The pros and cons of White House iftars in the Obama era

An interesting debate is going on in Muslim corners of the Blogosphere and social media over the ethics and merits of Muslims attending White House iftars in the Obama era, with its militarism and lawlessness .As is usually the case, Sheila Musaji has already neatly laid out the issues  involved in The American Muslim, so I'll just send you there for the details.I happen to consider both Omid and Shahed dear friends, but I find myself agreeing with Omid here.At the same time, I don't … [Read more...]

Why is Apple denying Americans information about their governnment’s drone attacks?

If you care about the health of American democracy and/or the large numbers of civilians being regularly killed through drone attacks in South Asia, please spread the word about the outrageous decision by Apple, Inc. to block an app mapping drone attacks from the AppStore.Please use to the action alert on Roots Action to let Apple know that this is unacceptable. And get the word out."Apple Censors Drone War"  (Roots Action): Apple Inc., which has received over $9 million in Pentagon … [Read more...]

Are you doing your part to support the few media that support us?

If you didn't catch it, the leading progressive political magazine in America, The Nation, recently came out with an amazing collection of articles on the War on Terror, Muslim integration and Islamophobia. It's a scrumptious feast of the kind of sharp, insightful analysis that's so consistently absent from coverage of these vital issues in the Corporate Media.Among the articles in the July 2-9, 2012 issue of The Nation are:“Fear and Loathing of Islam” by Moustafa Bayoumi. In the US tod … [Read more...]

Old folks “occupy” CA bank

This sight  surely scared the bank manager more than a sprinting horde of "Brains!"-chanting zombies would have.  [HT: SF Weekly] ‘Wild Old Women’ Close San Francisco Bank Of America Branch (CBS San Francisco, January 5, 2012):SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It was a slow-moving Occupy Wall Street protest, but it was an effective one. A dozen senior citizens calling themselves “the wild old women” succeeded in closing a Bank of America branch in Bernal Heights Thursday. The women, … [Read more...]

My essay on Martin Luther King, Jr.

I'm pleased to report that a 2008 essay I wrote for Religion Dispatches on the occasion of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday has been published in a collection of short essays on the issues involved in his assassination and legacy. The book in question is The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. , edited by Noah Berlatsky and published by Greenhaven Press this year. It's part of their "Perspectives on Modern World History" series, which I think is geared … [Read more...]

Leave no arms merchant behind

Johann Hari has sharp piece on the OBL assassination and US foreign policy. Here's a choice excerpt: Flawed US policy keeps Osama's message alive - Analysis, Opinion - Osama Bin Laden is dead, but US foreign policy is still giving him what he wanted. The US is bleeding cash. The angry, fighting people in Afghanistan today are -- according to leaked CIA reports -- overwhelmingly "a tribal, localised insurgency" who "see themselves as opposing the US because … [Read more...]

The Arab Street is owed an apology!

Most of the time I post stuff about Denmark, it tends to be bad news--of course, if you're a Muslim observer of Danish politics there's often been, sadly, pretty good reason for that--so I thought I'd try to atone a bit by translating this very thoughtful and topical piece by a Danish pundit on the lessons of the Arab Spring. One could quibble about a few small things (e.g., identifying Saudi-funded establishments as "ultra-orthodox"; their claim to orthodoxy is rather … [Read more...]

The folly of “enhanced interrogation”

...and most Neocon contributions to foreign policy and counterterrorism,  for that matter. There's a very enlightening if all too brief interview with a long-time FBI counter-terrorism agent in The New York Times. It's a reminder of how common sense and tried and true law enforcement techniques really went out the window under Bush Jr. and the Neocon body snatchers that seized control of most of the Beltway after 9/11. In particular, it discusses how one of the most embarrassing … [Read more...]