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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

je ne suis pas Charlie #IamNotCharlie

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I fully support the right, and I also deeply appreciate the sentiment, of the cartoonist Luz, who is one of the survivors of the despicable attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that was attacked by Al Qaeda […]

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Statement and Twitter Campaign regarding violence against #USEmbassies in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

American Muslims stand by President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton in strongly condemning the attacks on the US Embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. At this time, American […]

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Statement on Free Speech by American and Canadian Muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am proud to co-publish and add my name as a signatory to this statement upholding the principle of free speech and denouncing those who would threaten violence in the name of Islam. If you would like to add your […]

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my letter to the editors at Reason.com about Draw Muhammad Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Below is the text of an email I sent to Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, urging them to make public all the nearly 200 entries to the Draw Mohammed Day contest at Reason magazine. If they consent, I will also […]

Draw “Mohammed” Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Since today is apparently “Draw Mohammed Day“, conceived as an expression of the right of free speech in our society, as a response to that tiny minority of muslims worldwide (and essentially negligible minority of muslims in the United States), […]

a response to Arnold

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One of my erudite commentors, Arnold (who I know quite well from other internet venues and have met personally), asked the following question in the thread to my last post: Irrespective of my well-known unbeliefs, I always have avoided showering […]

South Park, Mohammed (and Santa), and the freedom to blaspheme

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Welcome, CNN.com readers! I’d like to point out that though the article implied I approve of depictions of the Prophet, I actually do find them offensive. However, in my piece below I was trying to explain that the degree of […]

Islam Online goes offline

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Dilshad D. Ali. Yesterday, marking that it was the 15th of March, I recalled the Shakespearean play “Julius Caesar” and posted on my Facebook wall, “Beware the Ides of March.” Little did I know […]

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 […]

VIDEO: Shari’a in the USA

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Behold – a shocking video exposé of impending Islamist takeover in the United States! Amerabia is nigh! Aieeeeeeee! (really, the last minute is the important part) Now, I’m tempted to mock this mercilessly as I did with the Dawah Doll, […]

Blogger Peter Guo (@amoiist) arrested in China, twitters it

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I just saw a re-tweet from Rebecca MacKinnon that Chinese blogger Peter Guo has been arrested by authorities in China. Amazingly, it seems he managed to twitter his arrest while in custody, by using his phone while the police were […]

VIDEO: The Third Jihad trailer and 30-min preview

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As I mentioned yesterday, the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles intends to screen the film The Third Jihad at the Museum of Tolerance. In the interest of free speech, I am embedding the trailer and also a 30-minute short […]

never again? Simon Wiesenthal Center to screen Islamophobic film “The Third Jihad”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve argued in the past that muslims and jews in the West should make common cause in fighting against prejudice and tolerance – and in doing so, lead by example in terms of demonstrating the value of tolerance and respect […]

journalist Amira Hass arrested in Israel

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I view the freedom of the press as a sub-category of the general principle of freedom of speech, and believe that a free press is not only a sign of a healthy democracy, it is a prerequisite. Only with a […]

Michael Savage barred from the UK, plans to sue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The UK has released a list of various unsavory persons it will bar from entry into the UK. About half are muslim extremists, there are also some skinheads… and right-wing insane radio nutcase Michael Savage. Predictably, this infuriated him, and […]

debating apostasy and capital punishment

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As occurs regularly, a fantastic discussion has been unfolding at Talk Islam, initially about the comments by the Harvard muslim chaplain on the matter of the death penalty for apostasy. The story begins with a private email from the chaplain, […]

you fools! Varun Gandhi arrested

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is exactly the worst possible thing that could have happened – BJP candidate and Indian political dynasty scion Varun Gandhi, whose paranoid rants against muslims were caught on video a few weeks ago, has been arrested: A politician from […]

Iranian blogger Omid Reza Misayafi dies in prison

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji’un Hamid Tehrani at Global Voices Online brings the tragic news that a jailed Iranian blogger, Omid Reza Misayafi, has died. It seems that he may have committed suicide. Apart from the personal tragedy his family […]

Dawah on the bus goes round and round

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My apologies to my few remaining readers for my delayed absence – I was in the Bay Area from thursday morning until late last night and have rather enjoyed the hiatus from my electronic overlords. My email inboxes have certainly […]

Israel censors Al Jazeera

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

During the Gaza war, Al Jazeera was the only news outfit able to report on the carnage from the field, by virtue of actually being on-location, while the international media was forced to watch from afar by the Israeli government. […]

defending Geert Wilders

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Incendiary Dutch politician Geert Wilders will be brought to trial for comparing Islam to Nazism: Geert Wilders made headlines in March 2008 for his short-film Fitna, which juxtaposed shots of the 9/11 attacks on the US with quotations from the […]

censoring Obama in China

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am a huge fan of the China Rises blog written by Tim Johnson, Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers. Johnson has a great catch about how Chinese censors reacted to the following paragraph in Obama’s speech: “Recall that earlier […]

Free Speech, Consensus, and Bigotry

posted by G. Willow Wilson

This is a guest post by Muslim comics writer and essayist G. Willow Wilson. One of my literary heroes, Neil Gaiman, is an ardent supporter of free speech. In this entry of his blog, he discusses an issue that has […]

Save Hoder: more on Derakshan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Talk Islam and City of Brass seem to have been the first to report on Iranian blogfather Hossein Derakshan’s arrest in Tehran last week, but the A-list bloggers are now awakening to the story, as are some of the journalist […]

Blogger Hossein Derakshan arrested in Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Celebrated blogger Hossein Derakshan is literally the godfather of the Iranian blogsphere. Iran is one of those countries where speaking out requires courage, and where speech is anything but free. He has been living in Canada recently, but returned to […]

Regarding free speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve written a statement about my support for free speech, for reference. I will update it over time but I welcome feedback.

The Jewel of Medina: manufactured outrage

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you haven’t heard of this brouhaha, in a nutshell a (non-muslim) author wrote a book about Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Mohammed SAW, entitled The Jewel of Medina. A (non-muslim) University of Texas professor was invited to comment […]

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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