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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

13 years after 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I honestly don’t have much left to say that I have not said already. But it is worth at least remarking on this, the anniversary of the attacks, that the global challenges facing the world today have almost nothing to […]

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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 […]

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Politics interlude: Romney selects Ryan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As a brief aside, I am also doing political blogging at Patheos.com’s Faith and Politics portal – anyone interested in my take on Chick-fil-A, or my thoughts on Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan for veep? Do stop by and […]

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if the Supreme Court says no to Obamacare, time to say yes to Medicare for All

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If the Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) today, then I for one am not too worried, even though I’m a liberal supporter of the bill and the President. The reason is simple: it will be proof […]

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 […]

Winners of the 8th Annual Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The winners are announced – head over to BrassCrescent.org and check them out! Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees!

Anwar al Awlaki is dead (again)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the third time that radicalized Al Qaeda celebrity Anwar al Awlaki has been reported killed, but this is the first time it has been confirmed by the US as well as “tribal sources”. According to NYT: In a […]

Transcript: text of address to the United Nations by Mahmoud Abbas

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This speech is quite simply a tour-de-force. President Abbas lays out the clear grievance: the settlements, are the sole obstacle to peace. He reiterates the commitment of the PLO and the Palestinian people to the peace process, and continuing diplomacy […]

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 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 […]

Transcript and word cloud of Obama’s “Moment of Opportunity” #mespeech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Courtesy of the White House, complete transcript of President Obama’s speech on the Arab Spring and the Middle East / North Africa (MENA), as prepared for delivery: I want to thank Hillary Clinton, who has traveled so much these last […]

Obama’s Arab Spring and MENA speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, President Obama will deliver a major foreign policy address aimed not just at Americans but also at the Arab world (the Middle East and NOrth Africa, commonly abbreviated MENA). The themes are likely to touch upon the Arab Spring, […]

The 5 stages of muslim-american emotion over bin Laden’s death

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When my wife told me of Osama bin Laden’s death this morning after i stepped out of the shower, news she had picked up from Facebook (all our Californian friends who were actually awake during President Obama’s live speech last […]

Mission Accomplished: Obama got Osama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid […]

Muslim Women Do That

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Barack Obama, natural-born citizen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the law of the United States (Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Section 1401) on what constitutes a “natural born citizen”: The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: (a) a person born […]

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 […]

Photos and Video of Secretary Clinton at US Islamic World Forum Gala Dinner

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The full transcript of Sec. Clinton’s remarks are in my previous post – here are some photos and a few short video segments of her talk.

Transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks at the US – Islamic World Forum

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was incredibly honored to meet Madame Clinton last night, introduce myself, shake her hand, and I think even give her the correct URL to the blog, though that last bit is a bit sketchy. I was frankly overawed by […]

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, […]

the khutbah (sermon) of Yusuf al Qaradawi in Tahrir Square

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Dr. Yahya Michot, professor at Hartford Seminary with the collaboration of student Samy Metwally, has prepared a complete translation along with an introductory analysis of Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s khutbah (sermon) in Tahrir Square on February 18, 2011. Here is the […]

Who fears the global Caliphate?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Dean Esmay. There has been some talk in religious and political circles lately raising fears that recent explosions of protests against dictatorships in the Middle East and the overthrow of dictators like Hosni Mubarak […]

a No-Fly zone over Libya NOW

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via @SultanAlQassemi Al Jazeera breaking: Multiple reports confirm that military airplanes are bombing protesters in Tripoli. #Libya In President Obama’s Cairo speech, he said, Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of […]

a Valentine Milad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This year sees a happy convergence – it is Valentine’s Day and also the birthday of the Prophet SAW*. Sadly, both occasions are burdened by controversy in the muslim world. Valentine’s Day is seen by some as a Western plot […]

a agnostic Jew reads the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a great, great TED talk by Lesley Hazleton, who in the course of researching an upcoming biography of the Prophet Mohammed SAW decided to undertake a reading of the Qur’an. It is a marvelous (and brief) talk, only […]

VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT: Obama remarks on Egyptian revolution and Hosni Mubarak

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Video is also at C-SPAN here. Scroll down for the transcript. Also see Democracy Arsenal on how well the President’s handling of the Egypt situation has been, overall. There are naysayers however like Daniel Larison and Joshua Trevino. Here is […]

(UPDATED) no-Mubarak Mabrook to Egypt after all! (and no more to Omar)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE 2 President Mubarak has indeed resigned! And he has handed power over not to Suleiman, but to the Army: Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces. Omar Suleiman, the […]

