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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Ayman Nour released from prison in Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Excellent, if surprising, news for democracy and political reform in Egypt – dissident and one-time opposition party candidate for President against Hosni Mubarak, was released quite abruptly from prison yesterday: Mr. Nour, a charismatic political leader who challenged the governing […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Taliban win: Shari’a for Swat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s no other way to interpret this news, except simply as “the terrorists have won” in the full sense of the word: Pakistan’s government has agreed to restore sharia, or Islamic law, in the Swat valley and neighbouring areas of […]

Will George Clooney convert to Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Along with the entire nation of Pakistan, I’m fascinated by this story: He is Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor. She is an outspoken poet and journalist born into Pakistan’s greatest political dynasty. What, then, could spark a bigger media circus than […]

halal pizza

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What happens when a Domino’s pizza decides to serve to all-halal menu? The end of Western civilization, of course: Chris Yates, 29, a hospital worker living in Moseley, Birmingham, said he was told he couldn’t have a ‘Meteor’ pizza, topped […]

word cloud and text of the Gettysburg Address

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On November 19th, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery where 51,000 soldiers (both Union and Confederate) were killed, wounded, or missing just a few months earlier. In honor pf President Lincoln’s […]

The God Bus

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

An atheist group has taken out ads on buses in the UK with catchy slogans poking some good-natured fun at believers. While these have predictably generated some anger and tension, I am entranced by the free speech and market ingenuity […]

Bush’s War on Terror, Obama’s WOMBAT

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Given that our President is a pretty sharp fellow, it’s not surprising that he’s also realized that the “War on Terror” branding needs to be retired: What’s being sought is a more precise phrase that can recast the U.S. government’s […]

Amazon’s new Kindle 2 is iPhone sexy

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today Amazon.com has officially announced the second-generation Kindle ebook-reader, and it looks amazing. The original version was pretty clunky-looking, which didn’t stop Amazon from selling (by some estimates) over half a million of them. The selling point was really how […]

liberal interventionism vs imperialism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

CBO says stimulus will work

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has analyzed President Obama’s economic stimulus plan and concluded that it will have a definite positive impact in the short term, though with diminishing returns: In an analysis of the $900 billion version of the […]

Pakistan releases AQ Khan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It is true that Osama bin Laden is the most wanted terrorist alive. But someday, a terrorist attack will occur that will make OBL’s lifetime achievements pale in comparison, because it will use a nuclear weapon. When thta day comes, […]

Presidential M&Ms

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This story about President Obama’s first ride aboard Air Force One buried the most important part at the very end: Also unclear is when the new M&Ms will arrive. Air Force One has long stocked boxes with the presidential seal […]

the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

At the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, President Obama took the opportunity announce the creation of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. From the transcript of his remarks: Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefscan […]

replacing the War on Terror (WOT) with a WOMBAT

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the context of my earlier thoughts about how the muslim community can help combat extremism, one more thing occurs to me; perhaps what is also needed is a rebranding of the War on Terror. You cannot wage war against […]

President Obama quotes Hadith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

At the White House National Prayer Breakfast this morning, President Obama quoted (among other things) a Hadith of the Holy Prophet Mohammed SAW: We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. […]

Muslimah Media Watch

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’d like to highlight one of the essential blogs in the Islamsphere – Muslim Media Watch (MMW). It’s a group weblog that tracks issues related to women and Islam, and features a broad stable of writers. One of the MMW […]

how can muslims combat extremism?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve often dismissed the idea that muslims in the West have any obligation to apologize for or routinely condemn on demand the actions of the extremist minorities who commit acts of terror in the name of the faith they claim […]

Obama: “I screwed up.”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Indeed, change has come to the White House. Our President is able to admit to mistakes: Barack Obama, the US president, has admited he made a “mistake” following the withdrawal of his nominee for US health secretary amid a controversy over […]

breaking: Tom Daschle withdraws from consideration

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: Tom Daschle has officially withdrawn his name from consideration. I heard it on Twitter first, actually. It turns out that Tom Daschle has even more explaining to do: Daschle’s tax problems were even more substantial than earlier reported. The […]

Israel censors Al Jazeera

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Darfur vs Gaza: African muslims are worth less than Arab muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ali A. Rizvi, a muslim blogger, asks the hard questions: Where are the large-scale protests and outrage from the Muslim community over the senseless deaths and rape of hundreds of thousands of poverty-ridden African Muslims? Why is there such a […]

