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Orthodox Muslims consider both Ahmadi movements to be heretics and non-Muslims

'Why Pakistan's Ahmadi community is officially detested. When a Pakistani Muslim applies for a passport or national ID card, they are asked to sign an oath that no Muslim anywhere in the world is asked to sign. The oath goes like this: "I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor prophet. And also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group, to be non-Muslims."'Last month" "more than 90 Ahmadis were massacred in two mosques in Lahore". But Ahmadis are persecuted in many other countries. In Bangladesh 'Ahmadiyyas have become a persecuted group, targeted via protests and acts of violence.' Even in Indonesia, "religious conservatives put pressure on the government to monitor, and harass the Ahmadiyya community". [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 16, 2010 - 19 comments

Can I Have an Earlier Curfew?

A fresh perspective on the hijab, different from the more common apologist/sexist arguments, the carefully academic expositions, appearances in controversial news, and especially the crassly commercial.
posted by bardophile on May 30, 2010 - 131 comments

This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.

The creators of South Park were threatened (or "warned") by Muslim extremists (cached, scroll down for article including photo of dead Theo VanGogh) not to depict the Prophet Mohammad. Parker and Stone thought they'd be able to air the episode by putting Mohammad in a bear suit, but Comedy Central censored the episode due to the threats. The clip in question is not hosted at South Park's website, but exists elsewhere online. This is not the first time South Park has dealt with censorship of Mohammad's image. (previously)
posted by desjardins on Apr 22, 2010 - 112 comments

Symbolizing the Threat with Women's Clothes

Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Mar 30, 2010 - 153 comments

Islamic hardliners force closure of LGBT conference in Indonesia.

LGBT conference forcibly shut down by hardline Islamists. Last Friday, in Surabaya, Indonesia, a mob of 150 occupied the hotel where an ILGA-Asia conference was taking place. [more inside]
posted by micketymoc on Mar 29, 2010 - 27 comments

I'll put a Jihad on you

President Gaddafi Calls for Jihad Against Switzerland SLYT "Let us wage jihad against Switzerland, Zionism and foreign aggression. Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against Muhammad, God and the Koran." Previously
posted by fiestapais on Feb 26, 2010 - 88 comments

Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain The Library of Congress' Music and the Brain podcasts offer lectures and conversations about new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Sufi rituals, Wednesday is Indigo Blue (synaesthesia), Your Brain on Jazz, The Music of Language and the Language of Music, and more.
posted by carter on Feb 15, 2010 - 13 comments

Breakfast destruction

Daily life of the jihadis: rants, the usual aggressive posturing, murderous threats, and dreams of paradise. Also, problems with frying eggs.
posted by four panels on Jan 28, 2010 - 9 comments

Malaysian churches attacked over "Allah"

Malaysian Catholic newspaper Herald was recently involved in a major lawsuit against the Malaysian government, stating that their constitutional rights were violated when they were stripped of their license to publish in East Malaysian indigenous language Kadazandusun. The ruling was overturned, amidst support by state ministers and protests by the Government, the Islamic Opposition party, and Muslim activists - some of whom have spent the past week attacking churches and convents through firebombs, Molotov cocktails, paint, and bricks thrown at glass. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 10, 2010 - 25 comments

Fatwa issued against terrorists

Top Imams affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada have issued a fatwa calling those terrorists who attack the United States and Canada “evil.” ... Extremists have been told that any attack on the U.S. or on Canada will be construed as an attack on 10 million Muslims who live in these two countries. (via) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 9, 2010 - 58 comments

The new Islamic revolution

Six days ago, Seyed Ali Mousavi, nephew of Iranian opposition leader and figurehead of the Green Movement Mir Hossein Mousavi [wikipedia | facebook] was shot dead during the latest round of protests in Tehran; Seyed Ali had apparently been threatened by the police, and had recently lost his position at the Iran Academy of Arts and Sciences. After burying his nephew amidst government-sponsored protests on Wednesday, Mir Hossein Mousavi showed renewed resolve in a statement on his website which read in part: "I’m not afraid to be one of the people’s martyrs in their struggle for their just demands... My blood is no redder than theirs," and quoted the words of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the republic: "Kill us; we will only become stronger." [New York Times | Times Onlines (UK) | Al-Jazeera | Payvan Iran | Iran Focus News | Reuters | BBC] [more inside]
posted by koeselitz on Jan 1, 2010 - 74 comments

