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City of Brass

City of Brass

Islamerica Archives

The Nation of Islam is keeping the peace on the streets of Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award – and needs YOUR support

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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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 […]

Halal Italian and Mexican catering in Chicago

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Whitney Gaspar. I am not Muslim. I am not any religion, really. I was baptized as a Catholic to please my grandma and raised as an atheist by my mother. I am spiritual and […]

the State of the Ummah, 2014/1436

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I tuned into President Obama’s 2014 SOTU for a while last week – mainly because my daughter was tasked to watch 15min minimum for school, a limit to which she adhered to precisely – and was struck by how futile […]

Midamar halal beef – charged with fraud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is disturbing news – the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims: The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered […]

My first day of wearing rida to school

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Zainab Jamali is a teenaged Muslim American girl in Los Angeles. As a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, she recently took her misaq (an oath marking the symbolic passage to adulthood) on the hand of the community’s spiritual leader, […]

Hussein Abdullah gets a penalty for doing sajda in the endzone on Monday Night Football

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What's the difference? pic.twitter.com/2Je8PSJ8GW — NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 30, 2014 As a (very) recent convert to the joy of American Football, I am fascinated by the penalty issued to Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Hussein Abdullah for performing a sajda […]

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Brass Crescent Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners. Founded in 2004 by […]

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: Ramadan Kareem. pic.twitter.com/XDgL95yTlz — The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) June 28, 2014 “Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we […]

Creekstone beef is certified halal – and supplies top tier restaurants around the United States

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A new blog has just burst onto the Muslim blogsphere scene, Muslim Eater (http://muslimeater.com) – with a magnificent debut post about how a major, top-tier beef supplier in Kansas is actually fully halal certified. That supplier is Creekstone Beef and […]

NYPD’s illegal spying on Muslims was legal, says legal system

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is profoundly disappointing but not entirely unexpected: In a decision filed Thursday in federal court in Newark, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismissed a lawsuit brought in 2012 by eight Muslims who alleged that the NYPD’s surveillance programs were […]

Halal Turkeys for Thanksgiving

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Thanksgiving is the singularly American tradition of family, friends, and food – and the mighty turkey reigns supreme. In fact, founding father Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey was a better candidate for our nation’s National Bird than the bald eagle: […]

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 […]

Vote now in the 10th Annual Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awards are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a […]

12 years later – the post 9-11 world

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, again is the 12th anniversary of 9-11. I honestly think I’ve already said everything I’ll ever want to say about it. We are living in a post-9-11, post-global-terrorism, post-boots-on-the-ground, even a post Osama bin Laden world. Terrorism nowadays is […]

Statement by President Obama on the Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What is notable about this year’s remarks are the specifics in terms of dollar amounts. This isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind, but I think that it does show a responsiveness to the criticism. Michelle and I send our warmest […]

a Muslim American agenda: speaking truth to power and “standing firmly for justice” (Qur’an 4:135)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am enjoying the debate with Professor Omid Safi of UNC about the White House Iftaar controversy and recommend his follow-up piece: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity. In that piece, Omid argues that we have a religious […]

Secretary Kerry’s remarks on religious freedom and America at the State Dept Iftar #WhiteHouseIftar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The transcript of Secretary Kerry’s remarks at the State Dept Iftar (to which I was invited but was sadly unable to attend) are now posted online and I found this section to be particularly moving: I want you to know […]

Honored to be invited to the State Department Iftar – and grateful for the #WhiteHouseIftar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am grateful and honored to have been invited to the State Department Iftar hosted by Secretary John Kerry, which will take place tonight in Washington D.C. It is with sincere regret that I am unable to attend due to […]

Nominations now open for the 10th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awards are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a […]

Full transcript of President Obama’s speech on national security: drones, the war on terror, and Guantanamo

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

(as prepared for delivery; while Obama gave the speech, he was repeatedly interrupted by a heckler, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink) It’s an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform […]

American barbarism, civilization, and decadence (and Star Trek)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I came across a lengthy excerpt online from the book, “The Next Hundred Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century” by George Friedman and found it quite insightful. I say this as someone who probably is indeed an American barbarian […]

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” […]

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, […]

Running To Stand Still

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. Halfway. What an incredibly loaded word. On the one hand, it emobdies a sense of accomplishment as we realize that it is all downhill from here. On the other hand, we […]

