We were interviewed for “The Riz Khan Show” on Al Jazeera last week. We had a blast at the interview and visiting with Riz and his production team. The show is airing today and is already up on YouTube.
It was a lot of fun and a little intimidating being interviewed for such a huge show. Riz Khan is a star and Al Jazeera English is accessible in 120 million households worldwide from Africa to Europe to China. It’s unfortunately only on the internet in the US. Al Jazeera is available in China but not in the two largest democracies in the world, the US and India. Go figure.
Parts 1 and 2 are below.
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Tagged akba rahmed, aljazeera, American University, Craig Considine, frankie martin, haileywoldt, Islam, jonathan hayden, journey into american, Religion, riz khan
Archbishop Fiorenza of Houston, Texas is the son of Sicilian immigrants from Italy. He grew up in a neighborhood without many Catholics but with many Protestants and African-Americans. At a young age, he realized the value of diversity, compassion, but most importantly, the value of understanding all members of humanity. When he was a young man, he was aware of the inhumanity of segregation in the South, so he became active in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to insure that African-Americans were treated equally and on par legally with other Americans.
By Craig Considine – One usually doesn’t imagine dirt roads and mosques near each other. Much to our surprise though, this was reality when we visited the Bosnian Islamic Cultural Center in Snellville, Georgia during our stay in Atlanta. After being stuck in traffic for a good hour (and lost for a bit), Dr. Ahmed, Hailey, and our Bosnian friend Damar finally found the road we were looking for. In fact, it isn’t even a real road – it isn’t paved, but was filled with dust, dirt and rubble. The mosque rested a few hundred yards deep in the woods. A driver isn’t even able to see it while driving on the highway because it is hidden behind a thick forest of trees.
By Craig Considine – We stopped in Huntsville, Alabama (Jonathan’s hometown) after staying in Atlanta for four very busy days. About 45 minutes south of Huntsville is a town called Arab. We had to be in Nashville, Tennessee by Sunday night, but we figured we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit, considering we are studying Islam in America. We ended up driving one hour in the opposite direction from Nashville just to visit this town. Watch the video and you can see why it was well worth it.
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Tagged Akbar Ahmed, alabama, Arab, arab clothing, Christianity, Craig Considine, huntsville, Islam, Journey into America, Muslim, Religion
By Craig Considine – The American identity is a complex concept to comprehend partially because of the Northern and Southern cultures that differ significantly from one another. The North, where I’m from, is associated with great univierisites and Wall street. The South, where I’m about to visit for the first time, is apparently very different. I have seen Gone With the Wind, I love college football, and I love hearty food, so it will interesting to see how my experience in the South alters (or doesn’t alter) my notion of the American identity.
Before you view this video, you must understand this: these are NOT our personal beliefs. They are simply the most general stereotypes that are expressed in American culture today. This conversation took place at Reagan National Airport before we boarded our flight to Sanibel Island, Florida to kick off our fourth leg of the journey. Stereotypes are important to this study because we are examining the American social fabric and the attitudes and perceptions that Americans have of one another. Enjoy the video. Be sure to follow us through the next week as we journey through Florida, then the rest of the south.
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Tagged Akbar Ahmed, civil war, Craig Considine, Islam, Journey into America, north, redneck, Religion, south, stereotype, yankee
By Craig Considine – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Muslim Americans we visited on a Friday afternoon at the Al-Rahman masjid in California were charismatic, outgoing and lively. After all, we were in the land of ‘stars’, just miles from the Hollywood studios and the mansions of famous actors and actresses.
The Al-Rahman masjid, led by the Harvard educated Imam Siddiqui, is not just simply a place for prayer – Hailey noted that it reminded her of a Syrian bazaar she had visited with Dr. Ahmed a few years back as part of the ‘Journey into Islam’ project.
The Border Wall at "Friendship Beach"
By Craig Considine – In San Diego, the team witnessed, observed and felt the atmosphere of the border fence along the US-Mexican border. On the way to “Friendship Beach”, I observed six or seven army helicopters flying above , saw plenty of ‘Danger’ signs, lost articles of clothing and shoes, armed Border Patrol agents riding in jeeps, and countless construction men working diligently in their bulldozers to construct walls and fences to keep illegal immigrants out of the US.