21st Century Interfaith Pioneer

The Interfaith Youth Core was started in 1998 by a group led by Rhodes Scholar Eboo Patel. Propelled by his experience growing up as a Muslim in the United States, and encouraged by the Dalai Lama, Patel seeded an organization dedicated promoting global pluralism. His story is detailed in his acclaimed autobiography, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. He keeps a blog at the Washington Post, and is a fellow at the Ashoka Foundation.
posted by Roach on Dec 29, 2009 - 4 comments

The Intelligence Factory

A journalist tries to track down the truth about a recent terror detainee.
posted by smoke on Dec 13, 2009 - 18 comments

On Architectural Criticism

Swiss voters moonlight as architecture critics. The construction of minarets in Switzerland is now forbidden, with 57% in favor of the ban, freezing the number in the country at four, with one under construction. [more inside]
posted by Vetinari on Nov 29, 2009 - 270 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

The Struggle For the Soul of Islam

Back in 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative series about the state of Islam after 9/11. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 19, 2009 - 4 comments

Freedom Can Go To Hell

Geert Wilders is now making a splash in London drawing a protest from the hardline Islamic members of the British public. The protests featured such memorable slogans as "Freedom Can Go to Hell" and "Islam will dominate the world" and eventually forced Geers to change the location of his press conference. On the ground interviews conducted by Press TV show the attitude of some of the crowd. British nationalists are naturally responding in kind.
posted by Talez on Oct 17, 2009 - 58 comments

"The Muslim Georgetown"

Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA will accept its first students in the fall of 2010 or 2011. Founded by Sheik Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir, it will be the first accredited Islamic college in the United States, open to men and women of all religions.
posted by escabeche on Oct 1, 2009 - 60 comments

Rifqa Speaks (NSFW)

Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who ran away from her Muslim parents because she believed they would kill her for converting to Christianity, has appeared on a weekly anti-Islam conference call hosted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force (headed by the wife of Focus on the Family's James Dobson, Lou Engle of The Call & Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council). Rifqa, who is in custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families and was not authorized to be on the call, shared some of her story and then launched into an extended passionate prayer. DCF officials are investigating how she came to be on the call.
posted by scalefree on Oct 1, 2009 - 46 comments

The Last of the Ottomans

The "Last of the Ottomans". Ertuğrul Osman, the grandson of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, passed away. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 26, 2009 - 27 comments

30 Mosques In 30 Days

30 Mosques in 30 Days. Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq's Ramadan journey through NYC's Muslim Community.
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2009 - 8 comments

Zeitoun

Abdelrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian American businessman who spent the days after Katrina paddling around New Orleans in a canoe, saving elderly people and feeding stranded pets. His efforts were brought to a halt when he was detained by the Bush administration on suspicion of being a terrorist. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 10, 2009 - 30 comments

Pattern in Islamic Art

Pattern in Islamic Art - thousands of high quality, free pictures of various motifs, patterns and architectural elements of mosques and other structures from Asia to West Africa. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 6, 2009 - 31 comments

"There's an audience for the story...largely the result of Senator John Ensign's libido..."

Jesus Plus Nothing, Minus Somalia: How the Christian fundamentalism of The Family (also known as the C Street Fellowship) turned Somalia into the next staging ground for Islamic radicalism.
posted by jonp72 on Jul 22, 2009 - 41 comments

The headscarf martyr

Marwa el-Sherbini testified in court against a neighbor who had called her a "terrorist" because she wore the hijab. As she spoke, the man she had accused walked across the courtroom and stabbed her 18 times. In the Muslim world, she is now being referred to as "the headscarf martyr." [more inside]
posted by melissam on Jul 11, 2009 - 144 comments

wetness ... pours onto my paper out of my pen

Suheir Hammad, a Palestinian-American poet and activist now based in New York, writes about being a Muslim immigrant and also a woman challenging conventions. Spotted by Russell Simmons for Def Poetry Jam, she has performed pieces about love in the time of war, exoticising beauty, and a touching ode to her father, among many others. Suheir has just produced and released her first feature film Salt of This Sea, up for the Cannes Films Festival and possibly an Oscar, and recently performed in Ramallah for the 2009 Palestinian Festival of Literature.
posted by divabat on Jul 7, 2009 - 5 comments

When Gravity Fails

Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1, part 2, part 3), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame - a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.
posted by Artw on Jun 9, 2009 - 32 comments

Rebooting the US relationship to the Muslim world.