Obama mail

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama’s email address is the new status symbol in Washington DC – and the circle of who knows his email address is very, very selective indeed. There’s a great article in the NYT about Obama’s email, which includes this […]

PREDICTION: Michael Steele will win RNC Chair

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

What the GOP voted against

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via Clammyc at Daily Kos, here is a partial list of what the House Republicans voted unanimously against in refusing to support the stimulus package that passed without them. An increase in the maximum benefit under the former food stamp […]

Blago gone: impeachment is “bleeping golden”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It is official – by unanimous vote, Rod Blagojevich is no longer the Governor of Illinois. In fact he has been barred from seeking public office in the State of Illinois forever. The Chicago Tribune has a fantastic live-blog of […]

Obama’s Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and East Timor genocide

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Gary Farber sounded the alarm last month about President Obama’s nominee for National Intelligence Director, Denis Blair, who was complicit in genocide in East Timor during the Clinton Administration. Unfortunately, no questions were asked about East Timor during Blair’s confirmation […]

democracy promotion and liberal interventionism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to the debate at Talk Islam earlier, I think that it is critical that the broader foreign policy principle of democracy promotion not be discredited by the imperialism-lite of the neoconservative movement.Liberal interventionism is not a purely military effort, […]

Liberal Intervention: A Talk Islam Debate

posted by G. Willow Wilson

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

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

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Obama and Ummah: healing 1400 year-old wounds

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following anecdote is written by my friend Aamer Jamali, via email a few weeks ago (prior to the Inauguration). I have his permission to reprint it here. Of all the things to remember about my Hajj trip (and there […]

Gaza and anti-semitism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am frustrated, because in the past few weeks I’ve received various email forwards from many people I respect that are laden with anger and frustration at Israel’s campaign of collective punishment in Gaza. These are intelligent, tolerant people – […]

Princess Palin wants $11 million

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I don’t begrudge Sarah Palin this at all: Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin wants to write a book and is looking to Robert Barnett, the same high-powered DC attorney who represented Barack Obama and both of the Clintons while they were […]

high expectations and healthy skepticism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Obama’s inauguration speech certainly set a high bar. Can his Administration live up to it? Or the expectations of Obama’s supporters? President Obama himself has been careful not to promise the moon, but rather emphasized that the job ahead is […]

Obama and oversight

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m not a big fan of the “100 day honeymoon” period for new presidencies – if anything, the tone on day one is probably predictive of the entire term. In that regard, I don’t have a lot to complain about […]

defending Geert Wilders

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

censoring Obama in China

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

celebrating Obama in Kenya

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Having just returned from my trip to Kenya, I saw firsthand how Obama’s Kenyan roots are a matter of national pride there. Obama’s face graced the papers almost every other day, and our taxi driver proudly told us he was […]

Draft order to close Guantanamo Bay

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The ACLU has obtained a copy of the draft order to close Gitmo. I am embedding the document (PDF) below. Publish at Scribd or explore others: Other Academic Work obama Gitmo The ACLU will have an analysis soon. UPDATE: The […]

I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear again…

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Blame this on Chief Justice Roberts – Obama had a do-over today: WASHINGTON – After the flub heard around theworld, President Barack Obama has taken the oath of office. Again.Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath to Obama on Wednesdaynight […]

WhiteHouse.gov: open government

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Change came to the virtual White House as well as the physical one yesterday – WhiteHouse.gov has re-launched in true Obama fashion by featuring a blog as its centerpiece and promises to publish legislation and executive orders online for the […]

Obama to Ummah: message to the muslim world

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I posted President Obama’s inauguration speech video and transcript earlier, but I just want to highlight the part where he directly addressed the muslim world: We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are […]

transcript: President Obama inauguration speech (with word cloud)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

(click to enlarge)This is the transcript of President Obama’s inauguration speech. I have edited out the applause lines and made other cosmetic changes for clarity. My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for […]

video: President Obama’s inauguration speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Part 1 of 2: Part 2 of 2:

Great speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

now, Mr. President – get to work. UPDATE: here’s video of President Obama’s inauguration speech (in two parts) from YouTube. And here’s the transcript and word cloud.

