Avari-Nameh on the ‘Desi X-Men’

Thank goodness I'd just visited the mensroom, 'cause this really could have made me soil myself. avari: desi x-men Imagine the X-Men superhero mythology was set in the Subcontinent, instead of the United States. What would some of the mutant characters be?  The Human Lota. When nature calls, genes intervene. His right hand turns into a lota, and then, once the washing is done, provides blow drying and hand washing capabilities. Just think of the range of this superhero mutant: He can now … [Read more...]

Gratitude for the simple things in life

Lest we forget how much we have to be grateful for. God bless him and his parents. A photo from Washingtonpost.com of a two-month old baby in Shanghai. A doctor inspects a 59-day-old baby boy who was born with three arms, at a hospital in Shanghai, in east China Monday, May 29, 2006. Doctors are checking the boys physical condition before deciding whether to remove his third arm. (AP Photo) … [Read more...]

Virtually Islamic

Thought I'd share a very interesting blog that charts the intersection of Islam and the Internet called Virtually Islamic.  It's by Gary Bunt, the author of a number of cutting-edge books and articles on Muslims and the Internet.  If you're a techie like me, you're sure to find it entertaining.  For example, he reports on a stink in Saudi Arabia at the moment over an imam who was punished for using his laptop during the khutbah (Friday sermon). It's inelegant and undesirable in … [Read more...]

How about policing OUR arms shipments?

There's a shocking report in The Guardian about mind-bogglingly lax and irresponsible monitoring by the Pentagon of shipments of tens of thousands of small arms over the last few years from Bosnia to Iraq via a murky constellation of private firms. Now, reflect upon this bizarre news and consider how Muslims and Muslim organizations have been treated as terrorism supporters for contributing to charities which are undeniably doing legitimate humanitarian work but which might, unknown to them, … [Read more...]

When in doubt, call it ‘jihad’

For those of you who liked my "Understanding Muslim Language" post, I've tweaked it, mainly adding more on jihad at the end.  You can jump to the new section by clicking on this link. … [Read more...]

Understanding Muslim Language

My heart really goes out to journalists charged with the daunting task of getting to the bottom of the neverending mayhem of the Middle East and Muslim world.  The region's confusing and disturbing twists and turns are only made ever more inscrutable by the baffling way Muslims talk.  Their inconsistent statements make it even harder for normal people to make sense of the screaming headlines we read every day reporting the latest outbreak of violence, irrationality, or hatred over … [Read more...]

National Review on Denmark’s “Democratic Muslims”

There's an unremarkable piece in The National Review by Andrew Stuttaford on Denmark's Naser Khader and his Democratic Muslims group. Predictably, the article cites Ahmed Akkari's infamous quip about killing Khader by blowing up the Ministry of Integration as prima facie proof of dangerous extremism, as opposed to what such silly melodramatic declarations generally are in the real world, exagerrations for dramatic effect and/or rants to let off steam. Yes, I said "silly", not … [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...]