Endgame in Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Far from dying down, the protests in Egypt have only grown – there’s a million marching upon Mubarak today: About 1,000,000 people have gathered for the planned “march of a million” in the Egyptian capital, calling for Hosni Mubarak, the […]

State of the Union word cloud – 2010 compared to 2011 (and analysis)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

2010 State of the Union speech (transcript): 2011 State of the Union speech (transcript): Looking at the cloud from last year, we see that they are someone similar. Both speeches show an emphasis on “people” and “jobs”, but there’s more […]

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 […]

a hajji gives thanks

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I returned from Haj a few days ago, and the totality of the experience is still beyond my ability to pithily summarize beyond “It was fine.” I’ve many photos to sort through and some journal entries to look over which […]

I voted early (and you should too)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I voted this morning. Wisconsin is an early voting state, which means you can cast your vote (using the absentee ballot) in person anytime until election day itself. As it happens, I actually will be absent on election day, but […]

I, Pilgrim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you’ve wondered why I’ve been even more distracted of late, it is in preparation for the most important trip I’ve ever made in my life: “Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying):  Associate not […]

Map of mosque controversies in the US

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Note: I am going to make a conscious effort to stop using the word “mosque” in my writing from here on out. Few people realize that the word mosque is not an Arabic term but probably has colonial – and […]

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 […]

Cartoon controversies and radical imams

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A number of articles have been written about Park51 that drew some manner of analogy to the Danish Cartoon controversy (or as Abu Aardvark called it, the Cartoon StupidStorm). But none have made such an insight into the parallel as […]

7th Annual Brass Crescent Awards – nominations

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

in partnership with Shahed Amanullah of altmuslim.com, I am pleased to announce that the 6th Annual Brass Crescent Awards are now underway! What are the Brass Crescent Awards? They are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and […]

observing Eid, unobserving 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Apologies for my long hiatus here – I spent the last third of Ramadan and Eid day (which we observed on Thursday) in Houston with family, blissfully immersing myself in the rhythms of worship. I’d already decided I wouldn’t have […]

my contribution to the moonsighting debate

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Wajahat Ali is hosting the GOATMILK DEBATE series, and asked me to contribute against the motion that “muslims should adopt monsighting for Ramadan”. The initial entry, in favor of the motion, was posted earlier by Irfan Rydhan and […]

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 […]

The original mosque at Ground Zero

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I really don’t have anything left to say about Park51, barring any new developments (pun intended). But the repeated phrase “mosque at Ground Zero” was ringing familiar to me for some reason, and I just realized why – this old […]

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 […]

Halal at Whole Foods: Saffron Road

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Just in time for Ramadan – next week, Whole Foods will be carrying the new Saffron Road line of certified halal food products! You can even get a coupon for a free entree online. The entrees include chicken biryani, chicken […]

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This guest post is an excerpt from the memoir, The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson. THE BUTTERFLY MOSQUE A Memoir by G. Willow Wilson PROLOGUE In the upper reaches of the Zagros Mountains, the air changed. The high altitude […]

perhaps it isn’t close enough

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s been a deluge of fantastic op-eds in support of the Park51 project, but this one in particular by Elizabeth Wurtzel at the Daily Beast really caught my eye. In part: I’m surprised that American exceptionalism hasn’t taught people opposing […]

discussing Park51 on the radio

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If all goes to plan, I’ll be a guest on NPR Los Angeles’ To The Point program this afternoon, hosted by Warren Olney. The topic will be “Religious Tolerance and the Mosque at Ground Zero”. Should be fun. UPDATE: Here’s […]

Has Ramadan begun yet?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This year, there’s been more divergence than usual about the beginning of Ramadan, since the visibility of the moon has been very poor (especially in the Western Hemisphere). You can get a sense of the problem from calculated visibility maps […]

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 […]

Manchester Muslims donate to Christian Community Centre

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Lost in all the noise and recrimination of modern Islamophobia about mosques and minarets and burkas and whatnot, is the simple fact that the vast majority of muslims, jews and christians are neighbors, and members of the same civic fabric, […]

Superheroes and Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a fantastic 18-minute talk by Naif al-Mutawa, discussing superheroes inspired by Islam: (via Ezra Klein) Related – the official website of The 99. Also, this image is too subversively cool not to share, but it’s unknown who actcually […]

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” […]

PHOTO: Mike Tyson at Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I had no idea that Mike Tyson was a muslim until I heard last week that he had traveled to Mecca for umrah (the minor pilgrimage, identical to the Hajj except that umrah can be performed anytime during the year […]

