This week Anwar Khan, a humanitarian leader runs Islamic Relief USA and is actively working to raise more during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He joins to talk about their work and mission. Then Dr. Tricia Bruce describes why most Americans fall into the messy and confused middle when it comes to abortion and how few spaces exist for people to sort and struggle with their feelings and beliefs. And a profile of American Muslim theologian Dr. Amina Wadud from reporter Hana Baba of the Spiritual Edge at KALW.
“People also have spiritual needs.”
Anwar Khan is the President of Islam Relief USA and is a board member of global and national humanitarian organizations working to alleviate hunger and human suffering. He describes their counterparts in Turkey and how the organization’s disaster response efforts are targeting the most vulnerable after the devastating earthquake on February 6th.
“There’s a massive silencing effect.”
Dr. Tricia Bruce is a sociologist from Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion in Society. Bruce along with colleagues recently published a paper studying discordant benevolence as it relates to attitudes about abortion in America. What happens when a request for help from friends or family members invokes conflicting values? Bruce found many are willing to help others who make decisions that they themselves might not. But most striking, she shares how the absence of public spaces and ways to gather and wrestle with beliefs has a silencing effect and is likely not to produce the dramatic shift in public opinion following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Dobbs case. Bruce shares insights after presenting at the 2023 Religion Newswriters Association conference in Bethesda, Maryland.
A feminist pioneer in Islamic theology
In 2005 Dr. Amina Wadud made waves when she led Muslim prayers in New York City. Wadud is an African-American activist and a professor emerita of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. A well-known scholar of Islam and is also the author of the book Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective. In this profile by reporter Hana Baba, listeners hear how Wadud seeks to reaffirm the role of women as spiritual leaders, a position that has been lost over the centuries.