Sunday, June 12, 2016

The New Yorker

American Muslims in Mourning
By Robin Wright  June 12, 2016

Hena Khan, the author of best-selling children’s books, thought Muhammad Ali’s funeral on Friday was going to be a turning point for American Muslins. “Ali spent his life trying to show the real Islam—battling Islamophobia even as he battled Parkinson’s disease. That’s what was highlighted after he died,” she told me this weekend. “It was nice to feel proud—and to see people saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ interpreted in a positive way.”

On Saturday, Khan was herself honored for the publication of “It’s Ramadan, Curious George,” a groundbreaking new book that also tries to span the cultural chasm for a new generation. The Diyanet Center of America packed its auditorium with kids and their parents to hear Khan read from her book. In this latest spin-off, the mischievous simian learns from his friend Kareem about the sacred Muslim month of fasting, good deeds, contemplation, and evening feasts. 

At the end of Khan’s reading, a teen-ager dressed as Curious George raced down the aisles, onto the stage, and fist-bumped Khan. The kids went wild. “It was a weekend of hope and feeling inspired,” Khan told me. “It was a time of reaffirmation,” especially during the first week of Ramadan.

On Sunday, Khan woke up and, as is her habit, checked the news on her cell phone before waking her family. It was consumed with the killings at Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. “First it was twenty people, then fifty,” she told me. “I thought, Not another shooting! When is this going to stop? This is insanity.

“Then I saw the name,” Khan said, her voice choking back sobs. Read on...

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-orlando-shootings-and-american-muslims