Federal government sues State over immigration

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yes, it happened at last. The Justice Department is filing suit against a State in the union, because that state (which did not vote for the sitting President) passed an immigration law that directly undermines the authority of the federal […]

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 […]

SCOTUS confirmation kabuki reform: a simple suggestion

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The SCOTUS drama is playing out as usual and completely as expected – which is all the more ironic given that the nominee is the one who best made the argument about SCOTUS confirmations being more about drama than substance. […]

Obama should not fire McChrystal – here’s why

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Lt. General Stanley McChrystal is being summoned to Washington DC today because of a pending article in Rolling Stone magazine where he and his aides trashed the civilian leadership of the war, including Obama, Biden, and others. McChrystal has apologized, […]

droning on towards failure in Afghanistan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In an opinion piece in the NY Daily News, John Nagl argues that though things seem grim in Afghanistan, we can still “win”, for three reasons: The war in Afghanistan is winnable for three reasons: because for the first time […]

the longest day: summer begins

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day commemorates the beginning of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year – with a photo of the sun rising over Stonehenge. I am sure that Stonehenge will be a popular destination tonight […]

Afghanistan’s trillion dollar curse: lithium

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The New York Times reports that a small team of American geologists and military personnel have discovered vast reserves of precious metals and minerals in Afghanistan, which profoundly transforms the destiny of this battered nation overnight: The previously unknown deposits […]

the shared source

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The second excerpt from the book Between Allah and Jesus is up at Beliefnet and it continues the debate between the characters Isa (a Sunni muslim), Evan (a evangelical Christian), and Father Hereema (A Jesuit priest). The dialogue continues the […]

Pirates of the Mediterranean: Is Israel’s Gaza blockade legal?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Monday, Israeli ships intercepted an unarmed flotilla of boats trying to break through the blockade of the Gaza strip. Israeli commandos rappeled onto the boats, and in the ensuing melee at least nine civilians were shot and killed by […]

accountability: Elizabeth Birnbaum fired from MMS (updated with video)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The official estimates of the Gulf oil spill have been revised upwards to 4x greater than previously stated, making this disaster far larger than the Exxon Valdez. It was partly pressure from liberals that forced BP to permit independent scientists […]

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 […]

after Mangalore, boycotting Air India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Saturday, Air India Flight 812 crashed shortly after takeoff from the Mangalore airport, killing 160 people. The problem here is more than just one crash, but rather a systemic failure of Air India as an organization to sustain a […]

the Word of God

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have been asked why I am engaging in this dialogue with Robert about the book, Between Allah and Jesus, which if you think about it is really a book written by a Christian intended for a Christian audience, in […]

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), […]

Jesus AS and the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The first excerpt from the book, Between Allah and Jesus, is now posted at Beliefnet by the author (Peter Kreeft) and is a conversation between the muslim character ‘Isa and his evangelical Christian colleague Evan about whether and where Islam […]

Is Elena Kagan qualified for the Supreme Court?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I had a twitter debate with Pejman Yousefzadeh about Elena Kagan’s qualifications for Supreme Court Justice. I honestly don’t really have any strong preference, but found the question of qualifications to be highly subjective. <!– Here's our debate in chronological […]

The Butterfly Mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

G. Willow Wilson is interviewed about her new book, The Butterfly Mosque, over at Religion Dispatches. Willow is a good friend and an amazing writer (and a sometime guest contributor to this blog). The book is getting a lot of […]

Islam’s appeal is a post-racial identity in a still-racial world

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Apologies for the lack of posts this month – I am in Stockholm attending my annual conference. Since Stockholm isn’t Hawai’i, I am here alone, which means I am overly diligent about attendance to compensate for missing my wife and […]

I am beginning to notice a disturbing pattern

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s something strange going on… Recall that at the height of the health reform fight, after Senator Brown was elected in MA and the Democrats looked like they were on the verge of total failure. It looked like Obama’s signature […]

Noah’s Ark found again

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Take this one with a grain of salt – a team of Turkish and Chinese evangelicals have claimed to find the remains of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey. On Tuesday, a group of Asian Christian evangelicals held a […]

Obama hosts muslim business summit

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Everyone knew about President Obama’s nuclear summit a couple of weeks ago – arguably the most important, if characteristically boring, contribution to world peace in the past 30 years. But there was another summit this week that didn’t get anywhere […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

freedom of religion and national prayer

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

From the perspective of separation of church and state, this is fantastic news: A federal district judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the 1988 law creating the annual observance is unconstitutional. According to the Associated Press story, the order does […]

Iran’s nuclear ambiguity

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It seems that every year, there’s a breathless report that Iran is a year ortwo away from having nuclear weapons. Once again: Two of the nation’s top military officials said Wednesday that Iran could produce bomb-grade fuel for at least […]