Obama and MLK: from Founders to Freedom Riders

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Barack Obama strove to avoid race as a defining issue for his campaign. Part of this was pragmatic; running as an explicitly “Black” candidate would have hurt his electability beyond the racial silo, not because of racism per se but […]

Good news in the Islamic world, 2008

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It is easy to focus on the negative, but sometimes it is important to remind ourselves of the good news for a change. To that end, Juan Cole has compiled a list of ten good news stories from the Islamic […]

The inauguration: a secular Hajj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Ali Eteraz calls the Inauguration a “secular hajj” for America: The theological comparison isn’t far-fetched. Emerson, Whitman, Dewey, and Rorty all suggested that politics is America’s civil religion. This makes the constitution the country’s holy text. The division […]

We Shall Not Be a Party to Their Counsel

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a statement of principles written by Richard Silverstein of the blog Tikkun Olam and other American Jewish writers (many of whom contributed to the landmark collection of essays, A Time to Speak Out) regarding the ongoing Israeli […]

flying while brown

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Having just returned from an overseas trip, I am particularly sensitive to the issue of racial profiling of muslims by airlines. Or more colloquially, “flying while brown”. There are any number of innocent things you can do on a plane […]

Democracy, Jewishness, and Greater Israel: pick two

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The idea of the state of Israel is one I support wholeheartedly. A nation for the Jewish people, a homeland where they can engage in the same right of self-determination and chart their own destiny. However, this right and this […]

The USA will elect a black man President when Hell freezes over

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m sure that was the pessimsitic sentiment in some circles. Such naysayers were proven wrong, of course – or at least, mostly wrong: WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) — Portions of the frostbitten United States are feeling the coldest air so […]

Saudi Arabia’s Iran Obsession

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

(This is a guest post by my friend and Islamsphere scion Ali Eteraz) I woke up this morning and found a comprehensive Middle East peace plan being offered by Saudi Arabia in the pages of the Washington Post. Putting aside […]

Tennessee coal mine disaster

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking for Christmas: A disaster that occurred early Monday morning has ruined the holidays for some residents of Knoxville, Tennessee. A retaining wall at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired power plant […]

5th Annual Brass Crescent Awards Winners

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On behalf of both altmuslim.com and City of Brass, we’d like to thank the nearly 1000 people who voted in the Fifth Annual Brass Crescent Awards. Voting was very close in most categories, and we would like to be the […]

the shoe-thrower is sorry

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Rick Warren makes freeper heads explode

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Steven Waldman points out that despite the lashing Obama is getting from the left about Rick Warren, there’s a lot of angst about it on the right as well. These reactions from Free Republic are illuminating: Pray for them, yes! […]

Mugabe says, “Zimbabwe is mine”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Robert Mugabe is not going quietly: BINDURA, Zimbabwe (AFP) — President Robert Mugabe declared Friday that “Zimbabwe is mine” and vowed never to surrender to calls to step down, as his political rival threatened to quit stalled unity government talks. […]

Bush bails out the auto industry

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Republicans are furious with President Bush for agreeing to use TARP funds to bail out the auto industry: Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), one of the architects of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, thinks Bush may be skirting the […]

Are muslim Americans morally complicit in Guantanamo?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

We are having a fascinating debate at Talk Islam, relating to whether muslims in America are morally culpable for the actions of our nation when those actions result in the deaths of innocent muslims. The argument is that muslims are […]

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 […]

Rick Warren Invocation: a slap in the face of the mullahs

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Rick Warren is not your typical Christian evangelist pastor. Still, according to progressive left standards, he’s persona non grata for his views on homosexuality (identical to Obama’s himself). Obama’s decision to invite Warren to give the invocation at the Inauguration […]

Col. Theoneste Bagosora, the butcher of Rwanda, jailed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The architect of the Rwandan genocide has been jailed: A UN-backed tribunal has convicted Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel, of organising the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Two other former military officers were also convicted by the International Criminal […]

Al Qaeda attack on the Hajj foiled

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The victims of Islamic terrorists are disproportionately muslims – and we have seen that nothing is sacred to these barbarians, not women and children, not muslims praying in mosques, not the holy month of Ramadan – now, not even the […]

mubarak! hajjis come home – including a Congressman

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The hajjis have begun to arrive home. Among them were Rep. Keith Ellison, the first muslim elected to Congress and now the first US elected official to have ever performed Hajj. The Democrat from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District traveled to […]

Dial a muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is brilliant – muslims in Florida have launched a campaign whereby they run ads on the side of public transport buses, inviting people to call a phone number and talk to a fellow citizen who is muslim. The idea […]

Jean Charles de Menezes – murdered by the State

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Thabet exposes the elephant in the room regarding the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes by British police a few years ago: Which leads to me to a point not even the most harshest critic of the establishment has raised […]

