The scourge of Veil Porn

I have a complicated take on veils (by which I mean actual veils, not the headscarves often poetically referred to as such).I think them neither religiously mandated nor ultimately healthy for society. While some women certainly choose it freely and while I concede that veils play a more complex role in some places (especially environments where women lack the relative physical security that Westerners can take for granted), I think the veil's primary function in most, for lack of a better … [Read more...]

Fox News in all its glory

I'm hard pressed to recall a case where the abject imbecility of contemporary Islamophobia is not only captured in a short video clip, but demolished in a single sentence. Watch John McCain inadvertently slap down the air-headed Brian Kilmeade on Fox News on the significance of "Allahu Akbar."Journalists are often required to cover and discuss a wide range of disparate topics, so I don't blame them for occasionally getting important facts wrong. That doesn't let them off the hook for … [Read more...]

Conspiracy theories and “mainstream” criticism of Islam in American politics

I listened to a very stimulating discussion of the underlying nature of conspiracy theories, on both ends of the political spectrum, on the invaluable Against the Grain podcast today.Against the Grain, Tuesday Jan 8, 2013: "What's the Matter with Conspiracy Theories?": From the assassination of JFK to a wide range of theories related to the attacks of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories seem natural to the left. But should they be? Anarchist historian Peter Staudenmaier discusses the … [Read more...]

Innovative upcoming online course on Islamophobia

A very interesting online happening is coming up soon: An online course on the rife (or should I say "ripe"?) phenomenon of Islamophobia and strategies for combating it.It looks like a very timely and innovative initiative. I'm sure people from many walks of life would find this enlightening and helpful.  Please check it out and consider supporting it, as I intend to.From the announcement that I received: What must we know about Islamophobia? And how can we fight it?Register now for … [Read more...]

The latest gem from the Creeping Sharia Brigade

Get a load of this piercing insight into constitutional law by phony-ex-extremist-Muslim-of-the-month Kaleem Saleem. Roe vs. Wade is, ahem, part of the liberal conspiracy to impose Islamic law on America! … [Read more...]

Anders Breivik and Islamofascism’s youthful bloom

There's a great piece on exploring the sad overlap between the worldview of Norway's mad Islamophobe murderer Anders Breivik and the thinking of significant swathes of political life in Western countries today, especially on the Right. His mindset and hate are hardly unheard-of in these polarized times.Oxford historian Tim Stanley makes many good points. The one you ear least often but which I think in a lot of ways is the most important concerns the very recent vintage of … [Read more...]

Hussein Rashid on LGBT Muslims

Hussein Rashid has a thoughtful piece in Religion Dispatches on the need for the American Muslim community to begin a rather overdue dialogue with its gay members. This is a topic I've often considered trying to gingerly broach, myself. I say "gingerly" because it's a complex topic, and one where it's easy to get co-opted by zealots on one side or another.Taking as his point of departure a controversy over an ad promoting tolerance towards gays that was rejected by a progressive Christian … [Read more...]

Dr. Jonathan Brown on stereotypes about Muhammad through the ages

This is a fascinating talk on the striking continuity to be found in Western stereotypes concerning the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over the last 14 centuries. It provides examples of why those who slander the Prophet with charges of "pedophilia" (God forbid) are, at best, historical ignoramuses. It really is as simple as that.Jonathan Brown - Abiding Stereotypes About the Prophet Muhammad in the Medieval and Modern West from Ali Vural Ak Center for Global I on Vimeo. The speaker is a … [Read more...]