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City of Brass

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City of Brass Archives

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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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 […]

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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” […]

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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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

an American Imam replies to an American Jihadist

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is the imam and director of the Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento, CA. His biography reveals him to be an authentically American Imam, who has benefited from scholarship in the Islamic world and life experience […]

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 […]

word cloud and transcript: Obama’s Nobel speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the remarks by President Obama in Oslo, Norway at the acceptance ceremony for his Nobel Peace Prize. Click to enlarge the word cloud – which features “America” quite prominently, interestingly enough. Democracy Arsenal highlights two passages in particular […]

VIDEO: Obama at NAACP, “the pain of discrimination is still felt in America.”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama’s speech to the NAACP was equal parts encouragement and tough love. I found this passage to be refreshing, in that it broadens the reality of discrimination and thus implies common cause: “I understand there may be a temptation […]

the moral arc of the universe: a thought experiment

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Via Eric Martin at American Footprints – a brilliant thought experiment that clearly illustrates the vapidity of the call by Republicans such as John McCain upon President Obama to intervene more forcefully with rhetoric about the events in Iran: But […]

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“. […]

Obama’s Cairo speech transcript and word cloud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

(UPDATE: I argue that American Islam is the key to the new beginning that Obama is seeking. Also, see ongoing discussion of the Cairo speech at Talk Islam, including substantive critiques.) “A New Beginning” – 4th June 2009, Cairo Egypt […]

Obama gets it half right: America is a muslim country

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The anticipation is mounting for President Obama’s speech to the muslim world tomorrow in Cairo, Egypt. Obama himself gave a round of interviews to various media prior to departing Washington, to help promote the speech and do some expectaions management […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Previous Posts

Obvious: The Iraq War created ISIS
This is something that is so obvious, it is in danger of never being said, in which case those who led us into war will try to ...

posted 1:48:22am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Eid at the State Department
I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it's actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first time! :) I am looking ...

posted 11:01:00am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

The Empire State goes green for Eid
As is tradition, the Empire State Building - the most beautiful skyscraper in the world - was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account ...

posted 1:21:00am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls roundup
Here is a link to all the posts in the Ramadan Pearls series I did during Ramadan: Criterion Non-existence Mystery Angels Objective Expectant Reed Veils Lend Good I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom as much as ...

posted 3:01:31pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Eid Mubarak!
By the Fatimid calendar, today is Eid al Fitr, 1436! I've explained my position on the calendar vs. moonsighting debate in detail - and this year there is a lot more divergence on the date than usual. Crescentwatch nicely ...

posted 7:53:00am Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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