Obama speaks in Cairo: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." Text is here. He quoted the Koran and highlighted a subject he avoided during his campaign - his own family's ties to Islam, his youth in Muslim Indonesia and even Chicago's Nation of Islam. An early roundup of US right wing reaction, and US left wing reaction, and the Middle East.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 4, 2009 - 135 comments

Beneath the burqa

Shuttlecock burqas to fetish wear. Some snapshots of Pakistan's struggles with its sexual identities. [more inside]
posted by tavegyl on May 14, 2009 - 10 comments

Islam, modernity and democracy

Is the west thwarting Arab plans for reform? Few Muslims now invest much hope in the democratic western powers (essentially the US, Britain and France) that back the rulers who oppress them, even if, against the odds, they still admire “western” values, science and culture. There is no endemic or intrinsic conflict between Christians and Muslims. Rather, the root of the problem is that a majority of Muslims is convinced that the west – interested only in a stability based on regional strongmen, the security of Israel and cheap oil – is engaged in a war against Islam and is bent on denying them the freedoms it claims for itself. That is why it is so self-defeating to collude in tyranny as ostensibly a lesser evil than political Islam. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 14, 2009 - 32 comments

Philosophia Islamica

Meet the Islamic Philosophers. Arabic philosophy sought to reconcile the science and empiricism of Aristotle, the metaphysics of Neoplatonism, and the revelations of the Holy Qur'an. From the first thoughts of Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī, to the 20,000 pages of Abū 'l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd, the influence of these Muslim polymaths profoundly shaped Western thought. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Mar 31, 2009 - 12 comments

Faith and Ecstasy

Pakistan's believers in Islamic mysticism embrace a personal approach to their faith and a different outlook on how to run their country’s government. The BBC asks "Can Sufi Islam counter the Taleban?" The Economist reports "Of Saints and Sinners".
Meanwhile from two in-depth reporters; William Dalrymple : Pakistan is a country staring disaster in the face); and Moni Mohsin: A personal history of Pakistan on the brink.
The counterinsurgency tactics that seem to have worked so well in Iraq could backfire in Pakistan. (more articles from Nicholas Schmidle)
posted by adamvasco on Mar 4, 2009 - 34 comments

Muslim Superheroes.

In an attempt (flash) to provide Muslim and Arab youth with homegrown heroes, The 99 puts out comics and builds theme parks with a twist. [more inside]
posted by gman on Feb 16, 2009 - 12 comments

Happy Valentine's Day, Mr. Rushdie

Today is the 20th anniversary of the permanent fatwa pronounced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against the life of Salman Rushdie for writing his novel The Satanic Verses. Said the Ayatollah: "Even if Salman Rushdie repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell."
posted by rdone on Feb 14, 2009 - 41 comments

I have nothing to declare except my prejudice.

"Let them arrest me". Vehemently anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna (wiki, mefi). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK would pose a "serious threat to [...] public security" (PDF), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 11, 2009 - 83 comments

Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East.

Work by more than 20 contemporary artists from the Middle East is being showcased at the Saatchi Gallery.

"Their art isn't (like so much western art) about consumerism or celebrity or art itself; it's about suicide bombers, religious police, unending war, and the denigration of women in Islamic societies."
posted by gman on Jan 29, 2009 - 5 comments

Religious takes on the global financial crisis

The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a decline in spirituality. Hindus blame it on greed. Saudi Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, blames the crisis on ignoring God's rules. Jewish scholars say we could have avoided a crisis by following Talmudic traditions. Pope Benedict sees the global financial system as "self-centred, short-sighted and lacking in concern for the destitute." Is it right to pray for the economy? (a Christian perspective). A Malaysian conference brings together Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and Sikhs to discuss the crisis.
posted by desjardins on Jan 14, 2009 - 93 comments

India

The Story of India : PBS HD
posted by vronsky on Jan 12, 2009 - 28 comments

Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds.