Fasting for Ramadan with Diabetes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you’re Muslim, and you have diabetes, can you still fast? That’s a question that more and more Muslims ask themselves each year, as the diabetes epidemic in America and worldwide continues. According to a 2011 report by the Centers […]

President Obama’s Ramadan Mubarak wishes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Direct from the White House: Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world at the start of Ramadan. […]

Murfreesboro mosque construction halted on a legal technicality

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The muslim community in Murfreesboro, TN (ICMTN) has been trying to build a mosque for several years now, in the face of vicious Islamophobic opposition from locals who have repeatedly insisted that Islam is not a religion but a political […]

Islam and Star Wars Day: Allah is the Force

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Jumah Mubarak, and May the 4th be with you! Today is Star Wars day, the day we remember with fondness the three greatest movies of our childhood and tolerate three others that were loosely related. The Jedi order has always […]

pink slime is not Halal

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over so-called “pink slime” ground beef is repulsive on one level but also serves as a teaching moment about the value of eating halal. Here is how the beef industry defines pink slime: The lower-cost ingredient is made […]

Obama and the Muslim “Smear”

posted by ajamali

Note: Aziz will be returning soon.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to fill in for him.  If you enjoyed my writing (or didn’t and are looking for further avenues to lambast me), my own blog can be […]

TWITTER ACTION ALERT for #American #Muslims – Follow Our Lead on Friday And Say #Thank You #ff

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Muslims and non-Muslims in New York City and across the country have been upset by the news about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims. The news is disturbing and deeply concerning to say the least. However, we are heartened by and […]

The NYPD spied on muslims in Newark

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Associated Press’ investigative series on NYPD spying continues: Americans living and working in Newark were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray. The operation […]

A Muslim for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have long argued that as muslims, we must avoid allowing ourselves to declare an allegiance in politics. The Democrats have never seen Muslims as anything other than yet another swing vote to be courted when convenient, and in the […]

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 […]

Brookings Institution Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. On August 9, 2011, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World hosted the Brookings Institution’s first Iftar dinner. The Iftar dinner, has been an annual tradition in Washington, D.C. since […]

The Commercialization of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Samya Ayish. When I was in high school in the late 1990s, Ramadan was all about high spirituality, good food, and intimate family time. I remember when I was 10; I wished the whole […]

The Israeli Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It looks like Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, was one of the attendees at the White House Iftar a couple days ago, which is pretty cool in its own right. But now comes word that Ambassador Oren […]

Transcript: President Obama’s remarks during White House Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the remarks by President Obama last night during the White House Iftaar dinner. Inshallah I’ll get an invite one of these years President Obama again reiterated the commonality and the inclusion of Muslim Americans as part of teh […]

Ramadan Rituals

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zahra Somani. Day 1 of Ramadan holds a lot of excitement and promise. It is the first day of a month that I, along with so many of my brothers and sisters in faith, […]

Memories of a (friend’s) college Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my dear college friend, Araven. Aziz has been my friend for more years than surely either of us can believe. We were fortunate to land on the same floor in Sellery Hall as UW-Madison […]

Ramadan realities

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hesham Hassaballa. As Ramadan approached, I had no small amount of dread. Fasting, of all the ritual practices of Islam, is the most difficult for me to do. I am not happy to admit […]

What I do During Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Irfan Rydhan. For the past 25 + years, I have been participating in the holy month of fasting – called Ramadan in Arabic, for Muslims. Of course my levels of participation have increased over […]

The athlete in Ramadan: working out, training and diet

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Kulsoom Abdullah. Ramadan 1432/2011 is here. It makes me reflect to last year, which has similar themes to years before that which is I workout and train during Ramadan. Many think I am insane, […]

Fast, Pray, Cook: Ramadan in the Kitchen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by G. Willow Wilson. The week before Ramadan, I ordered a $65 jumbo box of medjool dates. “By the grace of God, 100% organic,” the advertisement read. “Highest quality.” I find myself thinking ‘at that […]

President Obama welcomes Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the full text of a statement released by the White House from President Obama, commemorating the start of Ramadan. He also notes that he will again host an iftaar at the White House again this year. As Ramadan […]

