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City of Brass

City of Brass

Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 points out, Lohan also had posted a picture of a verse from the Qur’an to her Instagram account (specifically, 20:114 – “Oh Allah! increase me in my knowledge!”) and then deleted it. Naturally, and predictably – even by Lohan herself – this is causing a round of “has Lindsay converted to Islam” rumors, which serves the purpose of adding some intrigue to the otherwise unremarkable fact of Lohan’s court-ordered community service, and perhaps a dash of mystique?

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Carrying a copy of the Qur’an does not make you muslim, of course. To be a muslim, you have to recite the Shahada with sincerity, and then make some attempt to live your life according to Islamic principles (however you interpret them). It is certainly possible that Lohan has embraced Islam and is following its precepts to the best of her ability and inclination.

It’s more likely however that the Qur’an is increasingly seen as an “exotic” text, supplanting Scientology and Kabbalah as the trendy-but-edgy source of spiritualism among ultraclass elite celebrities.The angle by which Lohan carried the Qur’an – ensuring that it was clearly visible – may (or may not) imply she was hoping it would be noticed.

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I hope that she does read the Qur’an, and draws inspiration from it in some way. If that leads to a conversion, then thats great, if thats the right thing for her. But there’s nothing more to this than simply, “Lindsay Lohan wants to read the Qur’an” – and that’s something anyone can do, and may gain benefit from, as long as they approach it with an open mind of discovery and inquiry rather than any preconceived agendas.

(Related – which other celebrities have or haven’t converted to Islam? and, of course, Jack Sparrow was a muslim.. as is Santa Claus.)

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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 righteousness of the many. One aspect of the untold story is how the Nation of Islam has been instrumental in keeping the peace. There’s no link to share, but the true story is being told on social media. Here’s a sample.

Praise Carlos Muhammad, the leader of the NOI in Baltimore – and follow him on twitter. Let’s see if the media will notice. Black Lives Matter.

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UPDATE:

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

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

msmarvel

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 Awards, the Nobel Prize, of their genre.

In 2013, Saladin Ahmed’s book Throne of the Crescent Moon was nominated for Best Novel, losing out to John Scalzi’s Redshirts – a tough loss indeed, but a significant honor in its own right. And way back in 1980, Steven Barnes’s The Locusts (co-written with Larry Niven) was nominated for Best Novelette, losing out to George R.R. Martin. There may be other Muslims whose works were nominated that I am overlooking, but to the best of my knowledge no Muslim has ever taken home the iconic Huge Rocket statue.

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This year, however, that all could change: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, is nominated for Best Graphic Story. This is huge news and a tremendous recognition by the SF/F community of the cultural, literary, and social impact of Ms. Marvel – which is almost impossible to summarize, but this article at the venerable AV Club magazine is a pretty good primer: “One year later, Ms. Marvel’s influence is felt far beyond the comics page”

How can you support Ms. Marvel? Unfortunately, it takes a little work. Voting in the Hugos is not free – you have to be a member of the World Science Fiction Society, and register for the annual WorldCon convention (this year, named “Sasquan” and held in Spokane, WA). You needn’t actually pay the full registration fee to attend the convention – there are “supporting” memberships available for $40. For that $40, however, you will receive the voter’s packet which includes the complete set of nominated works in all categories – hundreds of dollars’ worth of science fiction and fantasy. This is an incredible bargain just on a fan basis alone.

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Make an investment in a supporting Worldcon/Sasquan membership, get a huge pile of amazing fiction to read, and support Ms. Marvel. She’s been fighting for us, it’s time we got her back :)

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Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community

posted by Aziz Poonawalla
People inspect the blast site in Aram Bagh area of Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

People inspect the blast site in Aram Bagh area of Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

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 took place after Friday prayers outside the Saleh Mosque for Bohra community worshippers.

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Deputy Inspector General (DIG) police Abdul Khaliq Shaikh confirmed that one person died in the blast that took place in the precincts of Arambagh. He added that four people were injured, of which two are in critical condition.

Saif-ud-Din, a witness, said people were coming out of the mosque after Friday prayers when there was a huge blast and many people fell on the ground.

“I was inside the mosque when the bomb exploded and I saw people falling to the ground,” Din told AFP.

Umer Khatab, a senior officer at the police Counter Terrorism Department, told reporters that about two kilogrammes (4.4 pounds) of explosives were used in the bomb, which was detonated with a timer.

“The bomb was planted to target the people coming out of the mosque,” Khatab said.

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I have only anger and sadness, no words. This isn’t the first time – for Bohras or any other Muslim group living under the shadow of the Dark Caliphate.

UPDATE:

UPDATE: Even worse carnage in Sana’a, Yemen – again, targets are Muslims during Friday prayer.

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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 »

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