After a year of research spanning four continents and interviews with dozens of people across the internet, Dancing Ink Productions will release their findings from the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds project on Thursday, January 29.
posted by gman on Jan 6, 2009 - 2 comments

Illustrations of the Shahnama, the Persian epic poem

The Princeton Shahnama Project is an "archive of book paintings--commonly known as Persian Miniatures--that were created to illustrate scenes from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (the Book of Kings). The Shahnama is a poem of some 50,000 couplets that was composed by Abu'l Qasim Firdausi over a period of several decades in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The core of this archive is a fund of 277 illustrations from five illustrated manuscripts of the Shahnama that are housed in Princeton University's Firestone Library." The site also has the complete Shahnama in the Warner & Warner translation but here's another translation by Helen Zimmern [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2009 - 5 comments

Samuel Huntington Dies

Samuel Phillip Huntington, best known for his work "Clash of Civilizations," died on December 24. Previously on the blue (here, here, here, and here)
posted by Glibpaxman on Dec 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Islam and Evolution

Bracing for Islamic Creationism (PDF). "To avoid a vast rejection of evolution in the Muslim world, scientists can present the theory as the bedrock of biology and can stress its practical applications." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 17, 2008 - 47 comments

Cuddle 'n Coo 'n Proselytize

The Mattel toy company insists that their Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls do not utter the phrase "Islam is the light." You be the judge.
posted by Knappster on Oct 24, 2008 - 75 comments

LittleBigPlanet Recalled

LittleBigPlanet, the highly anticipated create your own platformer game by Media Molecule, originally set to release next week, has been recalled. The reason? Apparently one of the music tracks used in the game, "Tapha Niang" by Grammy Award winner Toumani Diabate, contains verses from the Qur'an. As it's a no no to mix Islamic holy text with music, Sony has pulled the game after complaints. The problem has been fixed, but no new release date has been announced.
posted by yellowbinder on Oct 17, 2008 - 61 comments

Blind Muslims with guide dogs

Blind Muslims with guide dogs. Dogs are usually considered unclean, but one U.K. imam carried out research and determined that a dog in service to, or trained by, a person could be allowed in a mosque. [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Oct 10, 2008 - 44 comments

Terror At Home

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque. This after Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West appeared as a paid advertising insert in the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and Middletown Journal, all owned by Cox Ohio Publishing, on Monday, Sept. 22. [more inside]
posted by effwerd on Sep 29, 2008 - 71 comments

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has beautiful objects to delight every fancy, whether you seek manuscript illustration (more), calligraphy (more), glassware (more), archetectural elements (more) and much, yes, more! If you want some knowledge to go with the beauty then you are in luck because on the site there is an overview of Islamic art history from inception to the now.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 21, 2008 - 5 comments

The Clarion Call of Obsession

The Clarion Fund has been placing DVD advertisements in newspapers. That, in itself is not terribly new. What's new is that they are advertising fear and propaganda, and they're only targeting swing states. [more inside]
posted by tomierna on Sep 18, 2008 - 37 comments

Heavy Metal Muslims

An article by Johann Hari (a remarkable columnist) in today's Independent about the substantial Heavy Metal movement in the Muslim world inserted a flicker of hope into my normally gloomy outlook on the current situation. I know that in my youth I used Heavy Metal (old school) as a hammer to tell my parents, my teachers and the world in general that I was different from them and did not accept their rules, judgements and values. If that is happening in Tehran, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan then I'm with the kids. Go Metalheads! Rock the Mullahs! Tarantist look and sound the part but the listing on their YouTube page of 'Home town - Tehran/Los Angeles' is a bit worrying. How the hell do they work that gig? [more inside]
posted by surfdad on Sep 8, 2008 - 18 comments

Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- Kill

The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
posted by digaman on Aug 27, 2008 - 58 comments

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