Jews and Muslims praying together in Savannah

An inspiring event worthy of such a beautiful city.Mosque, synagogue to hold dual services in Savannah | savannahnow.comThe city's oldest Jewish synagogue and oldest Islamic mosque are coming together this weekend, honoring Jewish-Islamic relations.Members of the Masjid Jihad mosque will join the congregation of Mickve Israel for Shabbat Services and dinner Friday at the synagogue. Imam Maajid Ali will speak.[MORE]I'm reminded of a Quranic verse that discusses the moral imperative to uphold … [Read more...]

Unexpected lessons of an edgy statue of the Virgin Mary

Not that I fancy myself particularly well informed about the history of Islamic art, but one of my pet peeves is when Muslims universalize contemporary prudishness and/or ideological hangups concerning the arts--not to mention impose them on others, Muslim or otherwise--so I found this article in the Biblical Archaeology Review particularly interesting. It features a nude and very pregnant statue of the Virgin Mary (peace be upon her), split down the middle in the style of an anatomy textbook. … [Read more...]

You’re doing a PhD in what??

I went back to school a few years ago and--for some inscrutable reason that I'm still trying to work out--did an M.A. in Religion, so this really had me in stitches. (Or was it tears?) It really is criminal how graduate school programs keep churning out humanities PhDs for whom it will be mathematically impossible to land an academic job. (In which case, why spend a decade getting a PhD?)   … [Read more...]

Talk about “foreign money” building a mosque

An inspiring story of an Israeli Jew reaching out to Muslims and Arabs in a most original and unlikely of ways. Israeli millionaire builds mosque in France - Israel Activism, YnetnewsAn unlikely benefactor. An Ashkelon resident who made a fortune in the European real estate business has decided to pay for the construction of a mosque in France for the benefit of the local Muslim community. Father of four Robert Harush, 58, grew up in Ashkelon and having completed his military service tried his … [Read more...]

Imagine if they happened to be Arab…

Not that I want Armenians or any other group to be stereotyped, but let's see how much attention this gets from the bigots warning of Muslims' alleged unassimilability into Western civilization. Had these crooks been born a few hundred miles west, in mostly-Muslim Azerbaijan, the Blogosphere would be ablaze anew with Muslim-baiting vitriol. But criminals with foreign ties who are Christian are just crooks with funny names. Muslim criminals are stealth jihadis opening a new front in their war … [Read more...]

Straight talk on the Taqiyya myth

Haven't had a chance to examine it closely yet, but I should share a valuable essay from 2009 by Hussein Ibish on the agonizingly cliched yet ubiquitous invocation of the doctrine of Taqiyya by Islamophobes and all manner of ignoramuses these days. Muslims, Islamists, Islamophobes and the doctrine of "taqiyya" | Ibishblog As Wikipedia puts it, paraphrasing the Oxford Enclyclopedia of Islam, "Taqiyya is the Islamic practice of precautionary dissimulation whereby believers may conceal their … [Read more...]

Go forth and nominate

As usual I'm announcing it rather late, if you didn't know it's time to recognize the best blogging on or by Muslims in the Seventh Annual Brass Crescent Awards. I'm once again a judge, for better or worse. In addition to the established categories of BEST BLOG BEST WRITER BEST NON-MUSLIM BLOGGER BEST BLOG DESIGN BEST POST OR SERIES BEST FEMALE BLOGGER BEST NEW BLOG BEST GROUP BLOG FUNNIEST BLOGGER BEST MIDDLE EAST/AFRICAN BEST EUROPEAN BEST SOUTH ASIAN BESTASIAN … [Read more...]

Mail order husbands in Thailand

This is random, but then “Random” is my middle name when it comes to blogging--Or is it “Fitful”?—but The New York Times has an interesting report on Western husbands being “imported” into a poor region of Thailand. It appears to be big business. A Thai Region Where Husbands Are Imported - UDON, THAILAND — The most dazzling creatures Nui Davis saw when she was a child were the village girls who had found foreign husbands, visiting in their Western finery and handing … [Read more...]

Speaking of honor killings, this news out of India has to be the most fasctinating example of activism I've seen in a long time. The Love Commandos. HT: … [Read more...]

Robert Fisk on “honor” killings

Robert Fisk penned a searing piece last week about the scourge of "honor" killing. I think religion plays a much smaller causative role in this awful problem than I think many Western observers assume is the case--fact is, non-Muslims with comparable cultural hangups about family honor, parental authority and gender do it, as well, as this shocking case involving Sikhs in Canada seems to illustrate--but that doesn't make it any less horrific and obscene. Nor does it explain how … [Read more...]