Tea party? I’m proud to pay my taxes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This year, I won’t be getting a refund – in fact I had to cut two sizable checks to the Department of Revenue and the Wisconsin Treasury. Yes, it was indeed painful. Fundamentally, the idea of sending your money to […]

The day the music died in Somalia

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The grip of the Islamist group Al Shabab tightens on Somalia. Most radio stations in Somalia have stopped playing music, on the orders of Islamist Hizbul-Islam insurgents who say that songs are un-Islamic. The stations said they had to comply […]

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 […]

Confessions of an Obama-bot

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama has been riding high the past few weeks, moving forward on his agenda from health care to nuclear arms reduction to the prospect of appointing another judge to the Supreme Court. However, there’s a dark lining to this […]

a brief guide to federal income taxes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here’s a very handy, succinct, and clear overview of how to pay federal income taxes, explaining the key concepts. The author explains the difference between the various definitions of income: The first step in calculating your income tax liability is […]

health reform illustrates why we need a VAT

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The simple truth (and increasing consensus) about health reform is that we needed it, badly. An economist at Kiplinger.com calls the just-passed health reform “no more and no less than a modest, credible start” to reforming our health care system. […]

The final blow to IslamOnline

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Dilshad D. Ali. It’s been more than a week since the Cairo editors of IslamOnline.net, the popular Muslim news website and Islam portal, were effectively locked out of the site’s servers and had their […]

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 […]

Signing health reform into law

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

And there it is – officially the law of the land: Television networks actually broke their daytime coverage to show the historic signing. Vice President Biden is reputed to have added, “This is a big f$%king deal” – seriously! (no […]

Do doctors oppose health care reform?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Conservative opponents to health reform have been pushing a recent poll ostenibly conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine which claims that doctors are indeed opposed to health reform. This even got play on Fox News by Bill O’Reilly […]

Text of Senate resolution honoring Nowruz

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, the House passe a resolution honoring the Iranian new year holiday of Nowruz. A similar resolution, cosponsored by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) will be introduced to the Senate today. Here’s the pending text of that resolution, […]

Who was the real St. Patrick?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Since the holiday has basically become a secular celebration of Irish culture, and an excuse to turn the Chicago River green for a few hours, ol’ St Pat has become something of a global icon. But […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Obama donates Nobel Peace prize money to charities

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As promised, President Obama has donated the money he was awarded from his Nobel Peace Prize to charity. The White House released a list of the charities chosen by the President to receive funds from the $1.4 million award money. […]

profiling “Jihad Jane”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here in a nutshell is why ethnic profiling is so fundamentally flawed as a means of protecting against terrorism: A petite, blond-haired, blue-eyed high school dropout who allegedly used the nickname JihadJane was identified Tuesday as an alleged terrorist intent […]

Shooting at the pentagon

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The trend of “white right” violence is definitely increasing – we’ve had the abortion doctor murder, the austin suicide plane, and now a shooting at the Pentagon in Washington DC: Officials said the man, indentified as John Patrick Bedell, 36, […]

marriage and the clash of civilizations

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Consider “My accidental jihad” – an award winning essay by Krista Bremer (a non-muslim) about being married to Ismail Suayah (a muslim of Libyan origin) during Ramadan. The essay is a scathing self-critique, of her difficulty in coping with her […]

Reflection on Milad al Nabi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Milad mubarak! Like hundreds of millions of muslims worldwide, I honored the Prophet Mohammed SAW last week, finding the anniversary of his birth (by most authoritative sources, 12 Rabi ul Awwal) a time to reflect on my love for him […]

Louis Farrakhan pulls a Pat Robertson about Chile’s earthquake

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Recall after the Haiti earthquake, Pat Robertson blamed the Haitians for their misfortunes, invoking the historical libel about Haiti’s founders making a “pact with the devil”. Now, in the wake of this weekend’s earthquake in Chile, Nation of Islam minister […]

reconciliation and healthcare – the R in COBRA

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Have you ever had COBRA health insurance coverage? It’s the stopgap insurance coverage you get after you leave a job, intended to fill the gap in your coverage until you find a new job (and doesn’t last forever, which is […]

the public demands an up or down vote on health care

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Back in 2005, the then-majority Republicans were the ones who insisted that filibusters were obstructing the will of the people and that the Senate had a democratic obligation to do an “up or down vote”. Today, the Republicans are the […]

using reconciliation to pass health care; Republican hypocrisy redux

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“Budget reconciliation” is a technique that lets important bills in Congress pass the Senate with immunity from the filibuster. The bill must have direct relevance to budget issues, not policy, and the Senate Parliamentarian (not an elected official) is the […]

plane crash in Austin

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In Austin, a man has deliberately crashed his private plane into an office building. Thankfully, no one has yet been reported killed, though there are people injured – details are still coming in and we probably won’t know the full […]

political stimulus: Is Obama out of touch?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the one-year anniversary of the landmark stimulus bill which most economists agree has staved off a second Great Depression. The evidence that the stimulus has worked is overwhelming – the New York Times has an in-depth article looking […]

