Paris is Burning

For over a week now, Paris has been rocked by riots by "disaffected youths" (more specifically, young Frenchmen of North African and West African descent) in some of its suburbs--in French banlieu, or suburb, means "ghetto"--after 2 youths died (and one is in serious condition) after seeking refuge in an electric transformer in order to escape the police (who'd caught them trying to break into a backyard shed).  Upon getting the news over a week ago, scores of angry … [Read more...]

Tarawih in French

Islam Online has an interesting article on French Muslims entitled "Young French Muslims Want Tarawih in French".  It reports that some 2nd and 3rd generation French Muslims--who are mostly of North African descent--are calling for Tarawih prayers (the special nightly prayers during Ramadan in which the whole of the Quran is recited) in French. I'd like to get more information on this, as I find it hard to imagine that people are really calling for salat to be done in French. … [Read more...]

Ramadan memories

Ramadan is upon us and American life continues to whiz along at its "normal", hectic pace, quite indifferent to the fact that this is supposed to be a time of quiet reflection and prayer for Muslims. This is the time of year I always wish I were in a Muslim-majority country.  Like a Jew who ends his Passover Seder meal with the prayer, "Next year in Jerusalem!"  I vow to myself everyday during Ramadan, "Next year in a simpler place and a simpler life." Of … [Read more...]