the state of my soul. You being elected president was part of God’s plan to answer that prayer.
By Lara Witt, via NewsWorks.org
The word “ally” has been tossed around a lot and diluted somewhat because not enough people are giving enough thought to what it means to actually be an ally. So here are some guidelines for how to be an ally to those of us who are working against multiple oppressions:
By Kosmos Reader, Monica Islam
“Is our college becoming anti-Islam?” asked a classmate with regards to an exhibition on the Holocaust organized by a youth club in the college. Being a Muslim in Muslim-majority Bangladesh with minimal exposure to Israel and anything even minutely Jewish, I found the exhibition refreshing. I was educated about a dark chapter in history; one that related tales of religious persecution.
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