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City of Brass Archives

the silver lining to the Iraq War

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here’s an article by a defense industry analyst that goes out of its way to avoid mentioning who and what political party was responsible for the Iraq War while assidously making the case that said war has paralyzed American military […]

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The muslim world sends love to Boston

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Just wanted to share these two moving images – the first, from two women in Kabul: and the second, two boys in Iraq: Next time you hear or read the Islamophobes’ claim that muslims “dance in the streets” when there […]

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Iraq War retrospective: not convinced by Colin Powell at the UN #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Feb 5th 2003, Colin Powell gave a speech at the United Nations that supposedly laid out the case for WMD in Iraq and the argument for invasion. After the war began and WMDs were not found, this speech destroyed […]

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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, […]

one liberal’s case for war and subsequent repudiation #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Thomas Nephew. I began realizing how wrong I was the day of the invasion. One of my main reasons for supporting the war — after initial skepticism — was Iraq’s alleged stockpiles of chemical, […]

Iraq War retrospective: the liberal case for war #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The debate over the Iraq war was not polarized according to liberal/conservative fault lines, but stretched across them. In fact, many liberals found themselves reluctantly swayed by the arguments for war, especially after Kenneth Pollack’s book <a href="The Threatening Storm: […]

Iraq War retrospective: the Bali bombings #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following post was written shortly after the Bali resort bombings, which killed over 200 people, of which 88 were Australian tourists, 38 Indonesians, and 27 citizens of UK. At the time, the case for war against Iraq was in […]

10 Years after Iraq: a retrospective #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Precisely ten years ago, the Iraq War began, as limited strikes against Iraqi palaces in an attempt to initially “kill the head of the snake” and killing Saddam Hussein. These attacks were unsuccessful and so on March 21st, whose 10-year […]

“The veil is on my face, not my mind” #Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Sometimes, Twitter’s forced succinctness produces the most insightful commentary: Almost fell over when a niqabi in Luxor told us she voted for Hamdeen Sabahi. “The veil is on my face, not my mind,” she said. #Egypt — Hannah Allam (@HannahAllam) […]

deadly bombing in Karbala

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

No, Iraq is not a “success” – Three homemade bombs exploded without warning in the midst of crowds who had stopped to gather for evening prayers Wednesday in southern Iraq’s Shiite holy city of Karbala, and the police and government […]

The Iranian crucible: Islam + Democracy = ?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Several thousand Iranians marched on Tehran University today in protest of the election, on the anniversary of a student protest in 1999: The demonstration is taking place on the 10th anniversary of a student uprising that, at the time, posed […]

What if the Green Revolution fails?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A remarkable thing happened yesterday at President Obama’s afternoon press conference – he took a question from an Iranian, relayed via Nico Pitney at the Huffington Post. Pitney solicited questions via the Iranian Farsi-language social networking site Balatarin and invited […]

liberal interventionism vs imperialism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

At Talk Islam, I have (another) healthy debate with Abu Noor about the Iraq War, pragmatic liberal intervention, and imperialism. We end up debating the merits of interventionism a lot over at TI, don’t we?

Liberal Intervention: A Talk Islam Debate

posted by G. Willow Wilson

Guest post by G. Willow Wilson. Over at TalkIslam, we’ve been having an ongoing debate about the merits of liberal military intervention around the world. The debate was sparked by an entry about the Shabab Islamist group, which is growing […]

the shoe-thrower is sorry

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If this is sincere, then good: An Iraqi journalist arrested after throwing his shoes at George Bush, the US president, has reportedly sent a letter to the Iraqi prime minister to apologise for the incident and seek a pardon. A […]

President Bush ducks thrown shoes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

To be honest I find this rather insulting and pathetic: An Iraqi reporter set off pandemonium Sunday by hurling two shoes atPresident Bush during a news conference that was the centerpiece of hissecret good-bye visit. Bush was cool under fire […]

Obama’s judgement

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a great anecdote by Joe Klein about Obama’s meeting with General Petraeus in Iraq that I think speaks very well of Obama’s judgement and leadership, especially with regard to military matters: Obama had a choice at that moment. He […]

Obama will not leave Iraq. (good.)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve long argued that no Democratic president will fully withdraw from Iraq. There’s been plenty of evidence of Obama’s intentions in that regard; the latest is this exchange from Joe Klein’s recent interview with Obama: [Q] Lets go back to […]

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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