Obama promotes new nuclear power plants

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is really good news – for the first time in decades, new nuclear power plants will be built: On Tuesday, President Obama will announce plans to break ground on two new nuclear reactors at a Southern Company plant in […]

Andre Carson for Indiana Senate?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The bombshell announcement by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) that he won’t be running for re-election this year has shaken up the politicos. Many on the left are furious with Bayh because he dropped out only days before the filing deadline, […]

Bombing in Pune, India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nine people are dead in Pune, India after a bombing at a bakery in Koreagon Park: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday linked a bombing at a popular bakery in Pune that killed nine people to jailed Pakistan-born American Islamist […]

The Na’vi march for Palestine

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This type of story is why I created a “stranger than fiction” category on this blog in the first place – these are images of a Palestinian rally against the Separation Wall, in which the Palestinians dressed up as Na’vi […]

nuclear Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Daniel Larison has a February 11th/22nd Bahman post-mortem: The case for real, sustained engagement with Tehran is more compelling now than it was before. Nothing has better demonstrated the lack of U.S. influence than the meaningless debate here at home […]

The view from inside Israel

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a pretty depressing assessment by Joel Rubin at Democracy Arsenal, who just returned from the Herzliya conference in Israel (the premier security summit attended by all major Israeli politicians). It was clear, after attending this conference, that the […]

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 […]

Let’s dedicate this Valentine’s Day to fighting domestic violence

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I think it fitting that as Valentine’s Day approaches, we should pause to remember that as we celebrate love, we should also act to preserve and protect it from darker impulses. For far too many women, just being alone of […]

Remembering Aasiya: A Call to Action

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a press release from Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence, who are issuing a call to action in honor of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, who was murdered by her husband one year ago. Please redistribute and also check out the […]

Revolutionizing the Iran Revolution

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran – the original one in 1979 which  overthrew the Shah and ushered in the era of theological “vilayat-e-faqih” rule by the Ayatollah. There’s probably no better resource on the history […]

Republicans: It’s a trap!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

All along, the Republicans have insisted that they are not merely obstructionists seeking to derail health care for purely political purposes (“It’s Obama’s Waterloo”, etc), but rather that they have genuine ideas on reform to contribute, but have been excluded […]

Lancet retracts vaccine/autism study

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is great news for public health – esteemed medical journal The Lancet has formally retracted a contentious 1998 paper that asserted a link between vaccines and autism: The Lancet medical journal formally retracted a paper Tuesday that caused a […]

Obama crosses forward; Republicans in Retreat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last week, President Obama attended the House Republican retreat in Baltimore by invitation to interact with the opposition caucus and try to seek some common ground. It’s a remarkable event because he also directly answered questions from the Representatives. He […]

Groundhog Day, Daniel Pipes, and Bombing Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ah, it must be Groundhog Day. In the movie, Bill Murray wakes up every day to the same day, where everything happens over and over again. In real life, conservatives argue for bombing Iran as if the Iraq war or […]

Republican tactics vs strategy

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Daniel Larison – no admirer of liberalism or Obama or Democrats, mind you – has been running against the tide of late by arguing that the Republicans do not stand to gain as much in the mid term elections this […]

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 […]

State of the Union preview

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The White House has released some excerpts of the State of the Union speech and I am posting them below. My (brief) comments follow. THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary _______________________________________________________________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 2010 EXCERPTS […]

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 […]

Massachusetts Senate Race post-mortem: a progressive failure

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Congratulations to Senator-elect Brown – in the end, he was a better candidate and ran a better campaign against the hapless Martha Coakley, who thought she could coast on Kennedy-Obama coat-tails into office. A single statistic explains all – @marcambinder […]

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 […]

Solar eclipse today

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s an annular solar eclipse today, with peak eclipse at about 07:06 UT – only affecting the Eastern Hemisphere, with path of maximum eclipse passing almost along the equator across Africa, the tip of India, and across Indonesia and China. […]