The 5 stages of muslim-american emotion over bin Laden’s death

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When my wife told me of Osama bin Laden’s death this morning after i stepped out of the shower, news she had picked up from Facebook (all our Californian friends who were actually awake during President Obama’s live speech last […]

Rep Keith Ellison

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am accumulating business cards and notes galore, which will fuel my blogging after the forum concludes for quite some time. But it seems all I have time to actually post during the forum is the occasional photo. This one […]

a muslim Cosby Show?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy new year, everyone – be it 2011, or 1432 My resolutions for this year are to be a better muslim, a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better brother, and a better friend. I feel like […]

The dog days of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Depending on your reckoning, Ramadan is now about a third of the way complete. The fasting tends to get easier over the course of the month, because we physically acclimate to the routine, and also because the days get somewhat […]

my final word on Park51

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over Park51 has long since passed the realm of tragedy and now is well into farce. This story has displaced far more pressing issues like the floods in Pakistan, the lingering environmental disaster in the Gulf, and of […]

The politics of mosques

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been visiting my parents this weekend in Chicago and immersing myself in Ramadan at our masjid – there’s a serenity and a rigour to arriving at the masjid two hours prior to sunset, reading the Qur’an, engaging in communal […]

Inside the Ground Zero Mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two American muslims, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, have begun a 30-day roadtrip across America, in a goal of visiting 30 mosques in 30 days in 30 states during Ramadan. They just started since yesterday was day 1 of Ramadan […]

Halal at Whole Foods: Saffron Road

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Just in time for Ramadan – next week, Whole Foods will be carrying the new Saffron Road line of certified halal food products! You can even get a coupon for a free entree online. The entrees include chicken biryani, chicken […]

perhaps it isn’t close enough

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s been a deluge of fantastic op-eds in support of the Park51 project, but this one in particular by Elizabeth Wurtzel at the Daily Beast really caught my eye. In part: I’m surprised that American exceptionalism hasn’t taught people opposing […]

Ramadan Blues by Wajahat Ali

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This guest post is a short story by Wajahat Ali, reprinted with permission. “I promise.” The young boy – ashamed, dishonored, and fearing the wrath of a vengeful, omnipotent Allah – promised his Pakistani immigrant father with conviction and resolve. […]

discussing Park51 on the radio

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If all goes to plan, I’ll be a guest on NPR Los Angeles’ To The Point program this afternoon, hosted by Warren Olney. The topic will be “Religious Tolerance and the Mosque at Ground Zero”. Should be fun. UPDATE: Here’s […]

Q&A with Sharif el-Gamal about Park51, NYC

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As promised earlier in the week, here are the interview questions and answers from Sharif el-Gamal, CEO of SoHo Properties and lead developer of the Park 51 project. I am sincerely grateful to Sharif for taking the time to answer […]

An interview with Park51

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” project (which is not actually at Ground Zero, and of which the mosque aspect is only a tiny piece) continues unabated, with Sarah Palin entering the fray calling upon all “peaceful muslims” […]

two small tales

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two stories to share, which I think speak for themselves. The first is from a New York Times article about the local neighborhood community meeting in new York a few weeks ago regarding Cordoba House, where a panel of representatives […]

what mosque at Ground Zero? why all Americans have a stake in Cordoba House

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When we speak of national tragedies like 9-11, we often focus on the word “tragedy” and neglect the word “national”. The measure of a national tragedy is how it affects everyone in the nation, often in different ways. For the […]

the longest day: summer begins

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day commemorates the beginning of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year – with a photo of the sun rising over Stonehenge. I am sure that Stonehenge will be a popular destination tonight […]

marriage and the clash of civilizations

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Consider “My accidental jihad” – an award winning essay by Krista Bremer (a non-muslim) about being married to Ismail Suayah (a muslim of Libyan origin) during Ramadan. The essay is a scathing self-critique, of her difficulty in coping with her […]

