This page will be updated with select media references to Suhaib Webb or the website.
In life and words, Muslim leader bridges cultures
May 12, 2013 | Boston Globe
“Todd Helmus, a senior behavioral scientist with the RAND Corporation who has worked extensively on counterterrorism, said Webb’s virtual mosque is one of the more active and influential Muslim voices against radicalism in the country.
“The problem isn’t Suhaib Webb. The problem is there aren’t more imams like Suhaib Webb,” he said.”
No Room for Radicals
April 24, 2013 | New York Times
“Yet what’s most obvious to anyone who has spent time in these communities is that whether they are devotional or educational, focused on the arts or on interfaith cooperation and activism, this mediating set of American Muslim institutions is keeping impressionable young Muslims from becoming radicalized.
Take the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and its range of devotional, arts and educational programs, from preschool to a seminary. Or Chicago’s Inner-City Muslim Action Network, complete with a medical clinic, civic leadership education and a summer music festival that draws on the biggest names of Muslim hip-hop to promote peace through community organizing. Or Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., the nation’s first four-year Islamic liberal arts school.”
Breathable nail polish a surprise hit with Muslims
February 27, 2013 | Yahoo News
“Umar, director of education and outreach with the Islamic Institute of Orange County in California, said he decided to study the matter because Muslim women had already been discussing the product in online forums. There was uncertainty over whether it would be ritually compliant, and they weren’t getting any answers.
“So I decided to go ahead and write an article on this because I know how important it is for Muslim women around the world,” Umar said.”
RAND Report: Promoting Online Voices for Countering Violent Extremism
February 14, 2013 | RAND Corporation
“A less direct kind of online CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) occurs via a number of popular Muslim websites catering more broadly to the mainstream Muslim population. These websites, which include “virtual mosques” such as SuhaibWebb.com as well as blogs such as the Muslim Channel on Patheos.com, are not focused on issues of counter radicalization; rather, content related to CVE is integrated into a body of material addressing relevant issues for Muslims in America. This cultural relevance allows such websites to vastly outstrip more direct CVE efforts in popularity…”
Boston mosque aims to keep young Somali immigrants off the streets
July 12, 2012 | The Christian Century
While Somali Muslims in America have been in the news in recent years for either joining terrorist groups overseas, few people have paid attention to an equally substantive problem: of young Somali-American Muslims joining gangs and selling drugs. The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s initiative, barely six months old, faces significant challenges. It must outshine the allure of gangster life and overcome a lack of awareness among Muslim Americans about the problem.
“It really woke people up that some of our kids were getting involved with this kind of stuff,” said Suhaib Webb, an Oklahoma-born convert who became imam at the ISBCC in December.
Interpretation is focus of Imam talk
March 16, 2012 | The Brandeis Hoot
Discussing whether “Islamic law [can] function within American legal framework,” Webb said that 85 to 90 percent of Islamic law is actually open to a range of interpretation.
He said that although progressivism can encompass a diversity of viewpoints, it requires understanding religious texts in the context of present circumstances.
“I have found the universal [law] … but then how is that going to work with America?”
With a New Imam, a New Outlook
December 2, 2011 | Boston Globe
Webb’s unusual path to his new role is at the heart of his plan to make the mosque more inclusive, and reflects a broad desire by Islamic leaders nationally to dispel the perception of a rigid faith presided over by stern imams. That desire is evident, too, in the pop culture references Webb sprinkles into his sermons, from “Monday Night Football’’ to the Twilight vampire romance series.
“He’s ushering in a new era in the Muslim community of young imams who have knowledge of classical Islamic scholarship, but who are born in America and familiar with American life, and who are able to connect with the youth,’’ said Safaa Zarzour, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America.
Imam Teaches Islam with a Distinct U.S. Style
May 27, 2011 | Los Angeles Times
“The sermon is typical of Webb, a charismatic Oklahoma-born convert to Islam with a growing following among American Muslims, especially the young. He sprinkles his public addresses with as many pop culture references as Koranic verses and sayings from the prophet. He says it helps him connect with his mainly U.S.-born flock.
“Are we going to reach them with an Arab message or with a Pakistani message? Or are we going to reach them with an American message?” asks Webb, 38, of Santa Clara. He is a resident scholar and educator with the Bay Area chapter of the nonprofit Muslim American Society, but reaches others in lectures and through his popular website, which he calls a “virtual mosque.”
Although Webb has spent much of his time in Egypt in recent years, his U.S. following has grown. His website, where he posts writings on such topics as relationships, personal development and Islamic studies, gets more than 10,000 visitors a day, and sparks extended conversations.”