President Bush ducks thrown shoes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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 […]

equal rights for bearded women

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is hilarious: That’s very promising! Progress should be incremental. And the mullahs are always trying to encourage people to grow their beards, anyway…

“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Inauguration Day, President Obama will take the oath of office using his full name. Q: Do you anticipate being sworn in as Barack Obama or Barack Hussein Obama? Obama: I think the tradition is that they use all three […]

Pakistan arrests Mumbai suspects; Malaysia lets some go

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Mumbai terror attacks were arguably India’s 9-11 – an attack on the nation as a whole instead of just isolated targets of opportunity. That makes these two stories an interesting pair – first, Pakistan has arrested suspects accused of […]

Action for a Progressive Pakistan: Vigil in NYC on Saturday

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via sepoy at Chapati Mystery: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: progpak@gmail.com / 917.922.9836 Pakistanis Hold Vigil for Mumbai VictimsCall Upon India and Pakistan to Work Towards Peace When: Saturday, December 13th, 4:00 pmWhere: Union Square NORTH (16th Street) – across the street […]

Hajj ends – Zabihat and Jamarat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid is by tradition a happy affair, but in India it is muted this year, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. In addition to forgoing the slaughter of cows for the sacrifice (out of respect for the sentiments of […]

A courageous, defiant Afghani schoolgirl

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Baktash Siawash is an Afghan-based blogger and journalist. At his blog, he has a guest post by Shamsia, an Aghani schoolgirl who was blinded by the Taliban who threw acid in her face to intimidate her from attending school. Shamsia’s […]

The Simpsons meet the muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

First there was Omar Shamsoon – now, The Simpsons have an episode that introduces a muslim family from Jordan – you can watch it for free online: I confess to being a bit disappointed, though. The satire felt forced; it […]

the Day of Arafat: renewal

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the Day of Arafat, where the pilgrims arrive and engage in prayer while standing and facing towards the sun. Then in the evening they will depart for muzdalifah in time for Eid ul Adha the next day. The […]

giving aid and comfort to terrorists

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Rod Dreher approvingly quotes Steve Emerson about what an outrage it is that the various news channels omitted the adjective, “Islamic” from all descriptions of the extremists who terrorized Mumbai last weekend. Emerson argues that the omission is “craven” and “politically correct”: […]

The terrorists must not win

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal, a real estate development advisor who lives and works in NYC. In her free time she is active in supporting and promoting causes that are close to her heart. As a Muslim American […]

India’s 9-11: Why Mumbai?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The only thing on the television this Thanksgiving weekend was CNN. The events in Mumbai completely dominated our family get-together, not least because as Dawoodi Bohra muslims, we have extensive circles of friends and family in the city, as well […]

Brass Crescent Awards – Voting Phase

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The voting phase for the Brass Crescent Awards has now begun (though a bit later than expected). We have some really great blogs for you all to vote on, so head over and make your choices! As it says on […]

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 […]

The Secular Right?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Defense Gates – Secretary Robert redux

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Obama will renominate currently-serving Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the same position within his Administration. This is a pretty high-profile move that I think speaks volumes about Obama’s willingness to put policy and experience first and ideology second. Gates […]

anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of the book The Muslim Next Door, writes of an encounter with someone who subscribes to the fallacy that Islam and muslims are inherently anti-Semitic: I recently spoke on Islam and my new book at a local […]

Save Hoder: more on Derakshan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Blogger Hossein Derakshan arrested in Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Attorney General Eric Holder

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Obama has announced another top-level appointment, Eric Holder, who served as deputy Attorney-General under Clinton and now will be (pending Senate confirmation) the nation’s lead lawman. The relevant and important information about Holder is his record and reputation: A New […]

Hillary Clinton’s Foggy Bottom

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. This is significant for many reasons, not least of which because Hillary is perfect for the job and is supremely qualified for it. Arguably, the more important reason will […]

Christians do takfir on Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Takfir is what excommunication is called in Islam – the process of declaring someone to be outside the faith. This is a pernicious concept because it is usually used by self-appointed guardians of the faith to try and impose their […]

From 52 to 48 with love

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is simply beautiful – a collection of photos between “52 blue” and “48 red”. There’s no better example of purple politics than this – and it’s exactly in line with what Obama has been talking about, about there being […]

Obama’s private photos from Election Night

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Obama’s private election night photos are up on Flickr – I really love this sequence in particular.

