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City of Brass

City of Brass

Hirabah Watch Archives

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This happens almost every day in Pakistan – fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder fellow Muslims in cold blood. This time, the target was my own community, the Dawoodi Bohras. KARACHI: Two people were killed in an explosion that […]

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is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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Can atheism drive someone to murder? #muslimlivesmatter #chapelhillshooting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Like everyone else, I am in shock at the horrible tragedy in North Carolina last night, where three young Muslim Americans were brutally executed. The police are investigating and the murderer is in custody and cooperating. The family of the […]

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je ne suis pas Charlie #IamNotCharlie

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I fully support the right, and I also deeply appreciate the sentiment, of the cartoonist Luz, who is one of the survivors of the despicable attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that was attacked by Al Qaeda […]

the silence libel: Muslims do not need to condemn

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Patheos blogger Dan Peterson has a moving and well-intentioned post in which he exhorts the Muslim American community to speak more loudly and denounce terrorism: But you have to speak up more loudly. Others — I promise you this, from […]

Remember Oak Creek – 1 year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shooting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shootings near Milwaukee, in which 6 members of the Sikh community were killed. Here’s a short film in memoriam of the victims: Also, see this excellent buzzfeed article titled, “a Year […]

open-source, lone wolf terrorism: different ideologies, shared methodologies

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

To summarize what is known at this time, the main suspects for the Boston marathon bombing are two brothers who immigrated from Chechnya to America years ago and have grown up here. How they became radicalied, and what their motive […]

Saudi national cleared of suspicion in #Boston marathon bombing

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday I posted some facts about a young Saudi national, a student on scholarship, who was injured in the marathon bombings but was “tackled” by another bystander for appearing “suspicious”. Today comes word that he has been cleared of all […]

The Boston marathon bombing and the Saudi national

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: the Saudi national has been cleared of all charges by police. For the American public, the horrific images out of Boston yesterday were far more explicit than images from warzones and conflicts around the world. This attack was not […]

musing about morality and faith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A dear friend wrote something quite moving on Facebook, to which I’d like to respond publicly (keeping their privacy, of course). They wrote, Over the past week, I have heard many people blame the shooting in Connecticut on (among other […]

11 after 9-11: a look backwards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s Patriot Day, the anniversary of Black Tuesday, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 (9-11). Eleven years later, I still feel the need to say something about it, suggesting that on some level I am still not “over it” […]

Eid intolerance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

While the decision of when to observe Eid can be messy at times, that messiness is at least the process of honest decisions and judgement by Muslims free to make their own religious choices. However, not all Muslims have that […]

more domestic terrorism in Ramadan: mosque in Missouri burned to the ground

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A second fire in less than five weeks occurred at a mosque in Joplin, Missouri early Monday morning. The cause of the latest inferno is still unknown, but Monday’s flames were much more devastating than those that occurred July 4, […]

the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin: call to dua

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today there was a shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, and early reports are that seven people are dead. This details of this horrific tragedy are yet to emerge in full, but is is possible that the Sikhs were […]

FBI’s PATCON investigations and relevance to muslim surveillance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday I posted about the anniversary of the OKC bombing, and had some comment about the relevance to today’s investigations and surveillance of muslims. There’s a lengthy article in Foreign Policy that talks about the PATCON investigations by the FBI […]

17 years later: The Oklahoma City bombing

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On April 19th 1995, Timothy McVeigh carried out the first major successful domestic terrorist attack on United States soil: the total destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. Looking at Twitter today I see some […]

Calling a Spade a Spade

posted by ajamali

Note:  I will be filling in for Aziz Poonawalla on this site for the next couple of weeks, while he is off gallivanting around the world.  These are undoubtedly big shoes to fill (even though technically  I’m a size 13 […]

Muslim Informants prevent domestic terror: the data

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As Americans, Muslim Americans have the same vested interest in preventing terrorism as any other fellow citizen. In fact, since 9-11 woke all of us (muslim and non-muslim alike) to the reality of terrorism against our homeland, American muslims have […]

Anwar al Awlaki is dead (again)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the third time that radicalized Al Qaeda celebrity Anwar al Awlaki has been reported killed, but this is the first time it has been confirmed by the US as well as “tribal sources”. According to NYT: In a […]

