All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim

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 wor … [Read more...]

Insights into diversity within the Muslim Brotherhood

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 … [Read more...]

The Transformers face a truly eldritch horror!

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 panel … [Read more...]

Beware the peaceful decoy Muslims!

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 … [Read more...]

Old folks “occupy” CA bank

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, … [Read more...]

The Ta’leef Collective

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 … [Read more...]

On the likelihood of mistaking a pile of kale for a chicken sandwich

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 … [Read more...]

Muslim leaders need to put the lot of religious minorities high on the agenda before it’s too late

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" - COPTS represent approximately 10 percent of Egypt’s population and are the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians. Yet, sensing danger wh … [Read more...]