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Naked Scripture Vs. Geopolitical Influence

Berkeley Students Rally To Remove Bill Maher As Commencement Speaker following critical comments about Islam.
"Freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals, these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for," Maher said, "but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what's lacking, then they get upset."
In what began as a debate over Islam between Maher, Sam Harris, and Ben Affleck on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, tensions rose. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Oct 29, 2014 - 222 comments

Knowledge as Politics by Other Means: An Interview with Wael Hallaq

Throughout the last three decades, Wael Hallaq has emerged as one of the leading scholars of Islamic law in Western academia. He has made major contributions not only to the study of the theory and practice of Islamic law, but to the development of a methodology through which Islamic scholars have been able to confront challenges facing the Islamic legal tradition. Hallaq is thus uniquely placed to address broader questions concerning the moral and intellectual foundations of competing modern projects. With his most recent work, The Impossible State, Hallaq lays bare the power dynamics and political processes at the root of phenomena that are otherwise often examined purely through the lens of the legal. In this interview, the first of a two-part series with him, Hallaq expands upon some of the implications of those arguments and the challenges they pose for the future of intellectual engagements across various traditions. In particular, he addresses the failure of Western intellectuals to engage with scholars in Islamic societies as well as the intellectual and structural challenges facing Muslim scholars. Hallaq also critiques the underlying hegemonic project of Western liberalism and the uncritical adoption of it by some Muslim thinkers. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 9, 2014 - 6 comments

Open defecation solves the child mortality puzzle among Indian Muslims

“Hindus are, on average, richer and more educated than Muslims. But oddly, the child mortality rate for Hindus is much higher. All observable factors say Hindus should fare better, but they don't. Economists refer to this as the Muslim mortality puzzle. In a new study, researchers believe that they may have found a solution to the puzzle. And, surprisingly, the solution lies in a single factor – open defecation.” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jun 5, 2014 - 33 comments

"Do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction."

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment has issued a fatwa banning Muslims from participating in a Mars colonization effort, citing pervasive risk for no "righteous reason." The Mars One project (previously) has penned a remarkably erudite reply.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 21, 2014 - 49 comments

Jewish-Muslim unity

10 images of Jewish-Muslim unity that go beyond the headlines.
posted by Wordwoman on Feb 17, 2014 - 12 comments

An old view of the Old City

What did Palestine look like in 1896?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Lifting the Veil

A judge in the UK has ruled that a Muslim woman can stand trial wearing the niqab, but must remove it when giving evidence. Following the ruling Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, praised the judge for his "sensitivity and clarity", while Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society condemned the decision, saying "We will be complaining to the Office of Judicial Complaints and...asking senior legal officers to make visibility throughout court hearings mandatory". [more inside]
posted by billiebee on Sep 17, 2013 - 26 comments

Enigma popstar is fun / She wear burqa for fashion

A new Lady Gaga song called Burqa has leaked online. Its production is pretty interesting. Its lyrics are... controversial, to say the least. "Lady Gaga bas a burqa problem," writes Jezebel. "You can't just ornament yourself in other cultures (especially not if those cultures are specifically targeted for violence and harassment in your home country)." Other criticisms abound on The Atlantic and Autostraddle. A blog called Racist Little Monsters has popped up to collect pictures of fans posing in self-made burqas [warning: nsfw language abounds]
posted by Rory Marinich on Aug 8, 2013 - 236 comments

Who gets to speak, where, in front of whom, and about what  

Why the controversial (and somewhat backfired) Lauren Green interview of Reza Aslan is is about more than just Fox News idiocy.  
posted by Artw on Jul 31, 2013 - 162 comments

Millions of Egyptian Demonstrators Vanish in a Puff of Logic

How far in advance was the coup in Egypt planned? After the army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood president, gas shortages that had crippled Morsi's popularity magically disappeared, and a local billionaire bragged about secretly financing the opposition. The coup was predicated on enormous street protests that seemed to represent another revolution, but one analysis suggests that the army and opposition massively exaggerated the scale of the protests in order to justify the seizure of power. Egyptian liberals however, defend the overthrow, saying that 'democracy is not reducible to the ballot box.'
posted by A Fine Mess on Jul 18, 2013 - 65 comments

Worth scrolling down for the owl

Racial Misprofiling When "Arab" stock photos go terribly wrong (SLTumblr)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 6, 2013 - 71 comments

Not Talking About Pakistan

Part I
Questions about Pakistan are now a fact of living here, no different from damp weather or calls from salespeople. Some I deflect, and others I frame around my own terms.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 5, 2013 - 12 comments

"we are all actors trapped in the plot of history, playing roles most of us haven’t chosen."

