You want weird? Brace yourself.

Well, SisterScorpion went and memed me on things that are weird about me.  Normally I don't do these things.  Not because I'm above them, but because I end up putting way too much time & thought into them. Still, like Mr. Burns on "The Simpsons" I periodically feel the need to do something warm & cuddly to humanize my cold, analytical image with the masses. This could take all day, but here goes: 1.  "Dried plums" don't get the respect they deserve.I … [Read more...]

Jewish man pulled off plane for praying

This is somewhat old news, but  SeekersDigest  reports how a Jewish traveller was removed from a plane flying over Canada a few months ago after passengers observed him rocking back in forth in prayer. I'm not sure whether to be appalled by this violation of somebody's basic rights, or relieved that for once post-9/11 security paranoias are appearing to be applied fairly and without regard to whether the "suspicious" character appears to be a Muslim.  I say the latter … [Read more...]

The Brass Crescent is setting

Time to cast your vote for the alt.muslim and City of Brass's 2006 Brass Crescent Awards.  Time's running out, so hop to it, beoble. Unlike last year, this time around my blog didn't make the cut, so this plug is a fairly disinterested one.  Given how dormant Akram's Razor has been for much of the last year, I'm not surprised (or troubled) in the slightest by my omission. But don't count me completely.  They might come up with a new category at the 11th hour--like "Dullest … [Read more...]

Religious discrimination by a 7 month old

Raihana's been breaking my heart.  Chewing it up, spitting it up, and then stomping on it.  How, you ask?  She tugs Shabana over to her by the hair, throws her little arms around her head, and devours Shabana with kisses.  She clamps her mouth over Shabana's lower lip like a lamprey and cackles with glee. Needless to say, I get a bit jealous at the sight of these rapturous embraces.  Yet when I approach seeking the merest peck from my laughing seven month old, she … [Read more...]

Veni, vidit, vicit — Part II

I wrote in February about how Shabana had against all odds defended her dissertation with flying colors.  Well, she's at it again.  Her groundbreaking work has started to get recognition within the field.  My better three quarters has been awarded the Council on Anthropology of Education's 2006 Outstanding Dissertation Award for her recently completed dissertation entitled  "Constructing Third Spaces: American Muslim Undergraduate Women's Hybrid Identity … [Read more...]

The limitations of translations

Commenting on my satirical post "Understanding Muslim Language", someone on an Internet discussion group shared an entertaining anecdote from Australia that illustrates one of the pitfalls of cross cultural translations in general and the literal translation of Muslim religious rhetoric into Western languages: In Iran when you are frustrated with someone that you are talking to you say la ilaha illallah. Here in Australia they show Iranian movies rather frequently on a foreign language … [Read more...]

Iraq’s Assyrian Church under siege

An alarming report ("Assyrians Face Escalating Abuses in "New Iraq")on the plight of the ancient Assyrian community in Iraq.   The longstanding persecution of ethnic minorities in Iraq is quietly writing the end chapter to Iraqi Assyrian history: if the world doesn't wake up to the plight of this people, they will soon be shoved through the door of extinction, warn patrons and human rights defenders.The Assyrian Christian population of Iraq, historically traceable to the … [Read more...]

The latest thing in Bombay’s nightlife: Nazi dining!

A reminder to those who imagine that anti-Semitism is a particularly "Muslim" problem today.  Cuddly, non-Muslim India has it, too.  In spades.  And this despite the fact that, unlike most Muslim countries, India is closely allied today with Israel.  By no stretch of the imagination is India locked--either militarily or culturally--in a cold war with a Jewish state.  From "Hitler-themed eatery draws fire" on MSNBC.com:A new restaurant in India’s … [Read more...]

Pentagon in 2006: Homosexuality a mental illness

BBC NEWS | Americas | Pentagon gay 'disorder' list row US lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to change a document listing homosexuality as a "mental disorder".[HT: MostlyWater] … [Read more...]

Avari-Nameh on the ‘Desi X-Men’

Thank goodness I'd just visited the mensroom, 'cause this really could have made me soil myself. avari: desi x-men Imagine the X-Men superhero mythology was set in the Subcontinent, instead of the United States. What would some of the mutant characters be?  The Human Lota. When nature calls, genes intervene. His right hand turns into a lota, and then, once the washing is done, provides blow drying and hand washing capabilities. Just think of the range of this superhero mutant: He can now … [Read more...]