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City of Brass

City of Brass

April 2009 Archives

AIRlift on May 1st

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend, the writer G. Willow Wilson, is the author of the comic book series AIR which has been getting rave reviews and recognition. But AIR is more than a book, it’s also a cause! I’ll let Willow explain: Whacky […]

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Islamic finance and magical money

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a great article in the London Review of Books about Islamic finance, in the context of the global banking crisis. I found this excerpt particularly insightful:  One of the central differences between the Islamic and conventional approaches to […]

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Arlen Specter’s statement regarding switching parties

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The news first broke on twitter, by @marcambinder, and was later confirmed by Chris Cillizza and Redstate: formerly Republican Senator Arlen Specter will switch parties and become a Democrat, giving the Dems a 60-seat majority in the Senate. Here’s the […]

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swine flu conspiracy theories and politics as usual

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my last post I made the mistake of asserting that swine flu was not yet contagious between humans – that’s not true and it’s why the disease is being taken seriously by the health community. I think it is […]

WHO has the swine flu fever?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Well, I am back from Oahu and find that in my absence, the world has returned to the brink of collapse, this time not from wayward financial systems or legions of mole men, but the devastating specter of the Swine […]

Islam in Hawai’i

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am attending the ISMRM conference in Honolulu this week, which is why I’ve been understandably distracted these past few days I was rather curious about the muslim presence here in paradise, and it turns out that Hawai’i has a […]

What is Shi’ism?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hussein Rashid In the contemporary period Shi’ah is the standard short form for Shi’ah Ali, the Partisans of Ali. The Shi’ah have a history that goes back as far as the time of Prophet […]

Obama’s credibility gap in the Muslim world begins at home

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I don’t think there’s much reason yet for anyone to complain about Obama’s foreign policy to the Muslim world, especially given that we haven’t even hit the 100-day mark yet. I personally would have preferred to see the “major speech […]

Dubai, city of the Pharoah, will fall

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Johann Hari has a landmark essay in The Independent “The Dark Side of Dubai” that lays bare the facade of the glittering city of Dubai, peeling away the illusion of modernity and freedom to reveal a shocking substrate of slavery […]

debating apostasy and capital punishment

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As occurs regularly, a fantastic discussion has been unfolding at Talk Islam, initially about the comments by the Harvard muslim chaplain on the matter of the death penalty for apostasy. The story begins with a private email from the chaplain, […]

Are Somali pirates like terrorists?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Everyone is talking about pirates, and it’s not even September 19th yet! Last Sunday’s dramatic rescue of the captain of the Maersk Alabama was just the latest chapter in a saga that as far as the public attention span is concerned, […]

Easter in Islam: Christ is risen and will return

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Easter is celebrated to varying degrees in the Islamic world, ranging from outright illegal in Saudi Arabia to being openly celebrated in some of the Gulf States and the Far East. A natural question is, just where does Islam diverge […]

Asian American names are “too hard to deal with”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is probably more worthy of mockery than scorn: A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.… The exchange occurred late Tuesday as […]

pondering the omnipotence paradox

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Consider the classic omnipotence paradox, expressed as a logical conundrum thus: Posit an omnipotent God who created the Universe. Can God create a stone He cannot lift? If the answer is yes, then there exists a stone that God cannot […]

Madison, WI – terrorist target?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I live in the Madison area, and had absolutely no clue that any of this drama was playing out until I overheard someone talking about it the next morning: A pilot who allegedly stole a Cessna plane from a Canadian […]

Better to be Jewish in Bahrain than Shi’a

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Bahrain is aggressively courting it’s tiny remnant of a Jewish community: In the tense landscape of the Middle East, there is little room left for Jewish Arabs, a tiny minority in this country as well as in places like Egypt, […]

“The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I posted the full transcript of Obama’s remarks to Turkey’s Parliament earlier but wanted to highlight a few passages that I think were particularly significant. For one thing, Obama strongly affirmed US support for Turkey’s EU membership: The United States […]

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s remarks to the Turkish people

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Below is the full transcript to President Obama’s speech in front of the Turkish Parliament. I’ve emphasized some key points but its worth considering the speech as a whole in terms of tone and the clear respect that Obama displays […]

POLL: 48% unfavorable towards Islam, 10% still think Obama is muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama is visiting Turkey, which looks to be the occasion of his promised “major address” in a muslim-majority country. In some sense it’s a “safe” choice, as Turkey is seeking EU membership and clearly is trying to position itself […]

the improbable reach of Pakistan’s Taliban extends to Binghamton, NY?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Taliban’s Pakistani franchise apparently suffers delusions of grandeur: PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday responsibility for an attack on a U.S. immigration centre in New York state in which 13 people were […]

VIDEO: Taliban flogging 12-year old girl (explicit)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Barbarism has a name in Islam – hirabah. (WARNING – graphic violence) This is why we need a War on Terror (or better yet, a WOMBAT). It’s also why I favor intervention rather than isolationism. Pursuant to the debate here […]

Dunkin Donuts says halal is not kosher

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

For over 20 years, Arab-American businessman Walid Elkhatib has run a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in a suburb of Chicago. Now, however, the Dunkin Donuts corporation has decided to single him out for his faith, revoking his franchise: An Arab-American owner […]

World Autism Awareness Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is World Autism Awareness Day: On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, which declares April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah […]

definitions: racism, islamophobia, anti-semitism, and sexism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Razib poses an interesting question at Talk Islam asking for people’s definitions of these four terms. Here are mine: racism – bias pr prejudice towards an ethnic group. anti-semitism – hatred towards Jews (or culturally affiliated persons therof) […]

Wajahat Ali, the domestic crusader

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am extremely happy to announce that my friend Wajahat Ali will be honored later this month as a rising muslim artist by the Muslim Public Affairs Council for his landmark play, The Domestic Crusaders. Here’s the press release by […]

Previous Posts

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community
This happens almost every day in Pakistan - fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder fellow Muslims in cold blood. This time, the target wa

posted 8:22:26am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Proof denies faith
On Reddit, someone posted the following question: "What convinces you that the Quran is the literal Word of God?" I think this is precisely the wrong question. The book/movie Life of Pi directly

posted 9:33:46am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim
This is a guest post by Safiya Dahodwala. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS graced the land of America for the first time as the 53rd Dai (spiritual leader) of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. It has been nearly a decade since his predecessor, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin bestowed his bountiful bl

posted 12:58:00pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, "What does ISIS Really Want?" that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

posted 11:26:53am Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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