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City of Brass

City of Brass

January 1970 Archives

Mayor Karzai signs pro-rape bill in Afghanistan, scapegoats the Shi’a

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In an explicit bid to appease hard-line Islamists, Afghanistan’s “president” 1 Hamid Karzai has signed a bill into law that essentially legalizes rape of a woman by her husband: Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in […]

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you fools! Varun Gandhi arrested

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is exactly the worst possible thing that could have happened – BJP candidate and Indian political dynasty scion Varun Gandhi, whose paranoid rants against muslims were caught on video a few weeks ago, has been arrested: A politician from […]

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Dating while Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal. A provocative title, though I doubt the discussion will be quite as titillating. Before getting into a debate over the title, I’d like to establish some context. Marriage is important in Islam, […]

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The Saudi “Shi’a problem” – a waxing crescent

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Relations between the Shi’a minority and the Sunni majority in Saudi Arabia aren’t great even in teh best of times, but in some ways the events of the past few years – notably the war in Iraq and the emergence […]

Pakistan mosque bombing

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A suicide bomber atttack at a mosque in the frontier town of Jamrud, Pakistan has destroyed the building and killed dozens of people during Friday prayers: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque packed with hundreds of worshippers […]

16 year old girl burned alive in India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a horrific case of an honor killing in rural India: BHOJPUR (GHAZIABAD): A 16-year-old girl, Imrana, was set on fire inside her house on Monday in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had […]

Shari’a versus the Taleban in Swat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Shari’a law is (by definition) a system for rule of Law. It may not be the kind of Law that Westerners would want to be ruled by, but it is a system of Law nevertheless. Therefore, in a very simple […]

Gitmo guard converts to Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I find this a fascinating story. Usually you hear about how prison inmates convert, but this is almost exactly backwards, not least because Gitmo is not a prison but more of an oubliette. From the story, Army specialist Terry Holdbrooks […]

who killed Culture11?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Daniel Larison implies that RedState may have killed Culture11. Reading the piece on C11’s founding to which he refers, I can’t help but think that the conservative movement as a whole is imploding, and C11 simply got caught in the […]

smart power: Obama’s video to Iran provokes fear

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke extensively of “smart power” in her description of how America’s foreign policy would seek to engage the world. Obama’s video message to Iran, on the occassion of Nowruz, is destined to become a case […]

Shuruq 2009 – the many faces of American Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a press release from the Islamic Center at NYU, about their annual Shuruq (“sunrise”) cultural symposium.  It is being organized by Haroon Moghul, one of the emeritus members of the Islamsphere. For more information, see the detailed listing […]

Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals 3rd Annual Meeting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP) is holding their third annual meeting on Saturday, May 2nd in Princeton NJ. I am reposting part of the announcement here – the early bird registration is March 25th so if […]

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Nowruz message to Iran (with word cloud)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the transcript and word cloud of Obama’s video to the Iranian people for Nowruz, which goes far beyond the general Nowruz statements issued by previous Presidents Bush and Clinton.The word cloud is notable in that the words “New” […]

VIDEO: Obama’s Nowruz message to the Iranian People

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There is something simply amazing about this. The video even has subtitles in Farsi. It is often said that the Internet allowed Obama to bypass the Washington DC media establishment and reach out directly to the American people; now he […]

Harun Potter and the Saudi’s Stone

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“The Dark Arts are many, varied, ever-changing and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, […]

Iranian blogger Omid Reza Misayafi dies in prison

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji’un Hamid Tehrani at Global Voices Online brings the tragic news that a jailed Iranian blogger, Omid Reza Misayafi, has died. It seems that he may have committed suicide. Apart from the personal tragedy his family […]

VIDEO: Varun Gandhi denies it, blames “political conspiracy”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Varun Gandhi is now backpedaling in public, denying making the outrageous and incendiary comments about “cutting heads” of muslims: Varun Gandhi said he was a “victim of a political conspiracy” and that he never made the comments attributed to him. […]

no moderate muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

a classic short story by Ali Eteraz. It begins, The Great J.A.F.I (Just another Frothing Islamophobe) stepped through the door and said he was looking for Ali Eteraz. Somewhere in the world some murderers who called themselves Muslims had done […]

