Monthly Archives: September 2018

Halal in the Family: Muslim Comedy Made by Muslims

My 19 year old daughter and I had a fun chat driving home today. We batted around a number of current issues, including immigration and kneeling NFL players. We pulled into the driveway before we got to 2nd amendment rights! She tends to be more conservative on these issues than I am, while I tend to be, hmmm, balanced, I think you call it!

We both agree that it’s good, but challenging, to hear the ideas and opinions of people who are different from you, who think differently from you. Since it’s human nature to find comfort in having our thoughts and perceptions reinforced, rather than challenged, humor can sometimes serve as a good container for alternative perspectives.

With that in mind, I want to cautiously invite you to check out a very short, made-for-the-web TV series called Halal in the Family. Its four episodes of campy parody aim, “to combat bias and challenge misconceptions about Muslims and communities associated with Muslims.” (Tweet this.)

Halal in the Family sheds light on issues of, “surveillance and spying in Muslim communities; online bullying and hate networks; media bias; and the use of anti-Muslim prejudice for political gain.”

You might find the shows funny, but also a little painful. It hurts that people must deal with suspicion, misrepresentation and abuse. Honestly, it’s a little hurtful to find those things in my own heart.

There is some course language in the out takes that follow the show’s credits and a slight bit of off-color humor. That said, I think Halal in the Family merits watching. It’s good for us to see things about Muslims by Muslims.

Before I go showing these at church or something, I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the comments, please tell us what you think and where you might show Halal in the Family.

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Where Can You Find a Muslim Friend? Here’s an Idea.

My Post (42)I haven’t said this in too long: I really appreciate you reading Muslim Connect. Now, if you’ve been reading it for awhile and occasionally say, “Quit telling me to meet Muslims! I live in the middle of a 50 mile wide Muslim-free zone! There’s no one to meet,” I don’t blame you! My neighborhood here in Southern Colorado doesn’t exactly remind you much of Karachi, Mecca or Dearborn.

So, what can we do? There’s always the fallback, prayer. (You’re right: God does not see it that way!!) It’s possible that the very contribution God has designed you for is prayer. You can also wisely and winsomely advocate for better ways to think and talk about Muslims. You can help fund people involved in strategic ministry.

But if you actually want to have a Muslim friend, here’s an idea: International Students. There are over 100,000 students currently in the US from Muslim majority countries. (Tweet this.)

That means there are likely some at the school nearest me, which Google maps says is a cool 38 minutes away. I suspect there are some at the closest university to your home.

It’s still going to take some effort. . . and gas. And there are probably a dozen good things that will need to get deferred, but I think we could find Muslim friends among international students. I know from experience, although quite limited, that lasting relationships can be formed. I’m still in touch with a Saudi friend I met in Indiana somewhere around 2007!

If God’s nudging you, let’s do this. I’m personally feeling some leading in this direction. Check out this article, just published yesterday, for practical tips and pitfalls in initially connect with international students. May God give us some friendships that are wonderful blessings all around.

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“Come with Me and Ask Forgiveness. . .”

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In her wonderful new book, Across the Street and Around the World, my friend Jeannie Marie tells an amazing story:

“I had never met a Muslim before this moment. I’d left the suburbs and driven into the city on a personal quest: to practice global compassion in my local context. I swallowed hard and dragged myself into the modest refugee resettlement office.” 

After brief introductions, the administrator, Ayisha, asked Jeanne why she was there.

“Someone told me that Iraqi refugees were coming to Phoenix. So I looked it up online and found your name. It sounded Muslim. I thought it would be good for me to actually meet a Muslim. You also said on the phone that you’re helping refugees, so I thought, well, maybe I could help somehow.” 

“Yes,” Ayisha said. “You can help.” 

Jeannie imagined collecting food or clothing, distributing it into the grateful hands of refugees. Everyone would smile at each other. . .and then they’d all go home.

“Instead, Ayisha said, ‘I just met a young widow with three small children, who arrived last month from Iraq as a refugee. If all that you are saying is true, then I would like you to come with me to her apartment tomorrow.’ She paused before continuing. ‘American soldiers accidentally killed her husband. I would like you to come with me and ask forgiveness for the American people.’”

Serious stuff, eh? Can you put yourself in Jeannie’s shoes? What would you think about this request? How would you answer Ayisha? What would you do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you’d like to know what Jeannie Marie did, pre-order her book here. If you do so now, you’ll get the first three chapters of the book in PDF format, 20% of the audio book, a phone lock-screen set and an exclusive bonus chapter. I’d love for you to get this important new book. Please check it out.

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