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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award – and needs YOUR support

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Few people outside the fandom of science fiction and fantasy probably are aware of the Hugo Awards, but in a nutshell, they are the single most prestigious award for SF/F, launched in 1953 during the Golden Age of sci-fi. These […]

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Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This happens almost every day in Pakistan – fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder fellow Muslims in cold blood. This time, the target was my own community, the Dawoodi Bohras. KARACHI: Two people were killed in an explosion that […]

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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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is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

Can atheism drive someone to murder? #muslimlivesmatter #chapelhillshooting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Like everyone else, I am in shock at the horrible tragedy in North Carolina last night, where three young Muslim Americans were brutally executed. The police are investigating and the murderer is in custody and cooperating. The family of the […]

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 […]

Midamar halal beef – charged with fraud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is disturbing news – the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims: The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered […]

Muslims en masse for Modi at Madison Square

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a huge crowd of Indian expats in New York City on Monday night, outlining his vision of India’s future and making an explicit appeal to the NRI community to support their home […]

Post-Ramadan reflections

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Welcome back, readers My apologies for being so AWOL from blogging. This past Ramadan I had genuinely been able to ramp up my ibadat and one of the ways I achieved that was by letting go of digital distractions. A […]

a victory for toilets and holograms: Narendra Modi is India’s new Prime Minister

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As predicted by everyone, Narendra Modi has won the election and is India’s new Prime Minister. Some essential background on the Indian elections here, by John Oliver on HBO (because American news media FAIL): Modi won with substantial support of […]

NYPD’s illegal spying on Muslims was legal, says legal system

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is profoundly disappointing but not entirely unexpected: In a decision filed Thursday in federal court in Newark, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismissed a lawsuit brought in 2012 by eight Muslims who alleged that the NYPD’s surveillance programs were […]

a case study for paternalism and good intentions

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a true anecdote: A hijabi chooses the bottom platform of a quiet staircase in her college’s library to pray. While she is deep in prayer, a white, male classmate walks by and stops to console her by putting […]

the silence libel: Muslims do not need to condemn

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Patheos blogger Dan Peterson has a moving and well-intentioned post in which he exhorts the Muslim American community to speak more loudly and denounce terrorism: But you have to speak up more loudly. Others — I promise you this, from […]

Ramadan wanes: The Final Countdown

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There are just a handful of prayers left. These are the last hours and days of Ramadan, the end of the appointed time when our prayers and acts of piety are amplified. Our consciences weigh heavily with the thought of […]

Tisha B’av: Jews fasting in Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’d like to wish my Jewish friends Tzom kal (easy fast) on the occasion of Tisha B’av, which is a day Jews are obligated to fast in observance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Here’s […]

The Day of Elevation – 27th Rajab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

We are almost done with the holy month of Rajab al-Asab, which as I noted a few years ago is a herald for the impending arrival of Ramadan. Today is the 27th of Rajab, which means last night was the […]

Muslims in Bradford, UK rally to save synagogue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is one of those great stories that often gets overlooked by the mainstream press and deliberately ignored by the Islamophobes: With only just over thirty members and an extravagant Grade II listed Moorish building, the tiny Jewish community of […]

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 […]

Easter in the Qur’an: Jesus AS was raised to Heaven and will return

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy Easter to my Christian friends! Fundamentally, Easter is the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. As I’ve noted before, in Islam there is no direct analogue to Easter, but there are some very important points of agreement. […]

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 […]

Milad al-Nabi Mubarak!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

By the Fatimid calendar, Mawlid al-Nabi (also known as Milad al-Nabi) starts tonight at sunset. Mawlid is the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed SAW, and is an occasion to express our mohabbat (love) for him and our […]

honoring Jesus as a Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Merry Christmas! In honor of the Prophet Issa AS, on this day where my Christian cousins in faith celebrate the life and Message of the Lord, I will share this excerpt from a new piece by my friend Haroon Mogul […]

Chris Christie defending Muslim Americans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is just an amazing video from last year of Chris Christie, governor of Jew Jersey (and likely contender for the Republican nomination in 2016): Suhail Mohammed is an Indian-born American Muslim lawyer who was appointed as a judge by […]

on the dangers of male theorizing about hijab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“The truth is that the traditional image of the veiled Muslim woman as sheltered and docile sexual property of her husband is just as misleading and simpleminded as the postmodernist image of the veil as the emblem of female freedom […]

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 […]

