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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

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 […]

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no political home for muslim Americans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The trend of increasing Islamophobia on the conservative right continues. The latest is a new book by Andy McCarthy, who has a new book called The Grand Jihad – How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. The conflation of political […]

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Conservatism’s shari’a, liberalism’s ijtihad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

An interesting meta-debate by intellectual conservatives over conservatism’s future is playing out. It started with David Frum’s Waterloo essay, which led to his political excommunication. Julian Sanchez observed that this represented an epistemic closing of the conservative mind, a thesis […]

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the decline and fall of the Conservative Empire

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

a few days ago, commenting on the absurd and desperate attacks on Obama by the Right for, of all things, his utterly conventional and reasonable nuclear policy, Daniel Larison asked the not-quite-rhetorical question, One wonders where Republican hawks can possibly […]

Is health care reform unconstitutional?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, the President signed health reform into law. This is an incredible, historic achievement. And it was done entirely without the help of the obstructionists of the GOP, who decided that it was more important to humiliate President Obama than […]

“health care jihadists”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The latest salvo in the Republicans’ War on Muslims comes as a two-fer – simultaneously an attempt to delegitimize the health care debate and the use of a cheap stereotype of radical Islam, in the form of a cartoon: There […]

Kudos to RedState

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

and in particular kudos to Erick Erickson for taking a firm (albeit small) stand in recognition that the “Birthers” are just as crazy and harmful as the “Truthers” and deserve to be treated accordingly. Banning crazies on your website is […]

Osama bin Laden loves global warming

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Since religious demogougery hasn’t worked out so well for Al Qaeda’s attempt to win hearts and minds of the muslim masses, Osama bin Laden is trying a new strategy: scare ’em with science: Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has called […]

is there a “right” to health care?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the debate over health care, and the associated debate over illegal immigration, I’ve often heard the argument that “health care isn’t one of the rights defined in the Constitution.” This argument seems to me to deny the very concept […]

Charles Johnson’s jihad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

For those who wisely stay out of the blogsphere’s sea of meta-storms, Charles Johnson and his website Little Green Footballs (“LGF”) are probably unknown to you. This is why the fact that Johnson was the subject of three simultaneous profiles […]

Is the Massachusetts Senate race a referendum on Obama’s first year?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, Massachusetts votes for a Senator to replace Ted Kennedy in a special election scheduled on the eve of President Obama’s first anniversary in office. The expectation is, to put it bluntly, that Republican challenger Scott Brown will probably defeat […]

AirTran Flight 297

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: Todd Petruna lied, not just about what happened on the flight, but about being ON the flight at all! This hilarious email, about what supposedly transpired on AirTran Flight 297 last month, is currently making the rounds amongst right-wing […]

No, they aren’t serious

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is the key foreign policy critique made of Obama by Republicans, in this case well-summarized by GOP Representative Mike Pence: On the foreign stage, the American people know that weakness arouses evil. They know that bowing and kowtowing […]

nuevo-conservatism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The topic of conservatism’s intellectual decline is one I’ve been talking about a lot recently; I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the recent piece on that topic in the WaPo by Steven Hayward. He makes a number of points, but […]

word cloud and transcript: Sarah Palin on common-sense conservatism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the text and word cloud of the speech by Sarah Palin while in Hong Kong on September 23rd, for the CLSA Pacific Markets Conference. Note the dominant topic (in the cloud) in her speech is obvious, and hardly […]

Should conservatives embrace Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story” ?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I admit to not having ever seen a Michael Moore movie, though from what I understand his film Roger and Me was probably his defining film, one that predated the Bush era and thus was more balanced in its critiques. […]

modern conservatism is like Islam…

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

…in that it is being hijacked by extremists who are not representative of the mainstream, but who inexplicably seem to be in control of the PR department. For better or worse – this is what the face of conservatism today […]

goodbye Walter Cronkite; hello, Jon Stewart

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Walter Cronkite’s passing away is an occassion for remembrance of a storied career and a true giant of journalism. It is not, however, the end of an era – the era of men like Cronkite ended a long time ago. […]

Would an Ahmadinejad victory be good for Israel?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There are always those who prefer to see world events through the narrow lens of their own political interest rather than universal principles of freedom and justice. Case in point: the extremists running Israel, whose entire narrative about Iran is […]

James von Brunn, terrorist

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The shooting at the Holocaust Museum yesterday was a chilling reminder that domestic terrorism is real, and was just the latest in a disturbing trend of increased political violence from right-wing extremists. What these fanatics have in common is a […]

Tiller, terror, and apologetics

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama tried to turn the page on the abortion debate during his speech at Notre Dame. This weekend, the page was turned firmly back to the status quo, with the murder of Dr. George […]

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 conservative, secular case for gay marriage

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Over at The Secular Right (one of the intellectual niches that the non-ideological Right has fractured into after the implosion of the conservative movement over the past few years), John Derbyshire makes what he calls a “secular case against gay […]

who killed Culture11?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Daniel Larison implies that RedState may have killed Culture11. Reading the piece on C11’s founding to which he refers, I can’t help but think that the conservative movement as a whole is imploding, and C11 simply got caught in the […]

Ross Douthat replaces Kristol at the New York Times

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I had hoped that the New York Times would pick Joshua Trevino to replace Bill Kristol‘s sordid run as opinion columnist, but their pick of Ross Douthat is definitely a solid choice (though also a far more cautious one). Douthat […]

PREDICTION: Michael Steele will win RNC Chair

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Twitter is THE source for following the RNC Chair vote right now. And in a shocking upset, Mike Duncan and Michael Steele are tied in the second round of voting. You can follow the debate in real time via twitter […]

conservatism v2.0: replacing Kristol at the New York Times

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Bill Kristol’s year-long stint as columnist at the New York Times has ended. His last column, entitled “Will Obama Save Liberalism?“, begins with the line: All good things must come to an end. Jan. 20, 2009, marked the end of […]

The Secular Right?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The historic victory of Barack Obama has left the various factions within the Republican Party scrambling to lay claim to conservatism’s mantle. I for one am rooting for the technocrats at The Next Right, the pragmatists at The American Conservative, […]

Obama McCain Debate II: the best question

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I confess that I wasn’t really watching the debate because I had any interest in what McCain would say. I already know who I am voting for and I already know where McCain stands on all the issues, except for […]

Previous Posts

Ramadan Pearls 05 - objective
As for the men of knowledge of the hereafter, what they mean by the correctness of fasting is its acceptability; and the acceptability of the fast is whether or not it has enabled one to reach one's objective. They understand the objective of ...

posted 7:26:32am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

The Fourth and the First
This evening, just prior to sunrise, members of my mosque in Los Angeles gathered round to raise the flag of the United States of America. Due to fortuitous timing, just as the flag was unfurled, a squadron of planes flew overhead in formation, ...

posted 12:38:00am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 04 - angels
He who has fasted for Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, and is in the discomfort of heat and struck by thirst, will have his face wiped and be given the good news by a thousand angels whom Allah has entrusted to him until he breaks his fast; at ...

posted 8:16:29am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

ibadat in Ramadan - process as piety
There are a lot of articles written during Ramadan about what Ramadan means, about what we as Muslims should be "getting out" of Ramadan, what the benefits of Ramadan should be. But I think that these sorts of articles miss the point of ibadat. ...

posted 10:20:36am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 03 - mystery
Know that the goal in fasting is for the veil of appetite and anger to be lifted from the heart's eye so that the heart may see the mystery of the dominion of heaven and earth. (The Easy Roads of Sayf al-Din, as translated by William Chittick ...

posted 8:57:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

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