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
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 -
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 -
Deacon Dodge has a couple of posts (here
) about religion, freedom and democracy amid the turmoil of Egypt. [more inside]
posted by KMH
on Feb 4, 2011 -
"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 -
The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism
for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition
earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House
, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation"
by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up
angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2010 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Wake County, NC: Solomon Kamil
invited to speak at a public school in Raleigh tells the students to shun Muslims
"You may be excited that you found the 'tall, dark, and handsome man' you have been looking for. His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the power, importance, and influence of his culture and Islamic faith."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy
on Feb 22, 2007 -
“Maybe, yes, I am a diva.”
Meet Ali Saleem, known on Pakistani TV as Begum Nawazish Ali, hostess of a popular talk show. Mr. Saleem’s portrayal ... a middle-aged widow who, in glamorous saris and glittery diamonds, invites to her drawing room politicians, movie stars and rights advocates from Pakistan and India.
posted by amberglow
on Jan 3, 2007 -
Keep your balls in check: The Saved Sect Website
calls for Muslims to stop supporting The World Cup, as "[...]soccer plants the seeds of nationalism, and is therefore part of a 'colonial crusader scheme' to divide Muslims and cause them to stray from the vision of a unified Islamic identity."
posted by naxosaxur
on Jul 3, 2006 -
"Killing the Buddha
is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha
will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief
, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People
, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
posted by heatherann
on Apr 24, 2006 -