A Lost Map On The Tramway In Istanbul
In Turkey, there lives a mysterious minority known as the “secret Armenians.” They have been hiding in the open for nearly a century. Outwardly, they are Turks or Kurds, but the secret Armenians are actually descendants of the survivors of the 1915 Genocide, who stayed behind in Eastern Anatolia after forcibly converting to Islam. Some are now devout Muslims, others are Alevis –generally considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, even though that would be an inaccurate description by some accounts–, and a few secretly remain Christian, especially in the area of Sassoun, where still there are mountain villages with secret Armenian populations. Even though Armenian Gypsies wouldn’t strictly qualify as Secret Armenians, they share many traits with the latter, including reluctance or fear to reveal their identity even to fellow Armenians.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 15, 2012 - 15 comments

"I played so much tragedy and woe on stage that in the end, the woe is on me as well."

When Satire Conquered Iran: [NYR Blog] Molla Nasreddin, an early twentieth-century Azerbaijani magazine that “attacked the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy, the colonial policies of the US and the venal corruption of the local elite, while arguing repeatedly for Westernization, educational reform, and equal rights for women.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2012 - 10 comments

For the first time in Olympic history all the participating teams will have female athletes

The London Olympics has been billed as a notable step forward in gender equality. It is the first Olympics with female representation from all countries despite the many and several barriers to female sport participation that still exist in some countries (including developed ones). These Olympics have female boxers, female athletes from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei and male medal bearers But despite Jacques Rogge's declaration in his opening ceremony speech, some are more equal than others. Australia and Japan are reviewing their athletes' travel arrangements after women were given second class tickets and there is a small, but growing campaign to see male synchronised swimming form part of the program (one of two sports, the other being rhythmic gymnastics, with no male competition). [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Aug 8, 2012 - 101 comments

'consider the Geneva Conventions against protecting civilians in wartime “no longer relevant.”'

Last year, Wired reported that '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.”' (previously) The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials. Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 25, 2012 - 42 comments

To Profile or Not to Profile?

To Profile or Not to Profile? A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier.
posted by brundlefly on May 29, 2012 - 150 comments

States Target Foreign Law

There are several groups trying to pass bills in different states to ban the application of foreign laws in a US court, especially Sharia law. These groups are almost all using model legislation drafted by anti-Muslim activist David Yerushalmi.
posted by reenum on Feb 8, 2012 - 97 comments

Bollywood's Soft Power

What might help defeat Muslim extremists in Pakistan for good? Bollywood!
posted by reenum on Feb 2, 2012 - 11 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

"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

Irvine 11 Guilty Verdict

In February of 2011, eleven students that attended UC Irvine and UC Riverside went to a fundraising speech featuring Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, at the UC Irvine campus. During Oren's speech, students would stand up, shout an objection to Oren's speech, and then would allow themselves to be escorted by security, essentially causing a "heckler's veto." They were arrested, charged, and today found guilty of disrupting Oren's speech. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on Sep 23, 2011 - 59 comments

Teaching 9/11

The Challenge of Teaching 9/11 "The events of September 11th are being discussed, taught, and commemorated in high school classrooms throughout the nation this week. And in many of those classrooms, the students are increasingly too young to have many actual memories of their own of that day’s events. I visited two high school classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to see how teachers are approaching the topic, what the students know and don’t know, and how they feel about the events surrounding that day."

‘Who’s Osama bin Laden?’: Teaching 9/11 to Muslim youth "In the ten years since Sept. 11, many Muslim Americans feel they’ve had to deal with rising discrimination. Those who remember 9/11 at least understand how this started. But there’s a new generation of Muslim Americans who don’t. They were too young in 2001, or they weren’t yet born. But these children aren’t too young to perceive discrimination. At least one local Islamic school is still working through how, exactly, to teach its young students about 9/11."
posted by nooneyouknow on Sep 9, 2011 - 84 comments

“This Sharia Law business is just crap…I’m tired of dealing with the crazies!"

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey defends his appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the state bench. Sohail Mohammed is New Jersey's first Indian-born Superior Court Judge. "After Christie nominated Mohammed in January for the judgeship, the former federal prosecutor found himself accused of cozying up to Islamic radicals. Mohammed’s confirmation hearing before the state Senate included two hours of grilling, including inquires about Sharia, jihad and Hamas." [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Aug 4, 2011 - 78 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

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

I just mailed you a bunch of Anthrax... CDs. I heard you were a big fan.