Devil’s advocate: Pat Robertson and Haiti’s curse

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s really no better term for Pat Robertson than “Christian extremist” – there’s not much point in going over his long history of public outbursts of intolerance, racism, and hatred, except in noting that ordinary Christians (and evangelicals in particular) […]

The perfect solution for NBC, Leno, Conan and the Tonight Show

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The bottom line: Jay Leno’s prime time show isn’t working out, NBC wants to move him back to late night, but since Conan O’Brien has the contract for The Tonight Show, they want to bump him 30 min later and […]

Red Cross donations online or via SMS for Haiti

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The situation in Haiti is utterly horrific. If you want to help by making a donation, there’s no better way than the Red Cross’s International Response Fund, which has the economies of scale to ensure that every dollar you give […]

CAIR creates “Spirit of Islam” fund to help rebuild Malaysian churches

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a press release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, announcing a fundraising drive to solicit contributions to help rebuild churches in Malaysia. The churches in question were firebombed by extremists protesting the Christian community’s perfectly valid use of […]

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 […]

Malaysia’s Monopoly on Allah

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Over the course of the past week, nine churches in Malaysia have been firebombed, by muslim extremists who object to the Christian community’s use of the word “Allah” in their prayers. The dispute came to a head on Dec 31st […]

Shakespeare as political analyst

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ll freely admit that I hold in mild contempt anyone who dare not acknowledge Hamlet as the very pinnacle of Shakespeare’s work. While most of the Bard’s tales are worthy of the label masterpiece in their own right, Hamlet stands […]

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 […]

Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai) opens today

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE – the name of the building is now officially the Burj Khalifa, named after the ruler of neighbouring Abu Dhabi, to honor the bailout made by its sister emirate during the financial crisis. The Burj Dubai is officially open […]

profiling Abdulmutallab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be bomber of Flight 253, is turning out to be a classic case study in radicalization – there’s been great coverage of his story at Talk Islam and I think it paints a picture of […]

this new year’s eve, an eclipse upon a blue moon

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a symbolic New Year’s eve indeed. The hopelessly pedantic will argue that the decade ends next year but the overwhelming common sense consensus is that tonight marks the end of the first decade of the 21st century of […]

Mousavi is not Husain; Ahmadinejad is not Yazid

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was saddened to hear of the violence in Iran during Ashura, in which Ali Mousavi (the nephew of reform candidate Mir Hosein Mousavi) was among the protestors who were shot and killed by the security forces. Police denied however […]

airline “security” after Detroit flight 253

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I didn’t really hear the news about the Nigerian muslim who tried to blow up Detroit-bound Northwestern flight 253 until I arrived at the airport and read about it in discarded newspapers while waiting for 5 hours in transit in […]

Rotten in the state of Denmark: Chindia at Copenhagen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been meaning to comment on the Copenhagen conference, since the perspective from the Indian press is probably quite different from that in the US media. According to the papers here, Obama forced his way into a private meeting between […]

the view from Cuffe Parade

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the view from an apartment of friends of ours who live in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. The view is west, over the Arabian Sea (see the map). CP and Colaba and other areas at the very tip of Mumbai […]

Democracy or Else: voting compulsory in Gujarat state

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s some irony in the recent news that in Gujarat state, that democracy will now be mandatory: All registered voters in Gujarat will be required to vote. Those absent will be asked to submit a valid reason with proof within […]

a satirical rickshaw

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The sign on the back of the foremost rickshaw was harsh indeed. I’ve been forced to walk most of the time because the surplus of Bohra pilgrims to Ashara has made it a suppliers’ market, as far as transportation goes. […]

Echoes of the Raj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The architecture of Mumbai is chaos incarnate, with slums and skyscrapers alongside. But there are also magnificent examples of British-era style that stand out and remind the observer of a different time, when a city named Bombay was the center […]

breakfast in Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Mumbai is a foodie’s delight – and I’ve definitely been making the most of it. Every morning at the hotel we have a buffet breakfast which includes fresh made staples such as the idli-sambar and masala dosa pictured above. I […]

my passage to India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

They say getting here is half the fun… if you’re a masochist, perhaps. I arrived on Friday morning and only now, awaking on Tuesday morning, do I really feel like I’m rested and energized after sleep. Part of the reason […]

Raudat Tahera at night

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the mausoleum of the late 51st Dai ul Mutlaq, Syedna Taher Saifuddin AQ, and the focal point of Bhindi Bazaar, Mumbai. Upon the four interior walls is inscribed the entirety of the Holy Qur’an, in gold. The entire […]

Welcome to Marol!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The many vendors in the Marol area were quite excited that over 150,000 Bohras had converged on the area, with plenty of thirst to satisfy. And money to spend. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many […]

