Call for Contributions: “I Speak for Myself: American Men on Being Muslim”

Sorry if you got this twice, but I want to make sure it's in everybody's RSS feeds and featured at the top of the page.Alright, guys, if you're "a practicing Muslim American man, born and/or predominantly raised in the U.S." who's got something to get off his chest about being Muslim in America, this is your chance. From the project's Facebook page:Great news! The 2nd book in the ISFM series will be published next year! We are now accepting submissions.  Please see below for the … [Read more...]

Newsweek on the myth of “Eurabia”

There's an incisve analysis in the current issue of Newsweek of the flawed assumptions that go into alarmist "Eurabia" demographic-threat rhetoric we hear so often on the Far Right. It points out that a lot of the numbers that get thrown around in this debate are not only pure speculation, but speculation by people with anti-immigration agendas. Here's the crux of the article.  "Why Fears Of A Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong" by William Underhill … [Read more...]

Was Blackwater just following orders?

The established stereotype is of diplomats as cautious and conflict-averse negotiators that struggle to rein in gung-ho generals and grunts, but as the Christian Science Monitor piece below shows in the Blackwater case it appears that it's the American diplomats who've been the trigger-happy buckaroos, violating even the modest safety protocols employed by soldiers in wartime. To the extent that an internal State review panel needed to remind them of that they need to make sure their guards look … [Read more...]

Looking for stereotypes in the Muslim world

Just made the mistake of finally watching "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World".  Good grief.  I was ready for a stinker, but I didn't expect such an unearthly stench.   I haven't awaited a film's end so eagerly since I endured the numbingly dull "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues".  Not even the cursed souls of of Mystery Science Theater 3000 could find humor in this agonizingly uninspired flick. Having never once so much as cracked smile at a word … [Read more...]

The influence of Christmas on Hannukah and so much else

Came across some intriguing observations and historical analogies in the Jewish Virtual Library concerning Hannukah and, indirectly, the multi-cultural Borg that  is Christmas for many of us non-Christians in the American Melting Pot. Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. Many non-Jews (and even many assimilated Jews!) think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting … [Read more...]

CSM on American Buddhism

There's an interesting article in The Christian Science Monitor on the growth of Buddhism on American shores ("American Buddhism on the rise"), which according to this piece is our 4th largest religion today. Even a larger factor [in Buddhism's spread in the USA --Svend], he suggests, is that Buddhism offers spiritual practices that Western religions haven't emphasized."People are looking for experiential practices, not just a new belief system or a new set of ethical rules which … [Read more...]

More on Hitler’s fans in India

An Indian reader posted an intriguing comment on my post about anti-Semitism in contemporary India ("The latest thing in Bombay's nightlife: Nazi dining!"):I believe that India hosts highest number Hitler admirers in the world. Most Indians are either unaware of the crimes committed during WWII or they conveniently chose to ignore it. Most young students and even radical elder people have a fascination, admiration of Adolf Hitler. I try to find the pattern of certain sentiments (both … [Read more...]

The problem with “Muslim-only” days: Balancing assimilation with natural social divisions

Recently, news broke in the United Kingdom of a "Muslim-only" day [Reluctant HT: Islamophobic] being organized by a local Muslim community at an amusement park.  I'm relieved that it turns out that the hysterical reports have been, as so much news concerning Islam (e.g., the Miami 7) is, exaggerated [Great work, Indigo Jo!] to conveniently dovetail with the bigoted stereotypes and political agendas of Islamophobes, but the issue raised by these reports remains relevant and worth … [Read more...]