Diffused Congruence: The American Muslim Experience New Episodes Monthly!

May 3, 2021  

Parvez and Omar are joined by Habibe and Ishrat Husain, from the Rahima Foundation.  They tell the story of their immigration to the United States, their (inter-cultural) marriage, their migration out West, and the forming of Rahima Foundation.

About Habibe

Habibe came to the United States in 1962, as a high school foreign exchange student from Turkey. After completing high school, she went on to earn a degree in Pharmacy from Temple University in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania, she met and married Ishrat Husain and, in 1973, they moved to the Bay Area. While being a mother and wife, she started and ran the first Weekend Islamic School in the Bay Area for many years.
On the 21st night of Ramadan in 1993, she was inspired to start Rahima Foundation to provide groceries to the local, underserved community. As the work grew, the organization was registered as a 501 c(3) Charitable and Educational Foundation in 1997. Her vision was to establish an institution of charity to serve the financial, educational, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the communities. In the last 25 years, the organization has impacted over half a million lives through food and financial assistance. Habibe Husain specializes in serving indigenous people, refugees, and immigrants who are struggling to meet their basic human needs. Inspired by her faith, her relentless service is a testament to her compassion and dedication.

About Ishrat

Ishrat was born in Aligarh, India, grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and migrated to the US in 1966. He has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Karachi and a Masters Degree in Physics from University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Ishrat earned a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Farleigh Dickinson University. After decades of working in the tech industry, Ishrat retired from IBM in 2013 and joined Rahima Foundation in 2014 as its Executive Director and President. Ishrat is married to Habibe Husain, the founder of the organization, and has been involved with Rahima since its inception in 1993.
April 19, 2021  

Parvez and Omar are joined by Lena Khan, to discuss her latest achievements in directing films.

Lena is a Canadian American writer and director. Her first feature film, THE TIGER HUNTER, released in over 60 cities nationwide and garnered effusively positive reviews from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and more. Fresh off of her first film, Disney tapped Lena to direct FLORA AND ULYSSES, a live action family comedy.

With a background from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and experience at noted production companies such as Participant Media, Lena spent years directing short films, commercials and music videos before embarking on her first film. Lena and her work have been profiled in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, USA Today and The New York Times. She was also listed as one of the 25 Screenwriters to watch in MovieMaker magazine.

Lena recently sold a television show, directed multiple episodes of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever," and is overseeing development on a few feature projects.

February 16, 2021  

Parvez and Omar welcome Imam Ibrahim to talk about his youth, his transition to Sunni Islam, and his nearly 50 years of needs based community work in the Chicago area for the past 50 years.  

About Imam S. T. Ibrahim

Imam Ibrahim served as the founding Imam of the Mosque of 'Umar, Inc. on Chicago's Far South Side in the Roseland community from 1973 to 2009.  He led prayers and all related services, coordinated needs based programs (food panty, youth, voter registration, job training, etc.) and partnered with Muslim merchants to establish a sense of brotherhood in the inner city.  From 2009 through 2018 he operated Masjid Khalil'ullah in Chicago's Morgan Park community. He also served as the Director of the Transitional College Prepatory Program (TCP) at Chicago State University from 1992-2009.  Imam Ibrahim was a participant (along with Imam Siraj Wahhaj) in the 1st Imam Training Program in Saudi Arabia in 1978 sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education.  

January 27, 2021  

Parvez and Omar are joined by Sana Saeed from AJ+ to discuss, among other things, social media culture, holding Muslims leaders to a standard, the "akh-right" and the transition to the Biden administration.  It was an engaging, no holds barred conversation that we hope you'll join us for.

About Sana Saeed

Sana Saeed is a Host and Senior Producer who has been with AJ+ since 2014, helping launch the channel. A Canadian who has spent most of her life in the United States, she’s interested in politics, religion, culture and working very hard to stay out of arguments on Twitter. She has a background in media critique and analysis, with her work having appeared in The New York Times, LA Times, Quartz, Guardian, Salon and AJE.

Sana is currently working on ‘Pop Americana’ - a show that looks at American pop culture as a vehicle for politics. In reality, she’s really just living out her ‘VH1 Behind The Music’ remake fantasy. She’s also usually the one in the room who sounds like that reading you kinda, sorta skimmed in your elective liberal arts class.

January 3, 2021  

Parvez and Omar are joined by Tarek El-Messidi, founder of CelebrateMercy.  They look back to the inspiration behind the organization, discuss its genesis and initial launch, and touch on some of the team's current initiatives.

About CelebrateMercy

CelebrateMercy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that teaches about the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ’s life and character – to Muslims and the general public. They do this through short films, online campaigns, traveling conferences, and webinars that feature world-renowned speakers and scholars on Islam.

In 10 years, CelebrateMercy has: 

  • • Reached 300 million people through national media coverage
  • • Held 25 events for 200,000 participants in 115 countries
  • • Produced 200+ videos with 7 million views on YouTube & Facebook
  • • Generated social media posts leading to 700,000 subscribers

About Tarek El-Messidi

Tarek El-Messidi is a Muslim-American speaker, activist, and social entrepreneur. In 2012, he was listed by Georgetown University in the Muslim500 as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims worldwide. He has pursued Islamic studies in the United States, Morocco, and Jordan and served for 10 years on the boards of multiple mosques, including as President and Vice-President of two Islamic centers.  

