The Global Social Network
Muslims arrived with Columbus and have been leaving their mark on American culture and society ever since. Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was based on an Egyptian Muslim woman and that two of the oldest mosques in the United States are in Ross, N.D., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa? In the video above, we explain many other ways Muslim history is tightly woven into American life.
Muslims have been here since the time of the earliest explorers and have left their mark on everything from the White House to the Marine Corps uniform.
By Hussein Rashid, Negin Farsad and Joshua Seftel
Muhammad makes list of top 10 baby names in the #UnitedStates for first time. #Muslim #American
Here's the top 10 list:
10. Muhammad https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/living/article/Muhammed-top-baby-n...(Desktop)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral via @StamAdvocate
Sophia still reigns as queen, but Jackson has lost his crown as king.
The parenting website BabyCenter released its annual list of 100 most popular baby names for girls and boys in the United States, and for the 10th year in a row, Sophia is at the top. Liam knocked Jackson out of the No. 1 spot that he had held onto for six years straight.
The online parenting and pregnancy destination compiled the names of babies born to some 600,000 registered U.S. users in 2019 and combined those that sound the same but have different spellings (such as Sophia and Sofia) to create a true measure of popularity. The Social Security Administration also generates a list, pulling from the names of all babies born in the U.S., but the agency treats each unique spelling as a separate name.
Almost all of last year's top-10 darlings are still favorites this year, with a few exceptions. Revealing a rise in Arabic names, Muhammad and Aaliyah made the top 10 for the first time, replacing Mason and Layla.
Muhammad is considered the most popular name in the world, and UK news site Independent says it is "given to an estimated 150 million men and boys."
"Muhammad's been rising on BabyCenter top baby name lists around the world, so we knew it would soon break into the U.S. top 10," Linda Murray, BabyCenter's global editor in chief, said in a press statement. "Muslim families often choose Muhammad for firstborn sons to honor the prophet and bring blessings to the child. The name also has multiple spellings, and that helps a name get into the top 10."
Last year and in 2017, Muhammad ranked No. 14 on BabyCenter's list. This year, it saw a 29 percent jump in popularity to make No. 10. It first entered the top 100 in 2013 and has been climbing ever since.
The Social Security data shows Muhammad went from No. 620 in 2000 to No. 345 in 2018, but if the agency also combined variant spellings such as Mohammad, Mohammed and Muhammad in its count, the overall ranking would be higher.
Find the ranking of the top 10 for girls and boys below:
'Stranger at the Gate' short film shows how kindness can change a would-be terrorist's ways
Former Marine Richard “Mac” McKinney was determined to bomb the local Islamic center in Muncie, Indiana. But the kindness he was shown there not only made him drop his plans but eventually become a member of the community.
The story is told in the short film “Stranger at the Gate” which has just made the shortlist for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Short Film.
We revisit Robin Young’s September 2022 conversation with McKinney and Bibi Bahrami, co-founder of the Islamic Center of Muncie.
A Veteran’s Islamophobia Transformed, in “Stranger at the Gate”
In Joshua Seftel’s documentary, a community recollects how a would-be terrorist made—and then abandoned—a violent plan.\
Joshua Seftel, the director of “Stranger at the Gate,” was going to be a physician. As a young man, he planned to travel the world in the ranks of Doctors Without Borders. His father was a doctor, and, as a boy, Seftel watched him save people’s lives. During a gap year between college and applying to medical school, a professor approached him about a story in Romania. With a borrowed video camera and some fund-raising, Seftel made the film “Lost and Found,” an unflinching look at the country’s state-run orphanages. “Wow,” he thought, “filmmaking, when you do it right, can be really powerful.”
In his new documentary, Seftel brings the camera home and follows a personal drama that embodies a societal collision. The film opens on a teen-ager addressing the camera. “Most of the time when I tell people this story, they tell me that they don’t believe me,” she says. The speaker, Emily McKinney, is the stepdaughter of the man at the center of the documentary, Richard (Mac) McKinney. Emily is referring to Mac’s plan to set off an I.E.D. at a mosque, the Islamic Center of Muncie, Indiana.
Mac, a white combat veteran, describes his twilight tour in the military during the early and violent years of the global war on terror, and his abrupt return to small-town Indiana, in 2006. Reëntering civilian life, he became livid, and obsessed with the local Muslim community. During the periods he describes as “between being drunk and sober,” he brainstormed how he could attack Muslims—an action he thought of as continuing to protect his family and serve his country. His answer was to make a bomb. He describes making a plan for how he could “get the most bang for my buck” by targeting his local mosque, where he hoped to injure or kill at least two hundred worshippers. When he set out on a reconnaissance mission and visited the mosque—“to get the proof” of their threat—his story took a surprising turn.
McKinney met the Bahrami family, co-founders of the center and themselves refugees of the Soviet Union’s ill-fated war in Afghanistan; and Jomo Williams, a Black local convert. The relationships were not easy ones—“These people were killers,” McKinney remembers thinking—but the members of the mosque saw that McKinney was troubled, and welcomed him.