Who’s ISNA-bound?

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...]

Captain Hook becomes mayor in the UK

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.netIn 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 anything away from the achievement, but by way of context … [Read more...]

Has Zam Zam been polluted?

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 … [Read more...]

Paper: “Loving Compassion in Islam and Buddhism: Rahma and Karuna”

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...]

Leave no arms merchant behind

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 - Independent.ie 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 … [Read more...]

Hussein Rashid on LGBT Muslims

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 by a progressive Christian … [Read more...]

The Klan to Rev. Jones: Dude, you’ve jumped the shark.

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 concerned … [Read more...]

Dr. Jonathan Brown on stereotypes about Muhammad through the ages

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 is a … [Read more...]