Yuletide musings on the Ramadan shutdown

A belated Merry Christmas to those playing with new toys today.Growing up a Muslim in Boston, I always resented how agonizingly bored I found myself every Christmas Day, with seemingly every business establishment but the local movie theater and occasional Chinese restaurant conspiring to deny me anything whatsoever to do. (See my 2005 post, "The Grinch: The Misundersood Mujahid," for more.)Today, at the age of 40, with family--and, ahem, broadband, even if NetFlix cruelly let me down … [Read more...]

Why is Apple denying Americans information about their governnment’s drone attacks?

If you care about the health of American democracy and/or the large numbers of civilians being regularly killed through drone attacks in South Asia, please spread the word about the outrageous decision by Apple, Inc. to block an app mapping drone attacks from the AppStore.Please use to the action alert on Roots Action to let Apple know that this is unacceptable. And get the word out."Apple Censors Drone War"  (Roots Action): Apple Inc., which has received over $9 million in Pentagon … [Read more...]

Yoginder Sikand: ‘Progressive Islam’ in Pakistan

Some interesting observations about the tragic irrelevance of secularized Pakistani intellectuals and the tools available for socially progressive activism within Pakistan's indigenous Sufi tradition. I've always been frustrated by how prominent Pakistani intellectuals always seem to resort to imported Western discourse when advocating justice or reform, even when directly applicable Islamic concepts and terminology are readily available.  Instead of using arguments that could resonate with … [Read more...]

Mob rule & what passes for piety among the mullahs

This article in IPS, "PAKISTAN: Cartoon Protests Cripple Local Trade", would make me laugh if it weren't so tragic and painfully familiar. More examples of the reduction of Islamic piety to nihilistic hooliganism: The once popular Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet here, which was torched and looted on Feb. 15, during a massive rally joined by 75,000 protesters, now stands draped, incongruously, with banners carrying verses from the Quran. At least three persons were killed and … [Read more...]

Pakistanis protesting against cartoons

The grisly show continues, as mobs in Pakistan swing into action to defend the Prophet by...vandalizing businesses in Peshawar.  That'll show those villains at Jyllands-Posten.  I'm reminded a bit of race riots in this country, where rioters often shoot themselves in the foot by trashing shops and other scarce economic infrastructure in their own communities.  The psychological reasons are complex, of course, but it's still tragic. Moreover, with all its economic and political … [Read more...]

Who killed General Zia?

The fearless and always enlightening Eric Margolis on new suspicions that that perrenial favorite of Muslim conspiracy buffs--often for very good reason--the Mossad, had a hand in General Zia's demise in 1988. Read Another Day in Empire's informative analysis, too, while you're at it. I'm far too uninformed on this to have an opinion as to the culprit, but the premise is hardly ridiculous.  It wouldn't be the first time Israeli intelligence has been involved in assasinations or other … [Read more...]