Saifee Masjid, Marol (Mumbai)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Saifee Masjid, the venue for Ashara 1431 in Marol, Mumbai. The Marol Jamaat has a brief history   of the Saifee Park area on their website. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many more)

Discussing “homegrown muslim extremism” on NPR today

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been invited to discuss the recent story about Pakistani-Americans traveling to Pakistan to fight alongside the Taliban, and the general issue of whether domestic “home-grown” terrorism is an issue, on NPR Los Angeles’ “To the Point” this afternoon (hosted […]

The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Geminids are coming tonight! “It’s the Geminid meteor shower,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “and it will peak on Dec. 13th and 14th under ideal viewing conditions.” A new Moon will keep skies dark for a […]

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 […]

the River of Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In response to my post on the Air Tran Flight 297 debacle, Dave Price at Dean’s World complains: I worry that even liberal Muslims like yourself are more concerned with defending your faith than acknowledging its problems and reforming it. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Switzerland bans the minaret

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

All muslims are Taliban, Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism, and Shari’a is the new Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That’s the operational reality that muslims in Europe must acknowledge, in the wake of a referendum to ban the construction […]

A recollection of Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal. On the evening of July 11, 2006 a series of bomb blasts ripped through several suburban train lines in Mumbai. Over 200 people died and over 700 were injured. I was living […]

outrageous, but laughable: Iran confiscates Ebadi’s Nobel Prize

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is not just heavy-handed and the perfect stereotype of police-state thuggery, but also oddly clownish and pathetic: Iranian authorities confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi’s medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic […]

Eid Mubarak from President Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This was posted to the White House blog this evening, on behalf of President Obama: Statement by the President on Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha Michelle and I would like to send our best wishes to all those performing Hajj this year, […]

Hajj roundup

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A few items of note: This year’s Hajj has been marked by rare torrential rains. This is causing some problems with logistics but should rightly be seen as a minor miracle instead of just an inconvenience. There are amazing photos […]

remember Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

During today’s whirlwind of family, food and fun, we should also pause (as all of India will, today) to remember that today is also the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. Citizens in the Indian city of Mumbai went to […]

a convergence of thanksgiving, renewal, and sacrifice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today again marks the Day of Arafat, a day of spiritual renewal and rebirth. In honor of this day I am observing the fast from sunrise to sundown, with members of my family who have traveled thousands of miles to […]

Phil Carter resigns

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Woah. Phil Carter has resigned. Phillip Carter, who was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy in April, said in a brief telephone interview that he was leaving for “personal and family reasons” and not because of any […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hajj tidbits

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Preparations for Hajj continue in Saudi Arabia – with measures both great: On Sunday, security forces sent a clear message to would-be saboteurs by staging a huge military demonstration involving thousands of troops, armored vehicles, helicopters, and first response teams. […]

Shariahland

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The problem with Afghanistan is that it isn’t like any war we’ve fought before, not even counter-insurgencies. It’s fundamentally an attempt to deny a haven for Islamic violent extremists (IVEs) to create a model society – “Sharialand”, for want of […]

146 years after Gettysburg

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the 146th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address – November 19th, 1963. Readers may be interested in this word cloud I generated of the text of the Address: Here’s the full transcript of the Gettysburg Address (the “Nicolay” copy).

Hajj: The Opening

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

[22:27–8] And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; That they may witness the benefits (provided) for […]

Voting open for the Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s time to once again cast your vote for the Islamsphere’s best and brightest – the polls are now open in the 6th Anual Brass Crescent Awards for the Islamic Blogsphere! This year we were a little delayed with the […]

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 […]

doing business with Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The seizure of mosques and a skyscraper yesterday was ostensibly because the rental income from the skyscraper was being sent to a bank in Iran which is allegedly used by the Iranian government to fund its covert (and denied) nuclear […]

Government seizes 4 mosques and a skyscraper – alleges Iranian conspiracy

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a bizarre development indeed: Federal prosecutors Thursday took steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. In what could […]

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 […]

an interview with Anwar al Awlaki, Imam of the Sith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Anwar al-Awlaki is a radical islamist who today espouses violence against civilians in the name of Islam. But it is interesting to note that he was not always thus; during his tenure as one of the imams at the Dar […]

refuting the self-promoting coward, Anwar al-Awlaki

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Anwar al-Awlaki is a radicalized imam who was born in the US but who is now living in Yemen and who has made a name for himself as a sympathizer to Al Qaeda and violent extremism. He was one of […]

