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Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'

Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'. Kenan Malik's essay is awarded 3 Quarks Daily's Top Quark for politics & social science by judge Stephen M. Walt: "Soldiers in today’s culture wars believe 'European civilization' rests on a set of unchanging principles that are perennially under siege—from godless communism, secular humanism, and most recently, radical Islam. For many of these zealots, what makes the 'West' unique are its Judeo-Christian roots. In this calm and elegantly-written reflection on the past two millenia, Malik shows that Christianity is only one of the many sources of 'Western' culture, and that many of the ideas we now think of as 'bedrock' values were in fact borrowed from other cultures. This essay is a potent antidote to those who believe a 'clash of civilizations' is inevitable—if not already underway—and the moral in Malik’s account could not be clearer. Openness to outside influences has been the true source of European prominence; erecting ramparts against others will impoverish and endanger us all."
posted by homunculus on Dec 19, 2011 - 87 comments

Warning: May Contain Learning

All-American Muslim is a reality show on TLC which takes a look at life in Dearborn, Michigan--home to the largest mosque in the United States--through the lens of five Muslim American families. The participants are depicted dealing with lives far more familiar than extreme. But some are unhappy with the very existence of the series. Citing pressure from far-right wing groups, the home improvement chain Lowe’s has pulled its advertising from the show. Online, boycotts of the store, and other methods of protest, are multiplying. Meanwhile the controversy has put the show, as well as the little known group that takes credit for the Lowes advertising pull (the Florida Family Association), on the national media map.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 13, 2011 - 205 comments

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

Nudity in Islamic countries; the case of the Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (nsfw). #NudePhotoRevolutionary
posted by - on Nov 18, 2011 - 34 comments

Something Tells Me To Stop With the Al-Qaeda. I Ignore It

Frank Miller is a giant among comic book creators. He gave us The Dark Knight Returns, which rewrote the book on Batman and comics in general. He also gave us seminal versions of Daredevil, Batman, and Wolverine. His Sin City and 300 books are a triumph of design, if not subtlety. Lately, though, he's taken a different path. He recently released Holy Terror, which in 2005 was to have featured Batman, but now features a renamed stand-in fighting Al-Qaeda. It has been nearly universally panned as a piece of ugly, anti-Muslim propaganda. Last week, Miller blasted the "Occupy" movement on his blog, describing the participants as, "louts, thieves, and rapists," who, "can do nothing but harm America" and pointing to the looming threat of Al-Qaeda.
posted by Legomancer on Nov 14, 2011 - 227 comments

Love is stronger than hate

After an Islamist party won * the first post-revolutionary election in Tunisia, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo* ran a 'Sharia Hebdo' issue lampooning the result. The prophet Mohammed was named 'guest editor' of the issue and put on the cover proclaiming '100 lashes if you're not dying of laughter'. In response, their offices were promptly firebombed, destroying all their equipment. A week later, from its temporary home in the offices of the daily newspaper Libération, what is Charlie Hebdo's message? Love is stronger than hate. (Guardian story)
posted by Anything on Nov 8, 2011 - 374 comments

"I felt like I'd been catapulted from one end of the universe to the other"

This weekend marks the time of the Hajj, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God. Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat and the ritual stoning of Shaitan to the circling of the sacred Kaaba (the shrouded cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily) and kissing the Black Stone (colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite). While the city has modernized to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich, and tent cities the size of Seattle -- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders. Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise to write a rare travelogue, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt], a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey. Browse the manual to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 4, 2011 - 31 comments

Salman Rushdie, Unafraid

Looking back on the past, Haaretz interviews Salman Rushdie, who discusses the upcoming film adaptation of Midnight's Children, analyzes the Arab Spring, and reflects on the controversy caused by the publication of The Satanic Verses: "British Airways refused to accept Rushdie as a passenger, fearing the plane would be blown up in midair. A Pakistani film portrayed the writer as a pro-Israel alcoholic who murders Muslims. British censorship prevented the film's screening, but Rushdie, always a fierce advocate of freedom of expression, demanded that it be shown." Previously on MeFi: Rushdie (2, 3); Haaretz.
posted by reductiondesign on Oct 24, 2011 - 27 comments

"We'll do to you what we did to the Jews."

Just over five months after the ban came into force, the Guardian reports on the impact of France's so-called burqa ban on niqab-wearing women.
posted by hoyland on Sep 19, 2011 - 194 comments

"Multiculturalism has failed"

The State of France has banned prayers in public starting Friday in a move widely seen as being targeted at (what might be) the largest Muslim community in Western Europe. [more inside]
posted by Avenger on Sep 17, 2011 - 267 comments

We Have Graphs

The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”
While the FBI's monitoring of Muslims and infiltration of mosques in the United States is nothing new, this is the first time I've seen any of documents they use to train some of their agents. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2011 - 81 comments

Islamophobia

Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America.
posted by homunculus on Aug 28, 2011 - 87 comments

A Variety of Religious Experience

The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Crash Course (previously, related)
posted by villanelles at dawn on Aug 16, 2011 - 30 comments

30 Mosques. 30 States. 30 Days.

30 Mosques in 30 Days, 2011 [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2011 - 22 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

"I decided that forgiveness was not enough."

