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Memories of A Moderate Muslim Woman

Memories of A Moderate Muslim Woman

By Teo Sagisman
I lost both my parents at what I consider a young age. My religious background is that of a secular Turkish Muslim but I now consider myself a spiritual seeker more than religious. I lost my father when I was only five years of age. My paternal grandfather, originally from Eastern Turkey, had migrated to Istanbul in the early 1900’s. His last name, Sagisman, I later discover belonged to a list of Jewish converts to Islam (Dönmeh) who followed Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676) a 17th-century Jewish Kabbalist who claimed to be the Jewish Messiah but was eventually forced by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV to convert to Islam. After Sabbatai’s conversion, a number of Jews followed him into Islam and became the Dönmeh.

"Traces of the Calligrapher"

“Traces of the Calligrapher”

By J.F. Sullivan From the post-9/11 fear of Islamic terrorists to the most recent flap over the Cordoba House and the proposed Qur’an burning event, there is a growing trend that has conflated almost anything Islamic or Arabic, religious or cultural, into a single negatively perceived monolith.  It is against this backdrop that Emory University’s Michael […]