American Muslims Raise Funds for Fort Hood Victims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a wonderful initiative and I encourage everyone, muslims and non-muslims alike, to donate to this fund to help out the victims at Fort Hood. American Muslims Launch Special Fund for the Benefit of Ft Hood Attack Victims FOR […]

the lesson of 1989: Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Today will see many hagiographic pieces about Reagan from the right, but there’s real value in learning about the complex historical context, and not enough credit I think […]

Fort Hood shooting on Guy Fawkes Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

MAJOR UPDATE: news outlets are reporting that the shooter is not dead as previously reported, but alive and in custody. This means we may indeed get some answers… and justice. MAJOR UPDATE 2 – Hasan is reportedly conscious. Who is […]

Abdullah runs off; Karzai certified

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Afghanistan residential challenger Abdullah Abdullah decided (correctly) over the weekend that the planned run-off election between him and incumbent President Karzai would be subject to the same abuses and lack of transparency as the original election, and thus withdrew his […]

poll: the public wants the public option

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Aside from the August recess of Congress, there has been strong support for the so-called public option all along: A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded […]

miracle Qur’an baby or child abuse?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is deeply disturbing to me: Quotations from Quran start appearing on the body of a 9-month boy named Ali from Kizlyar, Dagestan, his parents claim. Birthmarks in form of Arabic scripts have been appearing on the baby’s body since […]

Is Ayatollah Khamenei dead or in a coma?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Take this with a heavy dose of salt, as it may more reflect wishful thinking on the part of the American Enterprise Institute (which is neocon central), but there are supposedly rumors in Tehran that Khamenei has died: Rumors that […]

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 […]

talking turkish tolerance: links delight

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to my friend Joshua Trevino’s previous essay on religious tolerance in Turkey, there’s a related piece in the Washington Times which also provides more detail on how state secularism is driving Christian faiths to extinction and suppressing Islamic identity […]

Obama approves 13,000 more troops to Afghanistan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

without any fanfare – this was not announced via press release. In an unannounced move, President Barack Obama is dispatching an additional 13,000 US troops to Afghanistan beyond the 21,000 he announced publicly in March, The Washington Post reported. The […]

Liberté, fraternité, but not égalité: a note from Istanbul.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my friend Joshua Treviño. The American relationship with religion in public life is not as simple as the phrase “separation of church and state” implies. The American concept of liberty is deeply rooted in […]

Obama takes troop reduction in Afghanistan off the table

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

John McCain: “I think the great danger now is a half-measure, sort of a – you know, try to please all ends of the political spectrum,” McCain told CNN chief national correspondent John King. “And, again, I have great sympathy […]

Deserve this! The Nobel Peace Prize Agenda for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama is now a Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s enough in that statement alone to drive rightwing conservatives insane. And insane they certainly are, as others are ably and gleefully documenting. The general gist of the response […]

Copenhagen dreaming II: global warming as opportunity

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the second part of my series in anticipation of the upcoming Copenhagen conference. The previous post in this series was a defense of the scientific method. So, what do I think about global warming? The consensus is a […]

the economic Stimulus: behind the curtain

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ryan Lizza has a superb profile of Larry Summers, President Obama’s brilliant economic adviser, in The New Yorker. Lizza is one of my favorite political writers and he uses the profile on Summers as a backdrop for the larger story […]

Copenhagen dreaming: In defense of the scientific method

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As the Copenhagen conference on the successor to the Kyoto Protocol draws near, I want to lay some meta-thoughts out about the scientific method which I think are important, as a context for my general support of the theory of […]

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 […]

Answering Ahmadinejad on the Holocaust

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Katie Couric interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a classic example of how he changes the subject away from his own controversial statements. I don’t think Ahmadinejad is a particularly evil man, just a typically corrupt and cynical […]

Sarah Palin on Islam and China

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been bluntly critical of Sarah Palin before when I felt it warranted, but I’ve never had anything but respect for her formidable intellect and political saavy. I think she’s easily the most credible challenger to President Obama in 2012 […]

Previous Posts

Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam?
Short answer: probably not. Lindsay Lohan was recently spotted carrying a copy of the Qur'an as she left a children's daycare where she's serving her court-ordered sentence of community service. As the article at The Daily Mall helpfully ...

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

The Nation of Islam is keeping the peace on the streets of Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter
No news agency is bothering to cover how thousands of peaceful protestors are expressing their right of free speech in Baltimore, over the killing of Freddie Gray. Instead, the big story is the violence of the few rather than the righteousness ...

posted 2:06:45pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award - and needs YOUR support
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 are the Academy ...

posted 9:34:01am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community
This happens almost every day in Pakistan - fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder ...

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 ...

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

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