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” […]

does the hijab protect women from harassment?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The image above is a billboard in Tehran which makes a clumsy case for wearing the hijab – it “protects” the woman like a candy wrapper from the attention of men. The degrading analogy of a woman as a piece […]

Eid intolerance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

While the decision of when to observe Eid can be messy at times, that messiness is at least the process of honest decisions and judgement by Muslims free to make their own religious choices. However, not all Muslims have that […]

Mumbai muslims’ Eid confusion

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My position on moonsighting vs calculation has always been simple: to you be your way, to me mine. Muslims should not squabble over the differences that arise every year about the start of Ramadan and the date of Eid, but […]

The Final Fast

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As per the Fatimid calendar, it is the 30th of Ramadan, and my final fast has begun. I spent the night engaged in ibadat – praying Nisf al-Layl and the tahajjud, doing tasbih (also known as dhikr) and Qur’an, praying […]

Laylatul Qadr 1433 is upon us

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Once again, the apex of Ramadan is upon us – the Night of Power, Laylatul Qadr. The Holy Qur’an describes this night in just five verses – We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power; And what […]

Running To Stand Still

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. Halfway. What an incredibly loaded word. On the one hand, it emobdies a sense of accomplishment as we realize that it is all downhill from here. On the other hand, we […]

Fasting for Ramadan with Diabetes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you’re Muslim, and you have diabetes, can you still fast? That’s a question that more and more Muslims ask themselves each year, as the diabetes epidemic in America and worldwide continues. According to a 2011 report by the Centers […]

my plans and Allah’s plans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala. On my commute home this week, I passed a warning sign that read “503 traffic deaths this year”. That is just for the short stretch of road on my daily trip. I […]

Photos from around the world on the beginning of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Every year, the Boston Globe does a photo feature on the start of Ramadan, as part of their “Big Picture” series. They pick photos that really try to capture teh diversity of muslims and Islam around the world, engaged in […]

Nominations now open for the 9th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s that time of year again – to nominate your favorite blogs and bloggers for the Brass Crescent Awards! The nomination phase will end shortly after Eid al-Fitr, and polls will be open shortly thereafter. Inshallah, winners will be announced […]

The fasts are slow

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Regardless of when most muslims began Ramadan this year, everyone has been fasting for a few days and today everyone is fasting together. Since we are still early in the month, most of the Internet chitchat about Ramadan still centers […]

Tweeting the Qur’an 2012/1433 #ttQuran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Join me in another annual Islamsphere tradition: Tweeting the Qur’an: Anyone is welcome. You do not have to be Muslim. The point is to provide greater access to the Qur’an, so please tweet in English, regardless of the language you […]

Preparing for Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The entire Islamsphere is focused upon the imminent arrival of Ramadan – I follow the Fatimid calendar, so my first fast will be Thursday, as will most moonsighters; those muslims following the the FCNA calculation will begin on Friday. This […]

Action Alert – Follow Friday #ThankYou Campaign on Twitter for NYPD Lawsuit

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Wednesday, Muslim Advocates launched Hassan v. The City of New York, a lawsuit seeking to prove that the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey is unconstitutional. Several lawmakers have also petitioned the Department of Justice […]

Murfreesboro mosque construction halted on a legal technicality

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The muslim community in Murfreesboro, TN (ICMTN) has been trying to build a mosque for several years now, in the face of vicious Islamophobic opposition from locals who have repeatedly insisted that Islam is not a religion but a political […]

Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly for I Speak for Myself: All American (and last chance to pre-order)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Publisher’s Weekly just gave our forthcoming book a coveted starred review in the Religion section! All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim Edited by Wajahat Ali & Zahra T. Suratwala. White Cloud (PGW, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1-935952-59-6 […]

Muhammad Asad and Islam as a rational faith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a lengthy essay by Talal Asad of his father, Muhammad Asad (b. Leopold Weiss 1900 d. 1992), a convert to Islam from Judaism and one of the 20th century’s great Islamic thinkers. I found this part particularly resonant about […]

Mubarak, Facebook! and shukran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, Facebook goes public, and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange at 11:00am Eastern time (the truly addicted stockwatchers may want to bookmark this). Amidst all the noise about IPOs and investments and whatnot today, I think it’s […]

Islam and Star Wars Day: Allah is the Force

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Jumah Mubarak, and May the 4th be with you! Today is Star Wars day, the day we remember with fondness the three greatest movies of our childhood and tolerate three others that were loosely related. The Jedi order has always […]

