A few weeks ago, I posted some comments  concerning Muqtedar Khan’s resignation from the Progressive Muslim Union that sparked a rather lively exchange between myself and some of his defenders in the blogosphere.  I ended up removing the original entries from the blog after a few days.  I did so out of my own ambivalence about PMU/MWU and because I realized that some my off-the-cuff remarks could have been phrased more judiciously (not to mention weren’t intended as my definitive… Read more

Ivan Eland provides a compelling answer to the question,  "Why Did Terrorists Strike London?. After explaining the likely strategic objectives behind this monstrous crime, he provides some moral clarity and consistency to his level-headed analysis that is conspicuously absent from so much of the commentary to be found in the American media:Anytime non-combatants are purposefully killed, a monstrous moral crime has been committed. But in the United States, no one ever seems to ask why the attackers are motivated to… Read more

As we mourn the dead in London and pray for peace, we should remember why we’re in this mess in the first place. A deadly dance is going on before the world’s eyes between George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden.  Like most dances, it requires two eager partners.    As John Pilger argues in "Blair’s Bombs" , the wide-eyed zealots running American foreign policy today (and the spineless British leaders who are going along with it despite their own… Read more

Mariano Aguirre has written a trenchant critique of the politics of the pundit Michael Ignatieff  in  OpenDemocracy.net. This piece highlights a depressing trend in American political life, the willingness of many self-described liberal and progressive intellectuals to propagandize for the immoral and disastrously short-sighted "Neocon" foreign policy of the Bush administration and its allies. Since 9/11 there has been a parade of liberals who’ve finally come out of the closet as Realpolitik pragmatists when it comes to Muslims (Christopher Hitchens… Read more

This is a really informative and stimulating review by noted terrorism expert Peter Bergen of an explosive new documentary by Adam Curtis called The Power of Nightmares.  It argues something that I have long believed, that the al-Qaida threat has been hugely exaggerated by warmongering neocons and a sensationalistic media.  They have created a largely fictious construct that takes spontaneous and independent acts of terrorism, crime and resistance around the world as part of a shadowy, world-spanning conspiracy.  There is… Read more

"Friedman Wrong About Muslims Again And the Amman Statement on Ecumenism"http://www.juancole.com/2005/07/friedman-wrong-about-muslims-again-and.html A great piece by Juan Cole exploring the latest politically convenient oversimplification made by Thomas Friedman to blame Muslims for problems that aren’t entirely of their making. Read more

Came across a promissing project called freedocumentaries.org.  This group distributes independent documentaries on current affairs online for free.   Such innovative initiatives are desperately needed, as the corporate media’s stranglehold on debate is becoming a threat to America’s social and political health.  Alternative delivery channels must be developed so that progressives and activists can bypass the sterile, complacent "debate" of the Corporate Media.  This is an area that the American Right is lightyears ahead on, btw, not that they really need… Read more

UmmZaid  made the following observation about my entry on "Muslim organizations waking up to discrimination in mosques"Salaam ‘Alaikum"I’d wonder if this wasn’t a cynical PR move by hardliners in the establishment who’ve been embarassed by the Asra Nomani crusade…"I just have to point out, b/c this point seems to be missed time and again, that although CAIR released the document, it was written by Shahina Siddiqui and done in conjunction with Women in Islam, led by the very venerable Aisha… Read more

Due to my own increasing ambivalence about PMU/MWU in recent times and my conclusion that this exchange is ultimately unconstructive, I have decided to remove my previous postings on the topic.  I continue to feel that the wording and tenor of Muqtedar Khan’s resignation letter"–his scathing statement is already being disseminated on the Internet (e.g., LivingTradition, American Muslim Perspective)–were inappropriate and problematic coming from a scholar dedicated to reform and what he calls the "progressive agenda  and I remain concerned… Read more

This brouhaha over PMU has been a bit of a distraction from more important things, such as the savage attacks in London.  One can only shake one’s head and pray for the victims of this butchery.  May Allah grant them peace and forgive their sins. I also pray that this terror does not play into the hands of those on both sides who strive to keep the Muslim world and the West in a state of ever escalating conflict.  (Jim… Read more

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