Some new advice dog style memes: Ordinary Muslim guy, business cat. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Mar 7, 2011 - 69 comments

Orange Party racists/tea party members protest and hurl epithets at a local muslim organization's relief dinner to raise money for women's shelters and raise aid for homelessness and hunger in the US

Orange County tea party members protest and hurl epithets at a local muslim organization's relief dinner to raise money for women's shelters and raise aid for homelessness and hunger in the US Here is the video. Watch as members of congress show their support for this extreme show of xenophobia and racism.
posted by wooh on Mar 3, 2011 - 364 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

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

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

The Changing of the Guards: Naheed Nenshi

In stark contrast to the recent results of the Torontontian mayoral results, last week, Calgary, the third-largest "municipality" in Canada, elected the country's first Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi. [more inside]
posted by skwt on Oct 28, 2010 - 52 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

Canada's First Muslim Mayor

Calgary elects Canada's first Muslim mayor. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 on Oct 20, 2010 - 84 comments

CNN Interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

A snippet of the full interview between Soledad O'Brien and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is in charge of the Cordoba Initiative which plans to build a cultural center, including a mosque, two blocks from ground zero with accompanying article. Five surprises to come from the interview, post-interview debate on Anderson Cooper, and iReporter Kathi Cordsen reacts.
posted by lauratheexplorer on Sep 9, 2010 - 87 comments

"Whoever created the Bean Pie, may Allah bless that person."

Bean Pie, my Brother? The Muslim Bean Pie is a sweet, custard pie made from eggs, sugar, and beans (usually navy or pinto beans). [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on May 21, 2010 - 41 comments

A blasphemous image of the Prophet awaits the IMG tag

"This is an Islamic country - if you're caught drinking or they smell alcohol, you will be lashed." But people drink anyway.
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 29, 2010 - 49 comments

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

A Muslim American soldier battles on friendly ground. 'In his 23 months in the Army, Klawonn has consistently earned among the highest physical training scores in his unit. He's at the top in weapons qualifications and is the only one in his battalion to be invited to try out for the Special Forces. But the thing that stands out most, says Capt. Christopher Arata, his commander, is Klawonn's impossibly clean record. Not one reprimand. Never even late to a morning formation.' 'You watch your words and actions, censoring anything that could be interpreted as anger. You do so even as you try to ignore the names piled on you. Sand monkey. Carpet jockey. Raghead. Zachari bin Laden. Nidal Klawonn. But the hardest to shake off -- the name that cuts deepest, especially for a man who defied his family and community to become a U.S. soldier -- is this one: Terrorist. "To be looked upon by the people you serve with, by people you've trusted your life with, as the enemy," Klawonn says, sitting in his barracks a month after receiving the note. His voice trails off as he struggles to describe the anger he feels. "It's not right." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 24, 2010 - 54 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

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 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

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

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

Hijabistas

Chances are, if you live in a cosmopolitan urban centre, you'll have noticed how young muslimahs are growing ever more adventurous in their fashion choices. But taking the veil is no simple matter: the aspiring hijabi will need tips on how to tie her headscarf, as well as ideas on how to stay covered up and stylish all year round. Modesty is clearly no barrier to urban cool, as Elenany's see-them-want-them graphic-print dresses prove, although this year, certain trends are off limits. (previously)
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on May 23, 2009 - 95 comments

A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World

A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World "In many of the scores of countries that are predominantly Muslim, the latest generation of activists is redefining society in novel ways. This new soft revolution is distinct from three earlier waves of change--the Islamic revival of the 1970s, the rise of extremism in the 1980s and the growth of Muslim political parties in the 1990s. Today's revolution is more vibrantly Islamic than ever. Yet it is also decidedly antijihadist and ambivalent about Islamist political parties. Culturally, it is deeply conservative, but its goal is to adapt to the 21st century. Politically, it rejects secularism and Westernization but craves changes compatible with modern global trends. The soft revolution is more about groping for identity and direction than expressing piety. The new revolutionaries are synthesizing Koranic values with the ways of life spawned by the Internet, satellite television and Facebook. For them, Islam, you might say, is the path to change rather than the goal itself."
posted by nooneyouknow on Mar 24, 2009 - 26 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

Tear me apart at the seams

India, as she is today, was carved out of British India, in 1947 when the left and right hand sides of the country became the new nation of Pakistan (East and West) respectively. While the history of Islamic influence and subsequent tolerance and intolerance goes back centuries to the first advent of the Mughal invasion, it has been said that the post Independence troubles of the modern nations of India and Pakistan stem from this sundering. In 1971, war brought forth Bangladesh from the former East Pakistan on India's eastern border. The Partition, as this holocaust is known, embedded in current day Indian memory, history, culture, movies, books, TV serials and music, was an unimaginable horror of slaughter and bloodshed. This separation was not in the plans of the Mahatma, and it is said he was assassinated by Hindu fundamentalists for letting it happen. What future awaits the Hindus and Muslims who have lived side by side for hundreds of years?
posted by infini on Nov 26, 2008 - 37 comments

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