Johann Hari has sharp piece on the OBL assassination and US foreign policy. Here's a choice excerpt: Flawed US policy keeps Osama's message alive – Analysis, Opinion – Osama Bin Laden is dead, but US foreign policy is still giving him what he wanted. The US is bleeding cash. The angry, fighting people in Afghanistan today are — according to leaked CIA reports — overwhelmingly "a tribal, localised insurgency" who "see themselves as opposing the US because it is… Read more

Hussein Rashid has a thoughtful piece in Religion Dispatches on the need for the American Muslim community to begin a rather overdue dialogue with its gay members. This is a topic I’ve often considered trying to gingerly broach, myself. I say “gingerly” because it’s a complex topic, and one where it’s easy to get co-opted by zealots on one side or another. Taking as his point of departure a controversy over an ad promoting tolerance towards gays that was rejected… Read more

I'm reminded of the "you know you're a redneck if" jokes. ILLUME :: Ku Klux Klan Says It Doesn't Condone Tea Party or Qur'an Burning A clear sign that perhaps you've gone off the deep end? When even the Ku Klux Klan tries to distance itself from your actions.According to some little noticed 2010 press releases on the KKK's main website, which turned up this week on Reddit, it seems as if America's most famous hate group is actually very… Read more

This is a fascinating talk on the striking continuity to be found in Western stereotypes concerning the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over the last 14 centuries. It provides examples of why those who slander the Prophet with charges of "pedophilia" (God forbid) are, at best, historical ignoramuses. It really is as simple as that. Jonathan Brown – Abiding Stereotypes About the Prophet Muhammad in the Medieval and Modern West from Ali Vural Ak Center for Global I on Vimeo. The speaker… Read more

I have a new post on Tikkun Daily about Osama bin Laden’s death. Read more

Here's an interesting case of religiously motivated censorship. Religious paper apologizes for erasing Clinton from iconic photo – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs Faith has outweighed fact at Di Tzeitung, a Hasidic newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication ran a doctored copy of the iconic “Situation Room Photo” last Friday – you know, the one taken of President Barack Obama and his national security team during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Scrubbed from… Read more

This interview is a fascinating and eye-opening overview of the Golden State's little known history of virulent de facto racial segregation (called "genteel Apartheid" by one sociologist in as far back as 1960). This is important work. We as a society will never be able to have a fair, factually-grounded discussion about social policy so long as we labor under all these Disney-esque misconceptions about the origins of poverty, racism and marginalization in contemporary America. Tues 4.12.11| What Golden Age?… Read more

If you like good movies, you need to see this amazing film. Read more

Happy Easter to Christian friends out there. Read more

Most of the time I post stuff about Denmark, it tends to be bad news–of course, if you're a Muslim observer of Danish politics there's often been, sadly, pretty good reason for that–so I thought I'd try to atone a bit by translating this very thoughtful and topical piece by a Danish pundit on the lessons of the Arab Spring. One could quibble about a few small things (e.g., identifying Saudi-funded establishments as "ultra-orthodox"; their claim to orthodoxy is rather… Read more

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