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!
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 -
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 -
Asra Q. Nomani
writes in The Wall Street Journal on Sherry Jones's new historical novel, "The Jewel of Medina
" about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Random House has pulled the book for fears of a political and extremist nature.
In a statement, Random House said: "We stand firmly by our responsibility to support our authors and the free discussion of ideas, even those that may be construed as offensive by some. However, a publisher must weigh that responsibility against others that it also bears, and in this instance we decided, after much deliberation, to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House Inc, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the book."
Over at the Guardian
, you can read more about the controversy.
posted by Fizz
on Aug 12, 2008 -
Who are Muslims?
Gallup has conducted a poll "in 40 predominantly Muslim nations and among significant Muslim populations in the West. It is the first set of unified and scientifically representative views from 1.3 billion Muslims globally." They'll be parsing and interpreting this data for years, but for the time being, they've offered some of their key results online
and in print
. See also, the Muslim-West Facts Initiative
) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea
on Jul 28, 2008 -
On a sunny May morning, six plainclothes police officers, two uniformed policemen and a trio of functionaries from the state prosecutor's office closed in on a small apartment in Amsterdam. Their quarry: a skinny Dutch cartoonist with a rude sense of humor. Informed that he was suspected of sketching offensive drawings of Muslims and other minorities, the Dutchman surrendered without a struggle.
"I never expected the Spanish Inquisition
," recalls Gregorius Nekschot
, the cartoonist.
posted by plexi
on Jul 24, 2008 -
, take a ride
at some of the Islamic Art
of the past. Or, you could call it Art
of the Islamic World
if you're so inclined. If not, then how about taking into account some of the major milestones
throughout the centuries
, from past
(more examples here
), including the art
. Not to mention the Arab
world's contribution to music
, both old
, and here
, with a wonderful
comment from nickyskye
posted by hadjiboy
on May 29, 2008 -
The Mexican kitchen's Islamic connection
:"When Mexico’s leading writer, Nobel Prize laureate Octavio Paz, arrived in New Delhi in 1962 to take up his post as ambassador to India, he quickly ran across a culinary puzzle. Although Mexico and India were on opposite sides of the globe, the brown, spicy, aromatic curries that he was offered in India sparked memories of Mexico’s national dish, mole (pronounced MO-lay). Is mole, he wondered, “an ingenious Mexican version of curry, or is curry a Hindu adaptation of a Mexican sauce ?” How could this seeming coincidence of “gastronomic geography” be explained ?"
posted by dhruva
on Apr 9, 2008 -
Back in May, an Egyptian professor found a loophole
to allow an unmarried female to be alone in the presence of a man. All she has to do is breastfeed him 5 times. Radā
is a technical term from Islamic jurisprudence meaning "the suckling which produces the legal impediment to marriage of foster-kinship". Now the good people over at Haase & Martin
have come up with their own way to get under that burka.
posted by gman
on Feb 15, 2008 -
A recent poll
(PDF) asked for reactions to the same model dressed in two different ways: in a plain shirt with her hair down, and in a blue head scarf of the style of some Islamic women. Perhaps understandably, the survey respondents felt the scarfed image was more traditional and more religious. But some of the other perceptions are less obviously predictable. (via crooked timber
posted by Rumple
on Jan 29, 2008 -
(article in French) Mbacké
, the leader of the Mourides
(academic link), a prominent Islamic brotherhood in Senegal (and Harlem, NY
, died a week ago today. Arguably the most influential person in Senegal, he had been the the last living son of the Mouride founder Chiekh Amadou Bamba. Thousands of people
have traveled Touba
, the Mouride capital, to pay their respects. [more inside]
posted by fizzix
on Jan 5, 2008 -
Make me a Muslim.
The recently aired three episodes show takes a glamour model who wants to experience being completely hidden under a dress ,a skin therapist looking for meaning of life, a taxi driver that strongly feels islam is threatening UK lifestyle, a school teacher who wants to learn, an interracial interreligion couple and a flaming gay hairdresser tired of shallow party life.
Take this colourful bunch and have two imams, a preacher and a converted woman lead them through an "islamic lifestyle" experience. You can watch the results here
, I guess at least for a while.
posted by elpapacito
on Dec 26, 2007 -
The Official Berkeley Breathed Website
[warning: ComicSans] announced that the weekly "Opus"
comics for August 26th AND September 2nd* "have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post."
The reason? Making jokes aout Islam. And just the week before, Opus was thoroughly ridiculing the late Jerry Falwell
. BB recommends catching his missing strips in the Salon.com comics section
. But it being the Internet, somebody has already found and posted tomorrow's "Opus"
. Let's hear it for Fatima Struggle!!!
Berkeley Breathed is no stranger to controversy. Even his latest children's book, "Mars Needs Moms", was declared "Politically Incorrect". He is no stranger to me, either, although my last email exchange with him was over 3 years ago and I had nothing to do with this recent interview at MSNBC.com.
*Comic strip trivia: Most newspapers have their Sunday comics printed weeks in advance; that's why Kudzu ran Sunday strips two weeks after the dailies ended when Doug Marlette died.
posted by wendell
on Aug 25, 2007 -
We have lost on the way the lesson of living together,
We are now even scared of each other.
They are others whose faces are on your hands,
Your hurts are a deep sea -- our wounds are deep.
The stories that are being spread in our names are lies,
This is not us.
Words of a Pakistani pop song Yeh Hum Naheen [This is not us] hitting the charts, attempting to spread the message
that all muslims are not terrorists, story via Salon
"Produced and written by a British Muslim
, Waseem Mahmood, at the request of his two sons, "Yeh Hum Naheen
" offers a welcome counterpoint to the images of troops storming the Red Mosque, or fundamentalist mullahs preaching jihad. But the key to the song's success lies neither in its production values or deft depictions of average Pakistanis going about their daily lives, but in its heartfelt expression of pain. "
posted by infini
on Aug 25, 2007 -
Satanist Rave Shut Down outside Tehran.
Iran's drive to enforce Islamic morals netted revellers from Britain and Sweden after police swooped on a "satanic" concert organised over the internet.
Police arrested 230 people and seized drugs, alcohol and 800 illicit CDs after raiding the event in Karaj, 12 miles west of Tehran. Those arrested included young women in skimpy and "inappropriate" clothing, officers said.
posted by domdom
on Aug 6, 2007 -
Surprising findings in Pew study of US Muslims.
The interweb is all atwitter over some of the findings of a Pew Research Center study
of the attitudes of Muslim-Americans (the most comprehensive one done yet). While most of the findings should be welcomed (US Muslims are well off, appreciate being here, have non-Muslim friends, shun extremism, etc.), there is one troubling statistic: 6% of US Muslims - and 15% of US Muslims under 30 - believe that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "often or sometimes justified". Sounds bad, but what happens when you ask the same question of non-Muslim Americans? Turns out that 24% of all Americans agreed
- four times the 6% of US Muslims who share that view. So are US Muslims more peaceful than their non-Muslim neighbors?
posted by laz-e-boy
on May 23, 2007 -