9-11 after 10: I resolve

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I spent this day ten years ago in front of televisions and computer screens, transfixed and afraid. We were pregnant with our first child. But it was the day after I remember better, driving to work on a Houston highway […]

The Lion of Panjshir – Ahmed Shah Massoud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two days before September 11th, 2001, Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This man was the most celebrated warrior and hero of Afghanistan – a true strategic genius, who outfought first the Soviets and then the […]

profiling “Jihad Jane”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here in a nutshell is why ethnic profiling is so fundamentally flawed as a means of protecting against terrorism: A petite, blond-haired, blue-eyed high school dropout who allegedly used the nickname JihadJane was identified Tuesday as an alleged terrorist intent […]

Shooting at the pentagon

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The trend of “white right” violence is definitely increasing – we’ve had the abortion doctor murder, the austin suicide plane, and now a shooting at the Pentagon in Washington DC: Officials said the man, indentified as John Patrick Bedell, 36, […]

Louis Farrakhan pulls a Pat Robertson about Chile’s earthquake

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Recall after the Haiti earthquake, Pat Robertson blamed the Haitians for their misfortunes, invoking the historical libel about Haiti’s founders making a “pact with the devil”. Now, in the wake of this weekend’s earthquake in Chile, Nation of Islam minister […]

Bombing in Pune, India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nine people are dead in Pune, India after a bombing at a bakery in Koreagon Park: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday linked a bombing at a popular bakery in Pune that killed nine people to jailed Pakistan-born American Islamist […]

Canadian and American Imams issue fatwa against terrorist attacks

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last week, a group of twenty Imams from across the United States and Canada, all affiliated with the Islamic Supremem Council of Canada, issued a fatwa (religious edict) declaring that any attack on America or Canada is equivalent to an […]

profiling Abdulmutallab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be bomber of Flight 253, is turning out to be a classic case study in radicalization – there’s been great coverage of his story at Talk Islam and I think it paints a picture of […]

airline “security” after Detroit flight 253

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I didn’t really hear the news about the Nigerian muslim who tried to blow up Detroit-bound Northwestern flight 253 until I arrived at the airport and read about it in discarded newspapers while waiting for 5 hours in transit in […]

A recollection of Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal. On the evening of July 11, 2006 a series of bomb blasts ripped through several suburban train lines in Mumbai. Over 200 people died and over 700 were injured. I was living […]

remember Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

During today’s whirlwind of family, food and fun, we should also pause (as all of India will, today) to remember that today is also the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. Citizens in the Indian city of Mumbai went to […]

refuting the self-promoting coward, Anwar al-Awlaki

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Anwar al-Awlaki is a radicalized imam who was born in the US but who is now living in Yemen and who has made a name for himself as a sympathizer to Al Qaeda and violent extremism. He was one of […]

Fort Hood shooting on Guy Fawkes Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

MAJOR UPDATE: news outlets are reporting that the shooter is not dead as previously reported, but alive and in custody. This means we may indeed get some answers… and justice. MAJOR UPDATE 2 – Hasan is reportedly conscious. Who is […]

miracle Qur’an baby or child abuse?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is deeply disturbing to me: Quotations from Quran start appearing on the body of a 9-month boy named Ali from Kizlyar, Dagestan, his parents claim. Birthmarks in form of Arabic scripts have been appearing on the baby’s body since […]

deadly bombing in Karbala

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

No, Iraq is not a “success” – Three homemade bombs exploded without warning in the midst of crowds who had stopped to gather for evening prayers Wednesday in southern Iraq’s Shiite holy city of Karbala, and the police and government […]

9-11 as an outlier

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, I posted my thoughts about whether terrorism was still a threat, noting that in one sense the answer was obviously yes, but asking whether 9-11 was the outlier it seemed to be. My post was intended to provoke a […]

convictions in the liquid bomb plot… finally

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

And so, the anniversary of 9-11 is upon us again. The most important question we can ask ourselves on this day is, what is the likelihood of this happening again? It seems that the answer to that question, at least […]

9-11 reflections: Is terrorism still a threat?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The obvious answer to the question is yes – and that goes for before as well as after 9-11. In many ways, 9-11 distorts the picture because it was the single largest casualty count of any terrorist attack in history […]