Obama and the Muslim “Smear”

posted by ajamali

Note: Aziz will be returning soon.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to fill in for him.  If you enjoyed my writing (or didn’t and are looking for further avenues to lambast me), my own blog can be […]

a religion of Peace vs a religion of Justice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: “In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected […]

TWITTER ACTION ALERT for #American #Muslims – Follow Our Lead on Friday And Say #Thank You #ff

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Muslims and non-Muslims in New York City and across the country have been upset by the news about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims. The news is disturbing and deeply concerning to say the least. However, we are heartened by and […]

Tenth Anniversary of the Gujrat riots

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ten years ago, muslim extremists attacked civilians on the Sabarnati Express train at Godhra. The attackers were brought to justice later, but the attack spurred large-scale communal violence, murder and rape against muslims in Gujrat that was horrific and savage […]

Sean bin Oliver Stone converted to Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Did Sean Stone, the son of famed director Oliver stone and a director in his own right, convert to Islam while filming in Iran? Sort of. He did an interview with CNN about it and here’s a portion of the […]

The NYPD spied on muslims in Newark

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Associated Press’ investigative series on NYPD spying continues: Americans living and working in Newark were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray. The operation […]

The NYPD has gone rogue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is outrageous and obscene: The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The […]

Muslim Informants prevent domestic terror: the data

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As Americans, Muslim Americans have the same vested interest in preventing terrorism as any other fellow citizen. In fact, since 9-11 woke all of us (muslim and non-muslim alike) to the reality of terrorism against our homeland, American muslims have […]

Liam Neeson is (not) converting to Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yes, it’s true that famed Irish (and Catholic) actor Liam Neeson said the following while filming a movie in Istanbul: The Call to Prayer happens five times a day and for the first week it drives you crazy, and then […]

#Tahrir Square on #Jan25Two in pictures

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the one-year anniversary of the uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the heart of the Arab world and the pulse of the Arab Spring. Thousands and thousands of people are thronging the square. Below are some images from the […]

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 […]

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 […]

“The Domestic Crusaders” returns to NYC! buy your tickets NOW

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This award-winning two-act play was written by my friend Wajahat Ali and is returning to NYC for a special performance commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The play is a day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family […]

Muslims at Daily Kos Radio

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, I was invited for a 20 minute segment with Armando Llorens and David Waldman on Daily Kos Radio (SiriusXM Channel 127). I was joined by Faiz Shakir of the Center for American Progress, and the main topics of discussion […]

Nominations for Brass Crescent Awards open until Sep 6th

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s only a week left before the nominations phase for the Brass Crescent Awards ends on Tuesday, Sep. 6th – so be sure to visit BrassCrescent.org and register your picks! Here are this year’s categories: BEST MUSLIM BLOG: This category […]

Eid Forever

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid al Fitr mubarak! I spent literally the last 15 minutes of Ramadan, furiously reading Qur’an at top speed, trying to eke out as much of the barakat amplification factor as I could before the azaan sounded and the last […]

The American Islamophobia Industry exposed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m proud to share with you today a report that my friend Wajahat Ali has been working on for more than 6 months with the DC-based think tank, Center for American Progress, entitled “Fear Inc., The Roots of the Islamophobia […]

Zakat – in God we Trust

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. By now, the regular reader of this space knows that Ramadaan is about a lot more than fasting. Prayers, purity, and the reading of the Quran all play a role. But […]

Congratulations to David Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

David Ramadan has won the Republican primary for the 87th District in Virginia. David is a conservative Republican and I probably disagree with him on most issues, but he deserves kudos for his victory especially in the light of a […]

Ramadan endgame

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s just a week left in Ramadan. In reading my earlier posts, I realize I give an impression that Ramadan is like a vacation from the real world, but of course it isn’t – the additional demands of prayer, Qur’an, […]

Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Night of Power is described in just five brief, magnificent verses of the Qur’an: We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power; And what will explain to thee what the night of Power is? The Night […]

Who is Ali (as), the universal hero of Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hussein Rashid. Thinking about the beginning of Ramadan. Thinking about the beginning of the Qur’an. Thinking about the line of Imams. Everything has a beginning. The Qur’an begins with the fatihah. There is a […]

Ramadan in 1955

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Mertze Dahlin. Does the first experience of Ramadan begin the same for everyone? It all depends on the time and where this all takes place. Consider the time to be during the year 1955 […]

Brookings Institution Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. On August 9, 2011, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World hosted the Brookings Institution’s first Iftar dinner. The Iftar dinner, has been an annual tradition in Washington, D.C. since […]