Varun Gandhi vows to “cut heads” of muslims in India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is disgusting and vile – Varun Gandhi, son of the late Sanjay Gandhi and grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, went on a wild rant against muslims while campaigning in a rural area: Raising his hands, he repeatedly […]

horror and hope of Zimbabwe: Roy Bennett

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Joe Trippi. I’ve talked about Roy Bennett and his imprisonment for weeks, talked about his courage, about Roy really being the heart and soul of the MDC opposition to Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and rejoiced […]

Coit Tower

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The view from inside the observation deck of the Coit Tower, in downtown San Francisco. I am struck by how similar the tower’s design is to the minaret of a mosque.

departing SFO

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

View of San Francisco from the south, during takeoff from SFO airport.

Sea Lions

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Sea lions lounging at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

global warming as a muslim issue, redux

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to my earlier post on the topic, we are having a healthy debate at Talk Islam about whether global warming should be a “muslim issue”.

to dawah or not to dawah?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The term Dawah (more correctly spelled Da’wah in transliteration from Arabic) means to prosletyze Islam. The term literally means “invitation”. There are different forms of da’wah, the main types being passive and active. Passive da’wah is the belief that living […]

What would McCain have done?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Larison makes a great point that bears repeating: let us recall that McCain supported cap-and-trade (even if he didn’t necessarily understand what he was talking about when he said so), proposed an insane mortgage bailout plan that pretty much everyone […]

fried twinkie

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I confess that I was defeated by this monstrosity, encountered at the Santa Cruz boardwalk in San Francisco.

Global warming is a muslim issue, too

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A new paper about relative humidity in the upper atmosphere is making the rounds of global-warming skeptic blogs. I’m not a climate scientist,  but my own scientific training does give me the tools to at least read a paper’s abstract […]

Bill Richardson’s fall from grace

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been following Bill Richardson for years and he was among my favorite contenders for the Democratic nomination for President. Ultimately I signed onto the Obama camp but I initially thought Richardson has the gravitas and experience to be a […]

Ross Douthat replaces Kristol at the New York Times

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I had hoped that the New York Times would pick Joshua Trevino to replace Bill Kristol‘s sordid run as opinion columnist, but their pick of Ross Douthat is definitely a solid choice (though also a far more cautious one). Douthat […]

Dawah on the bus goes round and round

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My apologies to my few remaining readers for my delayed absence – I was in the Bay Area from thursday morning until late last night and have rather enjoyed the hiatus from my electronic overlords. My email inboxes have certainly […]

Is Bobby “Piyush” Jindal brown enough?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A post-racial politics means being able to talk about race rather than ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t exist. The clearest indicator of a (non-white) politician’s approach to racial issues is their name. Consider that Barack Hussein Obama once went […]

survey of American Muslim attitudes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a fascinating survey of American muslims by Gallup that all sorts of interesting results (direct PDF link). One of the key findings is that American muslims consider themselves to be “thriving”, even more so than muslims in the Islamic […]

Bobby Jindal and the muslim smear

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Bobby Jindal is a Catholic. He was born to Hindu parents but converted to Catholicism.  It bears repeating because it seems likely that Jindal will probably face some version of the same “muslim smear” that Barack Obama had to deal […]

Paul Harvey and Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was saddened to hear of Paul Harvey’s passing today. Harvey was an American radio icon – I was introduced to his program by my father,  for whom news radio 780 AM (Chicago) is essentially the only station in existence. […]

Previous Posts

the 12th Annual Brass Crescent Awards - nominations open
It's that time of the year again! What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Created in 2004 by Shahed Amanullah and Aziz Poonawalla, they are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Brass Crescent - ...

posted 5:13:45pm Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Obvious: The Iraq War created ISIS
This is something that is so obvious, it is in danger of never being said, in which case those who led us into war will try to ...

posted 1:48:22am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Eid at the State Department
I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it's actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first time! :) I am looking ...

posted 11:01:00am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

The Empire State goes green for Eid
As is tradition, the Empire State Building - the most beautiful skyscraper in the world - was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account ...

posted 1:21:00am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls roundup
Here is a link to all the posts in the Ramadan Pearls series I did during Ramadan: Criterion Non-existence Mystery Angels Objective Expectant Reed Veils Lend Good I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom as much as ...

posted 3:01:31pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

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