Discussing “homegrown muslim extremism” on NPR today

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been invited to discuss the recent story about Pakistani-Americans traveling to Pakistan to fight alongside the Taliban, and the general issue of whether domestic “home-grown” terrorism is an issue, on NPR Los Angeles’ “To the Point” this afternoon (hosted […]

the River of Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In response to my post on the Air Tran Flight 297 debacle, Dave Price at Dean’s World complains: I worry that even liberal Muslims like yourself are more concerned with defending your faith than acknowledging its problems and reforming it. […]

a convergence of thanksgiving, renewal, and sacrifice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today again marks the Day of Arafat, a day of spiritual renewal and rebirth. In honor of this day I am observing the fast from sunrise to sundown, with members of my family who have traveled thousands of miles to […]

the muslim vote

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a great ongoing series at Open Left which makes a data-driven analysis of voting patterns for all sorts of demographic groups to argue that overall, the GOP is in serious trouble over the long term. The ethnic demographic trends […]

onwards, muslim soldiers?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an uncomfortable and unjust spotlight has been trained on muslim-American soldiers serving in the armed forces. To be blunt, their loyalties are being questioned, with some conservatives […]

photos from the “Islam on Capitol Hill” jummah prayer

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These photos are being sent to me live by a friend who is attending the event on Capitol Hill. She reports that there were a small number of protestors in a line further behind, but they seem to have bailed […]

Islam on Capitol Hill?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On of my favorite lines from Shakespeare is Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale […]

terror mail: the Eid Stamp

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Mayor of Clarksville, Tennessee sent out an email recently, urging “all patriotic Americans” to protest that singular threat to Western civilization, the Eid Stamp: Mayor Johnny Piper did not add any comments of his own to the e-mail, The […]

CSID Ramadan Iftaar Dinner on Sept 16 featuring Seyyed Hossein Nasr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was forwarded the following general invitation from the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, for an iftaar dinner featuring Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr as the keynote speaker. Nasr is a true heavyweight scholar, originally from Iran, now […]

transcript: Obama Iftar at the White House

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last night, President Obama hosted a traditional Ramadan dinner (iftar) at the White House, as has become customary with all Presidents since Bill Clinton. The guest list included many members of his cabinet, Congressional lesgislators, as well as prominent muslim-Americans […]

Muslim-Americans answer the call to service

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Back in February, President Obama issued a national call to service to help mobilize ordinary citizens to come together and engage in civic projects in service of their fellow citizens and the nation. The focal point for this self-driven community […]

sleepwalking through Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The first week of Ramadan is often the hardest, posing the greatest challenge (both mental and physical) of integrating Ramadan into our lives. While it would be easy to claim that we simply “turn on Ramadan” like a light switch, […]

Be thankful this Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha M Raja. If you believe that the more thankful you are then you will receive more, then this Ramadan is a good time to fundamentally change the way we live. The past 25 […]

The Domestic Crusaders by Wajahat Ali to premiere in NYC on 9-11-09

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a press release by my friend Wajahat Ali, who is a blogger, journalist for Altmuslim, and also a budding playwright. His first play, The Domestic Crusaders, has received rave reviews from critics and artists alike (including Emma […]

the “bad speech” dilemma – does intolerance lead to violence?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Asma T. Uddin. “A woman who loses her chastity is worthless,” lectures the sermon-giver at Asra Nomani’s mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia. Nomani carefully jots down this statement in her notebook, right alongside the […]

An ideal husband

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by G. Willow Wilson. Asra Nomani’s recent essay in Marie Claire, My Big Fat Muslim Wedding, lays out a scenario that has become familiar to everyone in the post-9/11 world: despairing Muslim woman is forced […]

transcript – Pastor Rick Warren’s address at ISNA 2009

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is an exclusive transcript of Pastor Rick Warren’s remarks at the 2009 Islamic Society of North America conference that concluded a few weeks ago, kindly provided to me by his staff and reprinted with their permission. I think it’s […]

Michael Jackson and the Nation of Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As a kind of corollary to the drama over Michael Jackson’s alleged conversion to Islam, there have long been rumors that Jacko was somehow affiliated with the Nation of Islam, led by controversial firebrand Louis Farrakhan. The NOI connection was […]

Muslim Voices Festival in New York

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This week in New York City, the Muslim Voices Festival is going on until June 14th – it’s a huge artistic celebration of muslim artists and cultures and if you happen to be in town, make sure you check it […]

American Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the opening to his Cairo speech, President Obama said that he brought not just the goodwill of the American people as a whole with him, but also “a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in [our] country: assalaamu alaykum“. […]

the myth of the white muslim’s burden

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by G. Willow Wilson, in response to this discussion thread at Talk Islam. The reason I don’t like discussions about the situation of white Muslims as a community, or the power relationships between white converts […]