Inflection Point, Reflection Point

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Regardless of your reckoning, Ramadan is about halfway over. This means that we are now leaving, not entering Ramadan – that the divine window is closing, not opening wider. The believer must ask themselves, how have they spent Ramadan thus […]

The Commercialization of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Samya Ayish. When I was in high school in the late 1990s, Ramadan was all about high spirituality, good food, and intimate family time. I remember when I was 10; I wished the whole […]

The Israeli Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It looks like Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, was one of the attendees at the White House Iftar a couple days ago, which is pretty cool in its own right. But now comes word that Ambassador Oren […]

The 8th Annual Brass Crescent Awards – nominations now open

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? They are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a new synthesis of Islam and modernity, and is the intellectual heir […]

a lifetime between one adhaan and one salaat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“When we are born adhaan is given but no salat. When we pass away salat is prayed but no adhaan. The adhaan given at the time of our birth is the adhaan for the salat prayed at the time of […]

Transcript: President Obama’s remarks during White House Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the remarks by President Obama last night during the White House Iftaar dinner. Inshallah I’ll get an invite one of these years President Obama again reiterated the commonality and the inclusion of Muslim Americans as part of teh […]

Ramadan: the month of Jihad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Jihad is one of those words that we Moderate MuslimTM types tend to shy away from. This is a shame, and a self-imposed tragedy, because jihad is a beautiful word and an inspiring, noble concept. It is the embodiment of […]

the devil’s iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

No, not President Obama’s planned White House Iftaar! But rather, the humble samosa, a fried pastry filled with meat and/or vegetables, a staple in south Asian cooking, and as much a feature of the “default” iftaar as the date. It […]

Ramadan Rituals

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zahra Somani. Day 1 of Ramadan holds a lot of excitement and promise. It is the first day of a month that I, along with so many of my brothers and sisters in faith, […]

Khalid Latif, “Ramadan Reflections”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my earlier round-up of Ramadan blogging I somehow neglected to include Imam Khalid Latif, currently the muslim chaplain for the NYPD, who is writing a series called “Ramadan Reflections“. He literally starts out with his foot in the sink!

Fasting in the sky

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I suppose it’s inevitable that most blog posts during Ramadan focus on food and fasting in some way. After all, that is the defining act of piety in Ramadan. The act of fasting also tends to dominate most news stories […]

Memories of a (friend’s) college Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my dear college friend, Araven. Aziz has been my friend for more years than surely either of us can believe. We were fortunate to land on the same floor in Sellery Hall as UW-Madison […]

Ramadan realities

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hesham Hassaballa. As Ramadan approached, I had no small amount of dread. Fasting, of all the ritual practices of Islam, is the most difficult for me to do. I am not happy to admit […]

What I do During Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Irfan Rydhan. For the past 25 + years, I have been participating in the holy month of fasting – called Ramadan in Arabic, for Muslims. Of course my levels of participation have increased over […]

The athlete in Ramadan: working out, training and diet

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Kulsoom Abdullah. Ramadan 1432/2011 is here. It makes me reflect to last year, which has similar themes to years before that which is I workout and train during Ramadan. Many think I am insane, […]

Fast, Pray, Cook: Ramadan in the Kitchen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by G. Willow Wilson. The week before Ramadan, I ordered a $65 jumbo box of medjool dates. “By the grace of God, 100% organic,” the advertisement read. “Highest quality.” I find myself thinking ‘at that […]

3 Stages of 30 Days – My Journey Through Ramadhan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Here we are in the middle of summer, dog days of August knocking on my door step and with it Ramadhan! For the past decade plus, living in Houston, we have […]

Ramadan blogging

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m not the only one blogging during Ramadan – my friend and muslim media polymath Wajahat Ali is doing a series called Spiritual Appetite for Patheos.com which will definitely be worth bookmarking. His first post, A Ramadan State of Mind, […]

Why do I fast?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. Every year around this time, as I begin preparations for Ramadaan in my personal and professional lives, I am asked that perennial question: “Why do you fast?” I am asked this […]

#TTQ #Quran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on. To participate, just tweet an excerpt from the Qur’an that moved you and include the hashtags #TTQ and […]

the paradox of time in Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One fast down, 29 to go! Fasting certainly makes a day crawl past. During a fast, every hour is magnified and elongated. This is why the days are long… but suddenly after Iftar, it seems as though there was no […]

President Obama welcomes Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the full text of a statement released by the White House from President Obama, commemorating the start of Ramadan. He also notes that he will again host an iftaar at the White House again this year. As Ramadan […]

