Latest from The Economist on…the Jinn!

I'm regularly surprised by the breadth of The Economist's coverage of international affairs, but this time they've outdone themselves.  It currently has an article on  jinn!  Yes, "jinn" as in invisible beings, magic, and men who can reach across a room like Reed Richards. Haven't seen the current issue in the flesh as it were, but I've received this from multiple sources, so I'm declaring this report mutawattir. Going In Search Of The Jinn | The Economist Less … [Read more...]

Barelvis and Deobandis, still takfir-crazy after all these years

Half a century ago, observers guffawed at the spectacle of Barelvis and Deobandis excommunicating each other over minor difference of opinion and trifles (in one case over the pronunciation of the Arabic letter dad in the final word of Suratul Fatihah, dhaleen). Well, 200 couples in UP in India recently had to retake their vows as Muslims and remarry after they were excommunicated by a Barelvi mufti for the crime of attending a funeral prayer led by a Deobandi cleric. 200 weddings redone in UP … [Read more...]

One man’s passage through Wahhabism and the beef with pigs

[Reposted because I'd left out the link to the article in question.] There's a another interesting article in the Washington Post series on Wahhabism in America.  It looks at the ups and downs of Wahhabism among American Muslims through the spiritual journey of one person, fellow blogger Khaleel Moore. [HT: Koonj] In case you're wondering, I'm not obsessed with the W-word.  It just keeps coming up in my surfing these days. Just noticed that Br. Khaleel's legal name is … [Read more...]

The most “unclean” of all: the Muslim who treats people like dogs

A "Muslim" cabbie in the UK has made headlines (and blogosphere Islamophobes' day) by refusing service to a blind passenger because of the presence of her seeing-eye dog, claiming it to be "unclean" and prohibited in his car by his religion.  Sadly, this is not an isolated occurence.  (Almost as sad, stupid Muslim antics here force me to cite Daniel Pipes approvingly:  Pipes rightly dismisses this neurotic taboo as "Muslim lore".  It's … [Read more...]

Literalism and temple demolitions in Malaysia

Worrying developments in Malaysia, which long seemed such a promising laboratory for new models of tolerance and peaceful coexistence for Muslims and non-Muslims. IPS on Temple Demolitions in Malaysia: Hundreds of worshippers watched in horror as the workers, mostly Muslims, brought down the roof, pushed down the walls and smashed the deities that immigrant Indian workers had brought with them from South India to provide solace in a strange new land. "We are poor and our only comfort is … [Read more...]

The problem with the Pulitzers & Islamic reform

A profound analysis from a veteran journalist of the way American journalism today devalues its most important function through flashy awards and overemphasizing international affairs and high-falluting pontification. Edward Wasserman: Prizes are trophies for rich papers I've come to believe that the Pulitzers -- for all the celebrity, the champagne, the career-capping glory they bring -- are bad for the profession. They purport to stand for excellence in journalism, but if they do it's in the … [Read more...]

Converts, music, & Ridley

I'm going to take down the 2 posts on Yvonne Ridley and converts for the time being.  I'm doing so mainly because I don't have the time to tweak them satisfactorily to respond to the feedback and my own dissatisfaction with how they come across.  (As if often the case, I've bitten off more than I can chew in a quick post.)   Also, my comments could be misconstrued as speculation on her personally, which is not my intent. I'm also doing so because they cover too many … [Read more...]

The tangled web Muslims weave

There are so many things I keep wanting to blog about when I get a spare moment, but the absurd workload at my current gig--at the moment I'm trapped in the belly of a surreal disorganized,  understaffed, and high-pressure government technology project in downtown DC; it's no fun to be a requirements analyst in an organization that has zero internal communication other than criticism for when you fail to read people's minds--combined with the domestic chaos of having a newborn has clipped … [Read more...]