Interview with Shahed Amanullah at Washington Post

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Washington Post has a fantastic profile and interview of my friend Shahed Amanullah, founder of altmuslim.com and my partner in running the anual Brass Crescent Awards for the Islamic Blogsphere. I particularly liked these two answers: Eight years after […]

more on the Newburgh Four; MANA press release

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Some more information has come to light about the four bumbling bronx would-be jihadis, who bonded at a Newburgh, NY mosque before embarking on their pathetic plot. In a nutshell, these are men with extensive criminal histories prior to their […]

Islam Day in Hawai’i – Aloha Akhbar!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Given my recent trip, I admit that I am looking for pretty much any excuse to write about Hawai’i. Earlier I mentioned how the diversity of the muslim community on the islands was in some ways a negative. I should […]

Texas Republicans debate “motives” of American muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is yet more evidence of an ingrained Islamophobia among the core GOP faithful that is both ugly and yet sadly predictable. At a Republican meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, the idea that muslim citizens of the United States are […]

Muslims Against Torture

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following statement of principles, A New Muslim Statement Against Torture, is reprinted from Religion Dispatches. It came about as a direct result of the general failure of the muslim-American community to join the national dialouge condemning torture when president […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Khutba on domestic violence by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This khutbah (sermon) was delivered by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna Institute in San Francisco on Friday 20th February as part of the nationwide effort to raise awareness about domestic violence within muslim communities. Related: khutbah on domestic violence […]

Friday Khutbah (Sermon) on Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community

The following is a guest post by Hesham Hassaballa, and is the text of the friday khutbah (sermon) he delivered this afternoon as part of a nationwide effort to focus on domestic violence by muslim Americans today. We praise God, […]

how can muslims combat extremism?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve often dismissed the idea that muslims in the West have any obligation to apologize for or routinely condemn on demand the actions of the extremist minorities who commit acts of terror in the name of the faith they claim […]

Willow on American Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend (and accomplished writer) G. Willow Wilson spent several years living in Cairo after converting to Islam. In her Journal at Talk Islam she relates her observations about the differences in how Islam is lived in breathed in Cairo […]

Fasting…yet Sad As Well

Typically, it is quite difficult for me to fast outside of the month of Ramadan…I love my coffee WAY too much (it’s now decaffeinated, though). But, there are a few days during which I am happy to do so. Two […]

of burkas, bikinis and postcards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my essay The Burka and the Bikini, I argued, The bikini and the burka are so far to the extremes that they meet again. They both serve to reduce women, from a person, to an object. In the case […]

Dial a muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is brilliant – muslims in Florida have launched a campaign whereby they run ads on the side of public transport buses, inviting people to call a phone number and talk to a fellow citizen who is muslim. The idea […]

India’s 9-11: Why Mumbai?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The only thing on the television this Thanksgiving weekend was CNN. The events in Mumbai completely dominated our family get-together, not least because as Dawoodi Bohra muslims, we have extensive circles of friends and family in the city, as well […]

anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of the book The Muslim Next Door, writes of an encounter with someone who subscribes to the fallacy that Islam and muslims are inherently anti-Semitic: I recently spoke on Islam and my new book at a local […]

Mikael Jackson: Ya Wanna Be Starting Something

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m not particularly keen to judge another man’s faith, so I pass no judgement on Michael Jackson’s conversion to Islam. However, I will note that Islam is big enough to contain me and Jackson within itself. Check out the discussion […]

Muslims and modernity

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

At Talk Islam, a great discussion has ensured (as tends to happen over there) about analogizing between Islam and other religions, especially when talking about “reformations” or about labels. Abu Noor points out, those both within and without Islam that […]

Reihan Salam says it’s gonna be all right

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Reihan Salam, poet-pundit at The American Scene, provides some perspective on today: here’s the thing: America is a strange, diverse, sprawling country, and our elections reflect that fact. There are loyal black Democrats in California who will turn out for […]

debate tonight: muslims for McCain vs muslims for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via Muslim Matters: Join us in a live debate featuring Obama supporter Zeba Khan, Founder and Director of Muslims for Obama, and McCain supporter, Mohamed Elibiary, President and Chief Executive of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, a non-partisan think tank […]