The days are long, the days are short

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala. This week marks the beginning of Ramadan, a month of fasting. I have been dreading the impending fast full of long, long summer days, the absence of coffee and missed summer lunches. […]

Ramadan 1432 – the longest days, the shortest month

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan unfolds! By the Fatimi calendar, today (Sunday) is the first of Ramadan 1432 and the first fast, though by other methods Ramadan begins either tomorrow (Monday) or the day after (Tuesday). I am observing the first fast myself, with […]

Muslim Women Do That

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Rep Keith Ellison

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am accumulating business cards and notes galore, which will fuel my blogging after the forum concludes for quite some time. But it seems all I have time to actually post during the forum is the occasional photo. This one […]

International Women’s Day: They Speak for Themselves, in America and Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is International Women’s Day 2011 – and in the twitter age, the best way to take the global pulse of the event is via hashtag, specifically #internationalwomensday. The most important event occurring today is in Tahrir Square in Cairo, […]

Qaradawi: monster or moderate? both.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last week I posted the transcript of Yusuf al Qaradawi’s sermon at Tahrir Square in Egypt, a sermon notable for its embrace of political moderation and Egyptian nationalism. Qaradawi made his appeal not just to muslims, but to all Egyptians, […]

a muslim Cosby Show?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy new year, everyone – be it 2011, or 1432 My resolutions for this year are to be a better muslim, a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better brother, and a better friend. I feel like […]

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 […]

The dog days of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Depending on your reckoning, Ramadan is now about a third of the way complete. The fasting tends to get easier over the course of the month, because we physically acclimate to the routine, and also because the days get somewhat […]

my final word on Park51

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over Park51 has long since passed the realm of tragedy and now is well into farce. This story has displaced far more pressing issues like the floods in Pakistan, the lingering environmental disaster in the Gulf, and of […]

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 […]

Inside the Ground Zero Mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two American muslims, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, have begun a 30-day roadtrip across America, in a goal of visiting 30 mosques in 30 days in 30 states during Ramadan. They just started since yesterday was day 1 of Ramadan […]

ADL: “let the bigots win”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Anti-Defamation League has betrayed itself and its own principles, by coming out against the Park 51 project (which is still being characterized incorrectly as the “ground zero mosque”). Their press release (in full below) is even worse than the […]

Q&A with Sharif el-Gamal about Park51, NYC

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As promised earlier in the week, here are the interview questions and answers from Sharif el-Gamal, CEO of SoHo Properties and lead developer of the Park 51 project. I am sincerely grateful to Sharif for taking the time to answer […]

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 […]

good news for the muslim world in 2009

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The decade that ended seems to have its epitaph written by consensus: thank god it’s over. And while it certainly was no picnic for the West to have terrorism, economic meltdowns, and environmental catastrophes as afflictions, in all respects the […]

Jews and Muslims in Europe must make common cause

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Swiss minaret ban is a kind of canary in the coal mine. It’s worth noting that though Islamophobia is driven by fear, whereas anti-Semitism is driven by hate, the functional expression of both in European society follows very similar […]

Muslim Americans: the Next Generation

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Willow G. Wilson. I wonder if there might be an inherent flaw in the trajectory of American Islam/American Muslims as it is envisioned by young muslim leaders and political activists. The airtight integration of […]

the muslim vote

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a great ongoing series at Open Left which makes a data-driven analysis of voting patterns for all sorts of demographic groups to argue that overall, the GOP is in serious trouble over the long term. The ethnic demographic trends […]

onwards, muslim soldiers?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an uncomfortable and unjust spotlight has been trained on muslim-American soldiers serving in the armed forces. To be blunt, their loyalties are being questioned, with some conservatives […]

photos from the “Islam on Capitol Hill” jummah prayer

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These photos are being sent to me live by a friend who is attending the event on Capitol Hill. She reports that there were a small number of protestors in a line further behind, but they seem to have bailed […]

Islam on Capitol Hill?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On of my favorite lines from Shakespeare is Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale […]

Radio Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Every year, the profile of Ramadan observances by muslims in the West is raised higher, and invariably reflects the amazing diversity of the muslim community. As a recent Pew Research Center poll found, the more Americans learn about Islam and […]

