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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

13 years after 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I honestly don’t have much left to say that I have not said already. But it is worth at least remarking on this, the anniversary of the attacks, that the global challenges facing the world today have almost nothing to […]

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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 […]

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Iraq War retrospective: How does attacking Iraq solve the problem of terrorism? #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following post was written in late October 2002, after my earlier post about the Bali bombings, where I was still trying to work out just how the Iraq War would be related to terrorism. As the post makes clear, […]

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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” […]

I will not condemn Islam or America

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A commentor (and person I consider a friend) took serious issue with my 9-11 tenth anniversary post, commenting: I have to say I am quite disappointed by this post. It seems you just want to sweep the horrors of the […]

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 […]

Mission Accomplished: Obama got Osama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid […]

observing Eid, unobserving 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Apologies for my long hiatus here – I spent the last third of Ramadan and Eid day (which we observed on Thursday) in Houston with family, blissfully immersing myself in the rhythms of worship. I’d already decided I wouldn’t have […]

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 […]

Laylatul Qadr and 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The past few years, the anniversary of 9-11 has coincided with Ramadan. As I wrote last year, 9-11 usually elicits a defensive posture in muslim Americans, because of the lingering suspicion and distrust by our fellow citizens. But with the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pakistan arrests Mumbai suspects; Malaysia lets some go

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Mumbai terror attacks were arguably India’s 9-11 – an attack on the nation as a whole instead of just isolated targets of opportunity. That makes these two stories an interesting pair – first, Pakistan has arrested suspects accused of […]

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 […]

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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