Islam is All-American for One U.S. Muslim Leader
March 20, 2011 | Reuters
“American Muslims do not disagree that there is a real threat from extremism, according to Webb. He said the greatest danger comes when both non-Muslims and Muslims alike believe Islam is un-American.”
Muslims Need to Start Branching out into Social Services
January 14, 2011 | Alt Muslimah
“…practical issues have to be talked about in the public sphere – if not; the students will listen to someone else. If there isn’t something out there that appeals to the young people and speaks to them, and at the same time respects orthodoxy, we’re going to have big problems.”
September 10, 2010 | Religion and Ethics News Weekly (PBS)
“Hoping to offer a different view, American Imam Suhaib Webb has set up his own Web site where he challenges radical statements and answers questions about Islamic teachings…”
Mosques Trying to Counter Negative Images of Islam
August 26, 2010 | Sun Sentinel
“In Sunrise, the Islamic Foundation of South Florida holds a monthly interfaith gathering, and Imam Yahya Ederer has a radio show, “Islam on Faith Avenue,” on WHSR (980-AM). He’s speaking every Tuesday of Ramadan at Abbey Delray. And he contributes to a blog, suhaibwebb.com, on topics like “Forbearance and Composure…”
Imams’ Trip to Auschwitz Brings Hope
August 22, 2010 | The Jerusalem Post
“Suhaib Webb, a Muslim educational leader in California, described himself as ‘just overwhelmed by the sheer absence of humanity… I didn’t have any idea of the enormity of it.’ He explained that the Muslim participants on the trip felt ‘we have a responsibility to bring something back to our communities [as well as] to address some of the fringe elements who are Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites…’”
American Muslims Make Video to Rebut Militants
July 31, 2010 | New York Times
“’We need to shepherd our own flock and to say that, theologically, these things are unacceptable,’ said Imam Suhaib Webb, the educational director for the Muslim American Society, a grass-roots group in Santa Clara, Calif., who is among the nine in the video.”
U.S. Muslim Groups Walk Fine Line in Efforts to Confront Extremism
April 19, 2010 | LA Times
“In February, Suhaib Webb, a Northern California imam studying in Egypt, organized an online gathering among representatives from across the country. Even from Egypt, Webb was hearing polarized opinions on the issue and wanted to provide a neutral forum…”
Islam Today Program Concludes in 2010
March 8, 2010 | Center for Southeast Asia Studies (UC Berkeley)
“A separate talk the day before this forum featured Suhaib Webb, an American Muslim activist and scholar who maintains an active website on Islamic Suhaib Webb theological issues. He spoke on the topic, “Virtual Pulpit: Net Mosques, Congregations and Imams” at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.”
DC Director Participates in Virtual Townhall on Radicalization
February 26, 2010 | Muslim Public Affairs Council
“…young Muslim Americans have been at the center of the debate surrounding the so-called “radicalization” debate. Over the weekend, Imam Suhaib Webb hosted an online forum via his Web site…”
U.S. Mosques Debate the Use of English
February 21, 2010 | MSNBC (AP)
“On suhaibwebb.com, a Web forum for Muslims in the West, writer Abu Majeed said in a post last month that while his English-language sermons were accepted without protest at several U.S. mosques, he was derided by one South Florida congregation as a modernist who violated Islamic law…”
The 500 Most Influential Muslims | 2010
September 31, 2009 | The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center
“Imam Suhaib Webb is a student at Al Azhar University in Egypt and has subsequently come to prominence as a young American preacher and activist from Oklahoma. He has a substantial following of Muslim youth who visit his website and attend his lectures in throngs due to his unique appeal and moderate approach to Islam…”
Egypt’s Grand Mufti Counters the Tide of Islamic Extremism
March 6, 2008 | U.S. News & World Report
“Tossing out centuries of reasoned reflection upon the meaning of sharia and discounting the importance of most schools of jurisprudence, these puritans reduce the law to selected passages from the Koran and the hadith and, as the traditionalists see it, distort the intent of sharia by taking the chaff for the wheat. ‘Their fast-food jurisprudence has led to great intolerance,’ says Suhaib Webb, a 36-year-old American convert to Islam who came to Al-Azhar University from California precisely to learn the classical traditions of jurisprudence…”
Conversing with Suhaib Webb: A Speaker with Street Cred
“Recently, I had the opportunity to conduct an online interview with Imam Suhaib Webb, an Oklahoma-born activist, speaker and student of knowledge, who has known delinquency and disaffection closely, having been a member of a local gang and a successful local Hip-Hop DJ as a teen – before turning to Islam at age 20 in 1992. Currently, he is studying at the College of Shariah at Al-Azhar University, Cairo…”