CSID Ramadan Iftaar Dinner on Sept 16 featuring Seyyed Hossein Nasr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was forwarded the following general invitation from the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, for an iftaar dinner featuring Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr as the keynote speaker. Nasr is a true heavyweight scholar, originally from Iran, now […]

transcript: Obama Iftar at the White House

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last night, President Obama hosted a traditional Ramadan dinner (iftar) at the White House, as has become customary with all Presidents since Bill Clinton. The guest list included many members of his cabinet, Congressional lesgislators, as well as prominent muslim-Americans […]

Michael Jackson and the muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Michael Jackson’s passing is almost as fittingly mysterious and dramatic as was his life. Everyone has their own MJ stories about how his music played a role in their lives, but tlooking back it seems like there were two of […]

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“. […]

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 […]

Obama’s credibility gap in the Muslim world begins at home

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I don’t think there’s much reason yet for anyone to complain about Obama’s foreign policy to the Muslim world, especially given that we haven’t even hit the 100-day mark yet. I personally would have preferred to see the “major speech […]

Wajahat Ali, the domestic crusader

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am extremely happy to announce that my friend Wajahat Ali will be honored later this month as a rising muslim artist by the Muslim Public Affairs Council for his landmark play, The Domestic Crusaders. Here’s the press release by […]

Dating while Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal. A provocative title, though I doubt the discussion will be quite as titillating. Before getting into a debate over the title, I’d like to establish some context. Marriage is important in Islam, […]

Gitmo guard converts to Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I find this a fascinating story. Usually you hear about how prison inmates convert, but this is almost exactly backwards, not least because Gitmo is not a prison but more of an oubliette. From the story, Army specialist Terry Holdbrooks […]

Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals 3rd Annual Meeting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP) is holding their third annual meeting on Saturday, May 2nd in Princeton NJ. I am reposting part of the announcement here – the early bird registration is March 25th so if […]

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 […]

no moderate muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

a classic short story by Ali Eteraz. It begins, The Great J.A.F.I (Just another Frothing Islamophobe) stepped through the door and said he was looking for Ali Eteraz. Somewhere in the world some murderers who called themselves Muslims had done […]

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 […]

American Muslims Call for Swift Action Against Domestic Violence

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a press release written today by a group of muslim bloggers, journalists, and media people including myself. The idea is to coordinate the friday khutbas (sermons) in as many American mosques as possible this week to focus […]

Muslim & S. Asian Women’s Groups Condemn Beheading of Aasiya Hassan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a joint press release by Turning Point for Women and Families and the Domestic Harmony Foundation regarding the brutal murder of Aasiya Hassan last Thursday in Buffalo, NY. Below that is a press release from the Peaceful Families […]

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 […]

Queen Rania invites stereotypes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the inaugural video for Queen Rania’s YouTube channel. Her purpose is to invite people to send her stereotypes so she can talk about them. Her work on building these bridges is why she was awarded the YouTube Visionary […]

did muslims vote for proposition 8?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In response to this angry blogger’s accusation that muslims voted in favor of California’s Proposition 8 (which outlawed gay marriage), I’ve put up a post at Progressive Revival, Beliefnet’s group politics blog, which asks where the evidence is. It should […]

Queen Rania of Jordan’s Top Ten list

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Queen Rania of Jordan is just the coolest head of state ever. She was nominated for a YouTube Visionary Award, so she spoofed David Letterman to accept, poke a little fun at herself, and promote her ongoing message of cultural […]

Reihan Salam says it’s gonna be all right

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Reihan Salam, poet-pundit at The American Scene, provides some perspective on today: here’s the thing: America is a strange, diverse, sprawling country, and our elections reflect that fact. There are loyal black Democrats in California who will turn out for […]

debate tonight: muslims for McCain vs muslims for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via Muslim Matters: Join us in a live debate featuring Obama supporter Zeba Khan, Founder and Director of Muslims for Obama, and McCain supporter, Mohamed Elibiary, President and Chief Executive of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, a non-partisan think tank […]

Warith Deen Mohammed and the mountain

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, iconic muslim-American leader Warith Deen Mohammed passed away. I want to reflect a bit on the significance of this man’s achievement and note what a landmark his life’s work was on the landscape of American Islam. But to understand […]

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The leader of the Nation of Islam, credited with leading it towards mainstream Islamic practice, has passed away. From his bio page at The Atlanta Jamaat: Imam W. Deen Mohammed was born October 30, 1933, to the builder and leader […]

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posted 9:52:36am May. 14, 2015 | read full post »

The Nation of Islam is keeping the peace on the streets of Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter
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posted 2:06:45pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award - and needs YOUR support
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posted 8:22:26am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Proof denies faith
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posted 9:33:46am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

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