"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan petitions the state of Texas to stay the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 18, 2011 - 87 comments

New Reliquaries

Artist Al Farrow uses ammunition, parts from firearms, and selected other materials to build miniature churches, synagogues, and mosques.
posted by gman on May 9, 2011 - 11 comments

I Scheme with Genie

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits). Increasingly, there is a rift between the President and his Supreme Leader.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 7, 2011 - 142 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

She is not the one you should fear.

Amina A. is a Gay Girl in Damascus. On Tuesday, she was visited by the Syrian security services.
posted by Rumple on Apr 27, 2011 - 71 comments

Shawarma Law

Shawarma Law. The Ed and Moe Show is a web comedy series from Dearborn, MI - birthplace of Henry Ford, home to the highest concentration of Muslim Arabs in North America (about 1/3 the population), and a target of ignorant crankery (previously). Well Ed and Moe have seen this kind of thing before. Co-creator Mike Eshaq doesn't want you to counter-protest, he's asking people to come to the Dearborn Civic Center Friday April 22 at 4pm to celebrate Shawarma Law. It's not Ramadan right now and there's nothing to be afraid of. If you can make it, come on up and share the love. Detroit Free Press coverage. Previous episodes of The Ed and Moe Show: 1 2 3 4.
posted by McLir on Apr 21, 2011 - 17 comments

Full veil banned for Muslim women in France.

A law has come into force in France which makes it an offence for a Muslim woman to conceal her face behind a veil when in public. [more inside]
posted by dubold on Apr 11, 2011 - 444 comments

"Have friends who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Or New Age?"

Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist, Marty the Mormon, Jenna the Jew, Sid the Satanist, Mo the Muslim and Willow the Wiccan. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones, Halo 3, Brokeback Mountain, Kung Fu Panda and The X Files.
posted by jardinier on Apr 8, 2011 - 299 comments

What Civil Rights?

My Student, the 'Terrorist' If this were a movie, the story might end with a triumphal courtroom scene, or an intrepid Washington Post reporter breaking the story. It might have a sentimental ending, with a conservative Muslim family and community locking arms with Christians and Jews and atheists and turning the country back to its commitment to civil rights. The government, shamed, would reform its practices. But this is not a movie, and inhumane treatment is well protected in post-9/11 America. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Apr 7, 2011 - 56 comments

Afghanis riot over Terry Jones' Koran-burning kill 20

A 2nd day of riots in Afghanistan over Rev. Terry Jones's trial and execution-by-burning of a Quran leaves a total death total of 20, with at least 80 injuries, including 7 UN aid workers. Thousands participated in the riots across the country. "I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news — the one who burned the Quran," stated the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura. Others defend Jones's right to free speech. (previously)
posted by shivohum on Apr 2, 2011 - 227 comments

The Great American Counterterrorism Memo

Employed as a Counterterrorism Analyst, But Think Your Bosses Are Misunderstanding the Problem? Quit your DoD post and write a book! Offer it for free, on the Web. Oh, and do it anonymously. Reddit AMA here.
posted by darth_tedious on Mar 22, 2011 - 29 comments

Yasir Qadhi, American Muslims, and Jihad

“I want to be very frank here,” Qadhi said, his voice tight with exasperation. “Do you really, really think that blowing up a plane is Islamic? I mean, ask yourself this.” The New York Times' Andrea Elliott explores the fine line between Salafiya and contemporary American values. Multimedia slideshow. [auto-playing video] Qadhi, previously.
posted by reductiondesign on Mar 17, 2011 - 44 comments

"The Extent of Radicalization"

Hearings on the "extent of radicalization" of US Muslims initiated by Rep. Peter King are underway in Washington. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 10, 2011 - 98 comments

"I know Islam better than my own religion."

How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam. There aren’t nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America’s police. So we got these guys instead.
posted by lullaby on Mar 2, 2011 - 69 comments

Modern Art Iraq Archive

The Modern Art Iraq Archive (MAIA) is a resource to trace, share, and enable community enrichment of the modern art heritage of Iraq. Explore the works by artist, browse through related textual materials, or add your own images or stories to the archive.
posted by sciurus on Mar 2, 2011 - 2 comments

Religion, freedom and democracy in Egypt

Deacon Dodge has a couple of posts (here and here) about religion, freedom and democracy amid the turmoil of Egypt. [more inside]
posted by KMH on Feb 4, 2011 - 4 comments

Truth No Defense against Danish Hate Speech Law

A Danish court rules that truth is not a defense to its hate speech law and fines Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe $1,000 for commenting that "Of course Lars Hedegaard [President of the Danish Free Press Society] should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make do with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them." Hedegaard had tried to explain that he was speaking in the context of an epidemic of honor violence within Muslim families when he said "They rape their own children"; he faces his own set of charges. (via Volokh Conspiracy) [more inside]
posted by shivohum on Jan 14, 2011 - 229 comments

Th Kingdom in the Closet

Even though it's punishable by death, homosexuality thrives in Saudi Arabia.
posted by reenum on Jan 9, 2011 - 39 comments

This is what happens to blasphemers...