In 2001, while serving as President of the Muslim Student Association at his university, Tarek co-founded Fast-a-thon: an event that raises money to feed the hungry when non-Muslims try fasting with their Muslim peers for one day. Fast-a-thons at 300 universities have raised over $2 million total to feed the hungry across America.

In 2010, after earning an MBA and working as a supply chain manager at Procter & Gamble, Tarek founded CelebrateMercy.  

December 1, 2020  

Parvez and Omar welcome Sadia Jalali, LMFT to start a conversation on marriage and divorce in the American Muslim community.  They discuss the importance of premarital counseling, of nurturing marriages from day one, and of getting help before it's too late to save a marriage.

Sadia Jalali is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Sadia holds a BA in Psychology from U of Houston and MA in Psychology/Family Therapy from U of H-Clear Lake. In her over 14 years as a counselor, she has worked with hundreds of clients specializing in relationships, parenting, anger management, divorce care, self care, and being Muslims in America. Active in the Houston Muslim Community for over twenty years, she has held workshops and speaking engagements for many local and national Muslim organizations. She founded Muslim Bliss, which is  dedicated to bringing issues of mental health and relationships to the forefront in the Muslim community. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Islamic Studies from Bayan Claremont to better serve the community.
November 24, 2020  

Parvez joins Mahin Islam on Episode 036 of the Sultans and Sneakers podcast to talk about "Podcasting, Platforming, and Politics".

The Sultans and Sneakers podcast, based out of Chicago, is a podcast, according to Mahin, which asks "WHY do we believe the things we do?"  Mahin regularly interviews "interesting people to understand the WHY behind their beliefs."  He has interviewed athletes, entrepreneurs, professors, and artists to discuss belief systems around sports fandom, politics, religion and personal development.  


October 23, 2020  

With only days left until the pivotal 2020 U.S. election, Parvez and Omar are joined by Democratic strategist Mustafa Tameez, to discuss how we got here and possible outcomes for election night and thereafter.

Mustafa Tameez is Outreach Strategists’ Founder and President. Mustafa began his career in New York advertising for corporate clients, but after moving to Texas he shifted to advising successful campaigns for state legislators, mayors, members of Congress and public institutions. Mustafa is a national opinion leader with over 600 appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and CBSN. The Atlantic names him as a top Democratic consultant in Texas and Texas Monthly refers to him as one of the top Democrats to watch. Mustafa is the Chairman of the Transportation Advocacy Group board, a Director of the Texas Lyceum, and a member of the Unity National Bank board, among other civic and business affiliations. He has also provided extensive consulting services for the Department of Homeland Security.  

October 20, 2020  

Parvez and Omar are joined by screenwriter and director Kamran Pasha, to discuss The Exorcist (1973). 

In addition to being a favorite film of both Parvez's and Kamran's, The Exorcist has had a significant influence on popular culture and has received critical acclaim, with several publications having regarded it as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

We hope you enjoy this discussion, part of a recurring series of recordings focused on movies and film.

Kamran Pasha was one of the first Muslim filmmakers to succeed in Hollywood.  He recently worked as writer-producer on Showtime Network’s drama series set in the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, directed by Oliver Stone.  Previously, Kamran served as a writer and co-producer of Showtime’s Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated series “Sleeper Cell,” about a Muslim FBI agent who infiltrates a terrorist group.  Kamran has also served as a writer and producer on television shows such as “Reign,” “Nikita” and “Roswell, New Mexico” on the CW, and “Kings” and “Bionic Woman” on NBC. He also served as head writer for the “Tron: Uprising” animated series on Disney XD.

Kamran’s movie career launched when he sold his first feature script to Warner Brothers Pictures, an historical epic on the love story behind the building of the Taj Mahal.  He is currently developing a movie on the famed Sufi poet Rumi, as well as a feature film about Ibn Battuta, which follows the adventures of an Arab traveler who journeyed from Morocco to China in the 14th century.

Kamran is a published novelist as well.  In 2009, Simon & Schuster published “Mother of the Believers,” a novel showing the rise of Islam from the eyes of Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha.  His second novel, “Shadow of the Swords,” follows the conflict between Richard the Lionheart and the Muslim leader Saladin for control of Jerusalem during the Crusades.

Kamran holds a BA and an MBA from Dartmouth College, a JD from Cornell Law School, and is an alumnus of the MFA Producers Program at UCLA Film School.

October 11, 2020  

Parvez and Omar are joined by Zaki Hasan, co-founder and former co-host of the Diffused Congruence podcast.  In this episode, commemorating seven years since the launch of the podcast, we catch up and discuss all the craziness of 2020.  This episode was recorded on Friday, October 9th, only a few weeks before the upcoming U.S. election.

Zaki Hasan has been a media scholar and critic for more than twenty years. His film reviews and analyses have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, HuffPost, and The Philadelphia Weekly, and in 2015 he was inducted into the prestigious San Francisco Film Critics Circle. He also co-wrote Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, contributed to books on the Star WarsStar TrekPlanet of the Apes, and Blade Runner franchises, and has appeared as an expert panelist on HuffPost Live and Al Jazeera America's The Stream.



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