I'm catching up on "Behind the News." Podcast #1: July 23, 2011 – “James Galbraith on deficit hysteria and the single-volume collection of four books by his father, John Kenneth Galbraith, published by the Library of Amerca nterview with James Galbraith” As in previous interviews, Galbraith argues forcefully that the claims of "crises" looming if Social Security and Medicare aren't "reformed" (read: gutted for ideological as opposed to sound economic reasons) that we’ve been nearing ad nauseam inside the Beltway… Read more

I periodically whine about the baleful consequences of my longish commute from the employmentally arid wilds of central Oklahoma—Stillwater, if you must know—to the more professionally fertile environs of Oklahoma City. It’s been a major factor in the infrequency with which I blog. And it’s gotten worse, as I’m now commuting for the time being even farther, south of OKC to Norman. Sigh… But a nice benefit of this situation is that I listen to a lot of enlightening podcasts… Read more

An upcoming HBO special to air on August 1st that follows several young students of the Quran looks very interesting. From http://norget.com/koranbyheart/: HBO Documentary Films is pleased to announce that KORAN BY HEART, the latest film from Greg Barker (SERGIO), will premiere on HBO Monday, August 1, 2011. Called “SPELLBOUND in Arabic” (Variety), KORAN BY HEART was greeted by standing ovations at all of its recent Tribeca Film Festival screenings. It is an engaging and inspiring film about three 10-year-old… Read more

I have a new post on Tikkun Daily: What passes for anthropological analysis in the MSM Read more

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… Read more

I'm pleased to report that a 2008 essay I wrote for Religion Dispatches on the occasion of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday has been published in a collection of short essays on the issues involved in his assassination and legacy. The book in question is The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. , edited by Noah Berlatsky and published by Greenhaven Press this year. It's part of their "Perspectives on Modern World History" series, which I think is… Read more

Will be at ISNA this year, insha'Allah. Lurking friends, well-wishers and polite ill-wishers that are also attending are encouraged to drop me a line. After half a decade out here in Real America–first Georgia then Oklahoma–there's a whole lot of catching up to do. I'm wondering if I'll even manage to set foot in a lecture hall. Read more

No, I'm not talking about that moronic comic book zealot, Abu Hamza Al-Masri. (Sorry if I caused any of you Brits to soil yourselves.) I'm just riffing on this get-up. A milestone in the UK: Britain Gets First Muslim Woman Lord Mayor – Europe – News – OnIslam.net In a major leap for the Muslim minority in Britain, a Muslim woman was named on Tuesday, May 24, as the lord mayor of the district of Bradford. Not that it takes… Read more

A very interesting development involving the water of Zam Zam. After smuggling some out and having it tested, some British scientists are contending that it's so high in arsenic as to be "poisonous." For those that don't know, Zam Zam is a Meccan well to whose waters Islamic tradition imputes miraculous properties (something like Lourdes for Catholics). Muslims around the world seek out bottles of the water and pay a pretty penny for it. Of course, from a believer's standpoint,… Read more

An interesting paper on the place of compassion in Islam and Buddhism by Dr. Reza Shah-Kazemi is available for download on the website of the Institute of Ismaili Studies.The Institute of Ismaili Studies – Loving Compassion in Islam and Buddhism: Rahma and Karuna Read more

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