Baharestan is Tehran’s Tiananmen?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: Another eyewitness claims to have been at Baharestan Square and saw no violence, though the scene was “tense”. At this point it is impossible to know what to believe. We have to wait for the mainstream media to do […]

ya Neda! ya Hussein! Tehran is Karbala, now

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Supreme Leader of Iran, last week: The race has endedwhoever has voted for these candidates will receive divine reward.they all belong to the statethey have gotten closer to god by voting, they havethere were 40 million votes for the […]

Muslim drive-by shooting of soldiers in Arkansas

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I expressed some concern earlier that the high rate of conversion to Islam by violent criminals in prison is going to lead to an increase in the share of criminal acts by muslims by definition. These criminals’ conversion to Islam, […]

rape at Abu Ghraib? Obama vs Taguba

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A British newspaper, The Telegraph, is claiming that the unreleased photos from Abu Ghraib include images of rape and sexual abuse of men and women, as Seymour Hersh alleged a few years back. What makes this claim more credible is […]

onwards, Sufi Soldiders: Islamist vs Islamist in Somalia

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The total deterioration of Somalia continues – with plowshares turned into swords: Their shrines were being destroyed. Their imams were being murdered. Their tolerant beliefs were under withering attack. So the moderate Sufi scholars recently did what so many other […]

the bronx bombers’ bumbling

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Some thoughts on the foiled plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx: The perpetrators were muslim. They were also black, and converted to Islam in prison. I hear Rod’s complaint but I think he’s being a bit politically correct in […]

release the prisoner abuse photos – but not right now

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, I argued that President Obama was right to change his mind, regarding the release of new photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. My good friend Hussein Rashid took issue with my position, arguing that a […]

torture is terror

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The recent electoral losses of the Republican Party have indeed been good for conservatism, if for no reason other than the sprouting of new, fascinating conservative blogs run by principled and thought-provoking voices like Daniel Larison, Rod Dreher, and the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bush’s War on Terror, Obama’s WOMBAT

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Given that our President is a pretty sharp fellow, it’s not surprising that he’s also realized that the “War on Terror” branding needs to be retired: What’s being sought is a more precise phrase that can recast the U.S. government’s […]

replacing the War on Terror (WOT) with a WOMBAT

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the context of my earlier thoughts about how the muslim community can help combat extremism, one more thing occurs to me; perhaps what is also needed is a rebranding of the War on Terror. You cannot wage war against […]

Darfur vs Gaza: African muslims are worth less than Arab muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ali A. Rizvi, a muslim blogger, asks the hard questions: Where are the large-scale protests and outrage from the Muslim community over the senseless deaths and rape of hundreds of thousands of poverty-ridden African Muslims? Why is there such a […]

The Hajj hoax

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It seems that there was no plot against the Hajj after all, according to Saudi authorities: JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has denied reports published in a Washington-based online newspaper that Saudi officials had launched a massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda […]

Al Qaeda attack on the Hajj foiled

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The victims of Islamic terrorists are disproportionately muslims – and we have seen that nothing is sacred to these barbarians, not women and children, not muslims praying in mosques, not the holy month of Ramadan – now, not even the […]

A courageous, defiant Afghani schoolgirl

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Baktash Siawash is an Afghan-based blogger and journalist. At his blog, he has a guest post by Shamsia, an Aghani schoolgirl who was blinded by the Taliban who threw acid in her face to intimidate her from attending school. Shamsia’s […]

wretched savage barbaric murdering evil obscene damned

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Believe me, the title of this post is mild praise compared to what these subhuman animals deserve: An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child’s father reported that three men […]

Previous Posts

Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam?
Short answer: probably not. Lindsay Lohan was recently spotted carrying a copy of the Qur'an as she left a children's daycare where she's serving her court-ordered sentence of community service. As the article at The Daily Mall helpfully ...

posted 9:52:36am May. 14, 2015 | read full post »

The Nation of Islam is keeping the peace on the streets of Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter
No news agency is bothering to cover how thousands of peaceful protestors are expressing their right of free speech in Baltimore, over the killing of Freddie Gray. Instead, the big story is the violence of the few rather than the righteousness ...

posted 2:06:45pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award - and needs YOUR support
Few people outside the fandom of science fiction and fantasy probably are aware of the Hugo Awards, but in a nutshell, they are the single most prestigious award for SF/F, launched in 1953 during the Golden Age of sci-fi. These are the Academy ...

posted 9:34:01am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community
This happens almost every day in Pakistan - fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder ...

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 ...

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

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