Descendent of infamous Nazi becomes Jewish

One of the more surreal dispatches on interfaith affairs: Independent Online Edition > Europe Matthias Goering says: "I used to feel cursed by my name. Now I feel blessed."  The 49-year-old physiotherapist, a descendant of Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler's right-hand man, is wearing a Jewish skullcap, with a Star of David pendant round his neck. After being brought up to despise Jews, he has embraced their faith. And although he has yet to formally convert to Judaism, he keeps … [Read more...]

Die Zeit on ‘Fortress Denmark’

Germany's Die Zeit weekly has just run a series of withering pieces on Denmark's rising xenophobia,  "In der Festung Dänemark"(which I'm pretty sure means "In Fortress Denmark"). The Danish newspaper Politiken has a summary of the coverage in Danish (appropriately entitled "Tysk magasin hudfletter Danmark", German magazine flays Denmark).  Haven't found a summary in English yet. Some interesting points: I've noted before how I suspected that few Danes … [Read more...]

The passing of Rafi Sharif

Another dear friend has passed. Last August, I blogged about the shocking and poignant demise of Marian, a friend and the wife of a close family friend of mine, Rafi Sharif.  (Note: I've since added the text from the Baltimore Sun's beautiful article on the sad occasion to the end of that post.) It's with a heavy heart that I report Rafi's passing last Thursday, ironically on my birthday.  Inna lillah wa innaa ilayhi rajioon.  To God we belong and to Him we … [Read more...]

Fukuyama: Neocons a gang of ‘Leninists’

While there are few more stinging put-downs on the American Right than "Leninist", I actually think Fukuyama lets them off easy in some ways.  Sure, he exposes their incredible inconsistency and brashness, but I think a full reckoning would include a few paragraphs on their stunning incompetance in governance, their Inspector Clouseau-like bumbling. I applaud him for his integrity and courage in speaking out, but too bad it took him so long to detect his comrades' manifest … [Read more...]

WP: Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing

Sadly, this development is inevitable, not because of what's happening in the world, but because of how the corporate mainstream media work.  Their focus on current events over history and sensationalism over systematic analysis not only makes these stereotypes seem justified by the facts, but it makes them the only logical reaction for the average person who lacks alternative information sources. This is a bit random, but I see a certain parallel here with some of the "conspiracy … [Read more...]

The passing of Rafi Sharif

This post has been updated and moved here. … [Read more...]

One student’s curious defense of the Ummah

With friends like these...BBC NEWS | Americas | Iranian in US campus 'car attack' An Iranian student has been charged with attempting to murder nine people with a car in the US to "avenge the deaths of Muslims", he told police. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, 22, drove a rented Jeep into a crowd at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Friday, police said. … [Read more...]

BBC: US ‘settles 9/11 detainee’s suit’

Uncle Sam is settling a lawsuit filed by a wrongfully detained Egyptian national.  It's an encouraging development, and hopefully a sign that a modicum of sanity and due process may be returning to the American legal system where Muslims are concerned. Given how the Bush Administration has unapologetically ridden roughshod over civil rights and due process, one suspects that this case was particularly egregious. This shouldn't come from your or my pockets as taxpayers, though.  At … [Read more...]