Overestimating Muslim Numbers

An article in The Guardian showed the extent to which Europeans – and Americans – overestimate the percentage of the population of their country who are Muslims. The article also highlights other differences between perception and reality, for instance in relation to the views of others in their country about a variety of controversial topics. Click through [Read More…]

The Unsurprising Intersection of Islam and Science Fiction

IO9 highlighted what it called the “surprising” intersection of Islam and sci-fi. The only thing surprising, to me, was that this is described as surprising – and that seems to just be a case of a clickbait title, since the article itself explains why this should not be surprising. The long history of pioneering exploration in [Read More…]

Islamophobin

This spoof product has its own commercial: I’m not sure that anyone who is going on the trip I’m leading to Israel and the West Bank starting on this coming Monday suffers from Islamophobia. But sometimes prejudices and assumptions run deep even in those who may seem like they lack them and know better. I suspect that having [Read More…]

Digital Humanities in Ancient Jewish, Christian and Arabic Traditions

Don’t miss the special issue of the Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture focused on ancient Jewish, Christian, and Arabic literature. It includes articles such as Carrie Schroeder’s on “Digital Humanities as Cultural Capital,” as well as an introduction by Claire Clivaz. Want still more open access scholarship. Be sure to follow the Ancient World Online [Read More…]

Easy Mistake to Make

  Hemant Mehta shared the above correction that appeared recently in the New York Times. Any theories about how such an error came about?   [Read more…]

Chad Bauman, Blogger

My colleague at Butler, Chad Bauman, recently wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches, on the perception he has encountered among Hindus in India that “Americans hate Muslims, too.” Here’s a sample: Still today, when I travel in India, Hindus presupposing my agreement frequently make off-handed and derogatory comments about their Muslim neighbors. For those concerned [Read More…]

Do Flat-Earthers Live On The Same Planet We Do?

Flat-Earthers have been getting more attention lately, for reasons that I cannot quite fathom. But I will not complain, and here’s why: Jonathan Robinson found a wonderful application for an analogy with those who insist that the Earth is flat. Even though flat-earthers say things about the Earth that are blatantly untrue and clearly wrong, we would nonetheless [Read More…]

ISNA Vandalized

I have felt connected to very important events in recent years, as well as more closely in touch with Islam in North America, thanks to the presence of the Islamic Society of North America's headquarters in nearby Plainfield. Students from Butler regularly visit there, and some have even done internships. And so I was dismayed [Read More…]

X-Files 10.5 – Babylon

No need to justify discussing this episode of the X-Files in relation to religion – the episode begins with a Muslim man at prayer. The same man goes to pick up another Arabic-speaking friend, and then they go to an art gallery called Ziggurat, where there is a depiction of the prophet Muhammad. They blow it up. [Read More…]

But I Tell You Whoever Googles Hatred

The New York Times had an article recently on the spike in “hate searches” after events such as terrorist attacks. The term “hate search” refers to things typed into search engines which express hatred towards an entire category of people, such as Muslims. After reading about this phenomenon, I imagined Jesus’ words being updated for [Read More…]