Barack Obama’s failure

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I support Obama for President, and I believe that given the Republican Party’s war on muslims in the public and political sphere (Mazen Asbahi, Rima Sinclair, now Rashid Khalidi just the latest examples), his Presidency will do much to mitigate […]

Review of Obsession by David Shasha

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Richard Silverstein has posted a review of the Islamophobic hate-film Obsession on his blog, written by David Shasha, one of the leaders of the American Sephardic Jewish community. It’s a powerful indictment, beginning with a list of basic facts about […]

The GOP war on muslims: Rima Sinclair

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve praised president Bush for emphasizing that the war on Terror should not be construed as a war against Islam, but the Republican Party has been enthusiastically waging a war against muslims.Even muslims who are members of the Republican Party […]

Listen Islam: podcasts

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Over at Talk Islam there is a new feature called Listen Islam, which features podcasts between bloggers in the Islamsphere (and beyond) about various topics related to Islam. There are already two great podcasts posted, the first by myself and […]

McCain campaign muzzles muslims?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I lauded the McCain campaign for the incident in Virginia where supporters of McCain and campaign representatives alike vigorously confronted an Islamophobic idiot and his sidekick and forced them to depart the rally. One of the McCain supporters, Daniel Zubairi, […]

McCain supporters defend Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

At a McCain rally in northern Virginia, a man was handing out bumper stickers equating Obama with Communism and radical Islam, and preaching about the dangers of Islam. McCain supporters, including a conservative Christian and several muslims, confront the bigot: […]

Can you be a muslim and a christian?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is unusual, to say the least: A Seattle Episcopal priest who claims to be both Christian and Muslim has been restricted from public ministry and will be defrocked unless she “reclaims” Christianity by next April, the Episcopal Church announced.…Redding, […]

Powell: So what if Obama were muslim?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have been saying this as far back as February during the primaries – the correct response to the “Obama muslim” smear was not just to deny it, but also to ask, “so what?” Colin Powell rises to the occasion […]

Michelle Malkin’s defense of internment

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One of the foundation stones of Islamophobia in conservative circles is, somewhat paradoxically, a book about Japanese-American internment in World War II, by Michelle Malkin. You can read  excerpts from her book online at Google books. Her book is rife […]

Strange twist in the Dayton incident

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s been a followup in the Dayton mosque incident, with the police now revealing that the can of pepper spray was found inside the mosque, not nearby: The can of pepper spray found four days after someone sprayed a 10-year-old […]

Dayton mosque incident revisited

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The case of the attack on the Dayton, OH mosque just became murkier – police have thus far found no physical evidence of the chemical irritant: The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic […]

Eid al-Fitr Mubarak – ??? ?????

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the first day that muslims worldwide will begin to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Having just emerged from Ramadan, we are spiritually cleansed, disciplined, and refreshed. And eager to reacquaint ourselves with the concept of “lunch” ! It’s a mark […]

Terrorists attack Ohio mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, I mentioned the Obsession DVD that was inserted in millions of newspapers around the country. That DVD paints a rigid and extreme vision of Islam, with intent to mislead rather than inform. Now, the predictable result of that hate-mongering […]

Let’s do something

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One of the oldest voices in the Islamsphere, Umm Zaid, has penned a courageous screed excoriating her fellow muslims to take a stand and do something (paraphrasing Todd Beamer, hero of Flight 93) about extremism and terrorism. I will not […]

muslims condemn terror… again and again

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s a shame that for many muslims, the anniversary of 9/11 is an occasion to retreat into a defensive posture, rather than stand proudly alongside our fellow Americans with head unbowed to the threat that faces us all. One of […]

Warith Deen Mohammed and the mountain

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, iconic muslim-American leader Warith Deen Mohammed passed away. I want to reflect a bit on the significance of this man’s achievement and note what a landmark his life’s work was on the landscape of American Islam. But to understand […]

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The leader of the Nation of Islam, credited with leading it towards mainstream Islamic practice, has passed away. From his bio page at The Atlanta Jamaat: Imam W. Deen Mohammed was born October 30, 1933, to the builder and leader […]

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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
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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 »

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, ...

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

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