I’ve blogged on occasion about Legos. You might remember me mentioning The Brick Testament,which retells a number of famous (and in some cases shocking) stories from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Well, I appear to be the last person in the Islamophere to notice the wonderful blog Teaching Kids the Holy Quran, which aims to do the same for the Quran, but with some innovative twists. I love this glimpse of a Lego Jahannam (Hell) from Chapter 72/Surah… Read more

For those who are French-enabled, I thought I'd share a great radio skit that's stirred up controversy in France. There's a new humorous skit on French public radio called A votre écoute coûte que coûte (which I'd translate as "Listening to you, whatever the cost [to me of doing so]") about radio call-in show on health issues hosted by two insufferably smug and superficial experts (a doctor and a psychiatrist who are married). This particular episode involves a call from… Read more

The collection of essays by American-Muslim men that I mentioned before—and to which I myself contributed a piece—will be published in a few months and is now available for pre-order. Its title is now All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim. It now boasts a foreword by the trailblazing US Congressman Keith Ellison. Kudos to the book’s editors Wajahat Ali and Zahra Suratwala.   Here’s the current Amazon blurb on All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim: Follow up work… Read more

Came across a helpful if a bit sketchy overview of the schools of thought within the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement that’s on Western observers’ minds these days. According to “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Trial of Pluralism” by Ibrahim El-Houdaiby in the Egyptian newspaper Midan Misr, there 4 streams: Islamic Modernism in the mold of Muhammad Abduh (and later Mahmud Shaltut) that “rejects the authority of turath (accumulated heritage of Islamic sciences), and calls for the return to Quran and Sunnah and… Read more

This has no relevance to Islam, American politics or the price of fish, but as an ardent fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I have to give this delightfully obscure and unexpected mashup a nod.  Octimus Prime and the Autobots are up against their fiercest, most spine-tingling foe yet: Cthulhu! As if that's not entertaining enough, the Autobots are Steampunkified. I haven't bought a comic book in ages, but the surreal novelty and unbridled geekery of this title may change that.  A… Read more

A very timely report from the trenches of the War on Terror. Al-Qaeda's most insidious plot yet: the peaceful decoy Muslims! The Onion News: "Al Qaeda Populating U.S. With Peaceful 'Decoy Muslims'" The sad thing is that this is barely satire, in some circles of American politics and media. The Orwellian notion that Muslims who are to all appearances and by all conventional standards  squeaky-clean, "normal" and "moderate"–but who do not enlist in the Islamophobes' cause–ultimately pose the greatest threat… Read more

This sight  surely scared the bank manager more than a sprinting horde of "Brains!"-chanting zombies would have.  [HT: SF Weekly] ‘Wild Old Women’ Close San Francisco Bank Of America Branch (CBS San Francisco, January 5, 2012): SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It was a slow-moving Occupy Wall Street protest, but it was an effective one. A dozen senior citizens calling themselves “the wild old women” succeeded in closing a Bank of America branch in Bernal Heights Thursday. The women, aged 69… Read more

Followed a link from someone's Facebook page to the Taleef Collective website and watched some of their videos. Judging by the brief interviews there, the Taleef Collective looks like an innovative community initiative that strives to create a social space that appeals to and meets the needs of American-born Muslims, and which doesn't reproduce all the religiously unnecessary and/or culturally out-of-place practices and hangups that make many immigrant-run mosques in American less hospitable than they could be to new and… Read more

A disturbing example of a small business getting sued by a corporate giant over ridiculous trademark infringement claims, and by a company that prides itself on being in touch with family town values. They cease operations on the Sabbath–Chick-fil-A proudly advertizes its policy of closing on Sundays for religious reasons–but go for the jugular against, as Anderson Cooper cleverly sums it up, "a little guy with a squeegee." So, I guess all the companies, organizations and church groups that spoof… Read more

The rapid decline in the security of Christian communities in the Middle East in recent years pains and alarms me beyond measure. For just one example–and from what I understand yet worse trends are being seen in Iraq–consider this heart-breaking depressing statistic about Egypt  (“After Egypt’s Revolution, Christians Are Living in Fear” – NYTimes.com): COPTS represent approximately 10 percent of Egypt’s population and are the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians. Yet, sensing danger while everyone else in Egypt and… Read more

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