Salman Taseer has been assassinated in Islamabad. Why was he assassinated? Because he spoke in defence of Asia Bibi and against Pakistan's outdated blasphemy laws. Where do the justifications for death to those who insult Islam come from? Apparently not from the Quran...
posted by dougrayrankin on Jan 4, 2011 - 39 comments

Officials Worry About Some Latino Converts To Islam

"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
posted by reenum on Dec 11, 2010 - 29 comments

How Caviar Turned Out To Be Halal

A look at how fatwas are issued, and how Iranian authorities were able to change the classification of caviar from haram (forbidden for Muslims to eat) to halal (permissible for Muslims to eat) in order to retake the caviar industry from the Soviets. [PDF]
posted by reenum on Dec 9, 2010 - 26 comments

Codename Oracle

A worshiper at a California mosque called frequently for violent jihad against the West. This freaked out his fellow attendees so much that they took out a restraining order on him... and learned he was an informant planted by the FBI.
posted by Faint of Butt on Dec 5, 2010 - 73 comments

Bygone Mecca

In 1885, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje took rare sepia-tinted photographs and sound recordings of Mecca. The exhibition will be on display at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai.
posted by gman on Nov 15, 2010 - 8 comments

The Force of Virtue

The 99 (previously), the Islamic-inspired superheroes which have met both praise and somewhat batshit controversy, are crossing over with the DC Universe.
posted by Artw on Oct 25, 2010 - 22 comments

Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things

Perhaps you feel like you should, like full-time Fox News analyst Juan Williams, get worried and nervous at the sight of people in Muslim garb, but you aren't sure you can always spot them. Fortunately, a new blog, Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things, is here to help you out.
posted by Tsuga on Oct 22, 2010 - 86 comments

NPR Fires Juan Williams

NPR fires senior news analyst Juan Williams after he makes comments on The O'Reilly Factor about his nervousness when boarding a plane with Muslims. [more inside]
posted by waraw on Oct 20, 2010 - 236 comments

I wouldn't have got off my estate dressed like this

The English Defence League, a group protesting against 'Islamification of Britain', planned a march through Leicester (a city with a sizeable Asian population) this weekend. The town braced itself for riots. What happened was somewhat different. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 14, 2010 - 121 comments

In the Courtyard of the Beloved

"IN THE COURTYARD OF THE BELOVED is a visual and aural portrait of Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, a Sufi shrine in New Delhi, India. Made from over 18,000 still images and ambient sounds recorded on-site, rapid-fire bursts of kaleidoscopic imagery assemble into fractured collages where a moment expands outwards and then converges back into itself, fleshing out a three-dimensional rendering of place."
posted by gman on Oct 7, 2010 - 12 comments

I just met an URL named Sharia

The .ly domain space to be considered unsafe [more inside]
posted by defenestration on Oct 6, 2010 - 116 comments

Mocking the Burqa Ban in France

Les Niqabitches stroll around Paris fully veiled from the waist up, but in hotpants and high heels waist-down, to protest the burqa ban in France. Also calling themselves Mi-putes, Mi-soumises, a pun on the admirable organization called Ni-putes, Ni-soumises, they believe the ban is unconstitutional, as calls for similar bans occur in other European countries.
posted by Azaadistani on Oct 5, 2010 - 96 comments

Deep in the heart of Islam

Warning of a "creeping Middle Eastern influence" in our nation's school textbooks, the Texas State Board of Education will vote today on a resolution [.pdf] that would prohibit the State of Texas from purchasing textbooks which exhibit a "pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias”. Reaction in Texas is mixed. [more inside]
posted by Avenger on Sep 24, 2010 - 134 comments

An open letter to Osama bin Laden

This is an open letter written by Noman Benotman, a former commander in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a former associate of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In al Qaeda strategy meetings in Kandahar in 2000, Benotman warned the al-Qaeda leadership of ‘total failure' to realise their aims and called on bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to abandon violence. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, he distanced himself from al-Qaeda and later resigned from his own jihadist organisation. He has more recently been instrumental in negotiations with Libya's government to free former LIFG leaders, and in persuading these leaders to formally renounce terrorism. He also recently joined the London-based Quilliam Foundation as a Senior Analyst.
posted by bardophile on Sep 13, 2010 - 22 comments

I laughed, but then I cried.

Burn a Koran Day! A commercial for Terry Jones' upcoming "Christian" event. [SLYP]
posted by Saxon Kane on Sep 8, 2010 - 179 comments

Mr Controversial

Mr Controversial (video, transcript): an in-depth report by Dateline (SBS One, Australia) on Geert Wilders, and the most comprehensive English-language profile of him I have seen to date.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2010 - 35 comments

"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller

As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
posted by mek on Aug 18, 2010 - 439 comments

At the Death Camps, Muslim Leaders Grapple With Jews’ Pain

"We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore." -- a group of American imams visits Dauchau and Auschwitz.
posted by empath on Aug 15, 2010 - 38 comments

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