Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leading philosopher explains what it means to be a Muslim in Europe today

Article in the Irish Times today:

"Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan tells RUADHÁN MAC CORMAIC integration is a concept of the past...

Asked whether it is possible to be fully Muslim and fully European, he points out that this has been shown to be happening for quite a long time, yet the “obsession” with new immigrants’ problems obscures that. “The great majority of Muslims [here] are Muslims by religion and European by culture . . . I would even go so far as to say that integration is a concept of the past, and that we need now a post-integration approach, saying that religious and cultural integration is done. You can be both, having your two identities.”  

He might point to Tariq Ramadan, a devout Muslim who was born to Egyptian parents in Geneva, wrote a PhD on Nietzsche, and whose children attend state schools in Britain. As for those who fear the growth of Europe’s Muslim population, he says Muslims must respect that fear and appreciate its roots. It is for Muslims to reassure, to explain themselves and, above all, to contribute to their society."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Clergy Outreach and Professional Engagement

An article on important research by Dr. Glen  Milstein, who I just took an amazing class with at the City College. Dr. Milstein also co-authored with Dr. Osman Ali and Dr. Peter Mazruk, a paper on "The Imam's Role in Meeting the Counseling Needs of Muslim Communities in the United States"

C.O.P.E. stands for Clergy Outreach and Professional Engagement

The key to the C.O.P.E. model is the recognition that mental illness is a chronic disease with which patients sometimes can function and other times can not, Professor Milstein explains. “Clinicians and clergy perform distinct, complementary functions in treating these syndromes. While clinicians provide professional treatment to relieve individuals of their pain and suffering and move them from dysfunction to their highest level of function, clergy and religious communities provide a sense of context, support and community before, during and after treatment.”

The program aims to improve care of individuals by facilitating reciprocal collaboration between clinicians and members of the clergy, regardless of either’s religious affiliations. It is based on two principal ideas: The first is that clergy and clinicians can better help a broader array of persons with emotional difficulties and disorders through professional collaboration than they can by working alone, and secondly, that the program’s success is predicated on collaboration easing the workload for both groups.

read the complete article here

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roadsinger lyrics

Roadsinger came to town 
Long cape and hat 
People stood and stared  
Then closed their doors 
As he passed  

He strolled the empty street 
Kids banged on tin cans 
Then the panting dogs began to bark 
As the roadsinger sang  

Where do you go, where do you go 
When hearts are closed,  
When a friend becomes a stranger 
Nobody wants to know  

Where do you go, where do you go 
When the world turns dark 
And the light of truth is blown out 
And the roads are blocked  

He stopped by a store 
Between the ? 
A child’s face peeked out and gave a smile 
then ran back  
Behind a misty glass 
On a window pane 
A little finger drew a perfect heart 
And her name  

Where do you go, where do you go 
In a world filled with fright 
Only a song to warm you 
Through the night  

Where do you go, where do you go 
After lies are told 
And the light of truth is blown out 
And the night is cold  

Roadsinger rode on 
To another land 
Though the people spoke a different tongue 
They’d understand  
They showed him how to share 
And took him by the hand 
Showed him the path to Heaven 
Through the desert sand  

Where do you go, where do you go 
To find happiness 
In a world filed with hatred 
And tears  

Where do you go, where do you go
If no one cares 
And everybody’s lost
Looking for their’s  

from Yusuf/Cat Steven's new album Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night)

Monday, May 11, 2009

the frontline by cornel west

a lot of brothers and sisters

have the wrong conception

of the frontline

they believe the front line is gang banging on the streets

stealing with the underground drug industry

but the real frontline is

on the home front

with sisters and brothers

but especially sisters of all colors

caring for the precious children

often putting up with our male myth

the real front line is

working people fighting against

unaccountable corporate power

with its obscene levels of wealth inequality

the real frontline

citizens of all colors fighting against arbitrary police power

the criminal justice system that

oversees black people being convicted

for seventy percent of the drug sentences

but commit only twelve percent of the drug crimes

the real frontline is not just here

but around the world

its struggle against AIDS in Africa

its in solidarity with Mexican workers

Colombian peasants, Iraqi babies

brothers and sisters in East Timur and Tibet

the real frontlines

are memories

of those who sacrificed themselves on the battlefields

first to die, last to be honored

on the frontline

we hold up the blood stained banner for justice and freedom

on the frontline

we challenge athletes, entertainers, professors

doctors, lawyers,


to be on the frontline

don’t sell your soul

for a mess of pottage

stay on

the frontline

[Track on the companion CD to Dr. West's most recent book Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom]