Beware the peaceful decoy Muslims!

A very timely report from the trenches of the War on Terror. Al-Qaeda's most insidious plot yet: the peaceful decoy Muslims! The Onion News: "Al Qaeda Populating U.S. With Peaceful 'Decoy Muslims'"The sad thing is that this is barely satire, in some circles of American politics and media. The Orwellian notion that Muslims who are to all appearances and by all conventional standards  squeaky-clean, "normal" and "moderate"--but who do not enlist … [Read more...]

The Ta’leef Collective

Followed a link from someone's Facebook page to the Taleef Collective website and watched some of their videos. Judging by the brief interviews there, the Taleef Collective looks like an innovative community initiative that strives to create a social space that appeals to and meets the needs of American-born Muslims, and which doesn't reproduce all the religiously unnecessary and/or culturally out-of-place practices and hangups that make many immigrant-run mosques in American less … [Read more...]

On the likelihood of mistaking a pile of kale for a chicken sandwich

A disturbing example of a small business getting sued by a corporate giant over ridiculous trademark infringement claims, and by a company that prides itself on being in touch with family town values. They cease operations on the Sabbath--Chick-fil-A proudly advertizes its policy of closing on Sundays for religious reasons--but go for the jugular against, as Anderson Cooper cleverly sums it up, "a little guy with a squeegee."So, I guess all the companies, organizations and … [Read more...]

Muslim leaders need to put the lot of religious minorities high on the agenda before it’s too late

The rapid decline in the security of Christian communities in the Middle East in recent years pains and alarms me beyond measure. For just one example--and from what I understand yet worse trends are being seen in Iraq--consider this heart-breaking depressing statistic about Egypt  ("After Egypt’s Revolution, Christians Are Living in Fear" - COPTS represent approximately 10 percent of Egypt’s population and are the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians. Yet, sensing danger wh … [Read more...]

Why Occupy Wall Street deserves respect, even from conservatives

A lot of the criticism directed at Occupy Wall Street--even from the Left--concerning their lack of a concrete platform or unified message at this point is very wrong-headed when you think about it. That expectation is elitst (and, depending on your politics, quite hypocritical), as it assumes that a democractic movement is only legitimate if it's run from the top down. Democracy is supposed to be about citizens debating and building a national consensus, not obeying orders from activists … [Read more...]

Sage advice for new Muslims

There's a great guest post on Imam Suhaib Webb's website with advice for new Muslims.  12 Tips for the Convert Muslim The tips are deceptively simple and very profound.  And many of suggestions are ones we all would do well to remember, myself most of all. I love #9 ("Find Muslim friends and avoid severing ties") in particular. So balanced and wise, yet accessible. Here it is in its entirety:9. Find Muslim friends and avoid severing ties “On the Day of R … [Read more...]

A TED talk on, umm, the Quran, infidels and houris.

 Self-described agnostic Jew Leslie Hazleton--who blogs at The Accidental Theologist--reflects thoughtfully on her encounter with the Quran. Not your typical TED fare. I loved her quip that the Quran is very flexible and open, except to those whose minds are inflexible and closed. So true, profound and admirably succinct.   … [Read more...]

A meth lab gets busted in the Shire

I don’t care how irrelevant it is it, I simply must share this delightful photo. The Law has finally caught up with the Seven Dwarfs. Amish jailed by Kentucky judge over warning triangle fine non-payment (The Guardian, 16 September 2011): Eight Amish men have been jailed by a judge in Kentucky for non-payment of fines after refusing to fix reflective orange warning triangles to the back of their horse-drawn buggies. The unusual suspects, whose mugshots have been published online, were … [Read more...]