The Obama mandate: executive order

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I argued earlier that the evidence for an Obama mandate is compelling, especially in comparison to President Bush, who claimed a mandate and political capital after the 2004 election. Some may ask why a mandate matters, or that the margin […]

playing with fire

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Newsweek is doing a seven-part story on the 2008 campaign which provides all manner of fascinating behind-the-scenes perspectives. The installment on the period of time spanning the debates is notable for the discussion of how the Otherization of Obama proceeded […]

Mandate – Obama takes North Carolina

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Incredible. North Carolina is now officially for Obama, bringing his EV total to 364 and total number of states flipped from red to blue to nine. Missouri is the sole remaining state to be counted, with a margin of mere […]

The first urban president

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Christof at Intermodality blog points out that Obama is the first Urban president in modern times, whose home is within walking distance of public transport: Obama lives only four miles from the center of the third largest city of the […]

BREAKING: Rahm accepts Chief of Staff job

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Emannuel Rahm has accepted Obama’s offer to be Chief of Staff: “The chief” is sometimes known as the second most powerful person in Washington. The job has vast authority, as the boss of the hundreds of aides who work directly […]

Nixon and China redux: Only Obama can go to Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A young woman votes in the second runoff of the Iranian Parliamentary elections this past April (via Faith Today). Iran is not our enemy. The reaction from Iranians to Obama’s election has been one of cautious optimism and anticipation: Iranians […]

Post-election musings

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

First, let’s see how I fared – my Electoral College prediction of 310 EVs for Obama was obviously on the pessimistic side. Still, I called this election for Obama last Friday, so for me it was never a question of […]

Yes We Did: word cloud of Obama’s victory speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Word cloud from Wordle.net of President-elect Barack Obama’s victory speech at Grant Park, Chicago, on November 4th 2008. This is history.

Obama has already won tonight

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It is now 9PM EST and polls have closed in the critical states IN,VA, GA, FL, OH, NC, PA, MO, and CO (among others). VA is neck and neck, NC is marginally Obama and IN is marginally McCain. GA has been called for […]

Indiana results

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Polls just closed in Indiana. Results will be posted to the Indiana Secretary of State’s website. Manically refresh that page starting now…

NH reporting: Obama ahead 2:1 so far

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Voting began in New Hampshire as early as midnight last night, so it’s not surprising that the earliest results are already in. In Coos County, Barack Obama leads John McCain 15-6, and in Carroll County Obama is ahead 17-10. So, […]

ignore the exit polls

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

With one hour to go before the polls close in Indiana and the first returns start trickling in, the  exit polls are already being leaked. Ignore them. Mark Blumenthal notes that there are numerous problems with exit polls, including overstating […]

Election projection: Obama 305, McCain 233

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy election day! (Some crazy towns in New Hampshire started voting at midnight). Courtesy of Nate Silver’s simulations, here’s how McCain might win. The most plausible (but still improbable) scenario: Obama takes all the Gore and Kerry states, and McCain […]

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 […]

Obama will win Nevada

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my projection, I gave McCain Nevada by default without really thinking about it. However, looking at the poll trends, it looks clear that Nevada is not even going to be close. Nevada has 5 electoral votes so it won’t […]

Beliefnet.com exit poll

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you haven’t already done so, please do take Beliefnet’s exit poll – and chime in here on comments with how you voted and why, if you like.

Obama’s hopes on the Hoosiers

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my projection, I detailed why I think Obama might pull an upset win in Indiana, a statet hat went for Bush over Kerry by 20 points and hasn’t voted Blue since 1964. It should be noted that after voting […]

Obama casting his vote

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m watching Obama cast his vote at a school in Chicago live on TV right now. It’s taking him forever – how long does it take to mark the “straight democratic ticket” ? I think it’s wonderful Obama has taken […]

Who did you vote for and why?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here’s your chance to chime in and share who you voted for (or will vote for tomorrow), and why. What were the issues that mattered most to you? Take Beliefnet’s exit poll and tell the world! And let’s see how […]

the gas price conspiracy

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I paid $2.24 per gallon this morning to fill up my Elantra. It’s bizarre to see a total bill for a fill-up under $25. The truth is that gas prices have decreased remarkably over the past month or two, despite […]

Obama wins the Presidential Election

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Chris Bowers at Open Left does the math, and finds that Obama has already won. His reasoning: In order to win the election, all Barack Obama needs are the Kerry states, plus Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico. That adds up […]

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 […]

Barack Obama’s failure

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I support Obama for President, and I believe that given the Republican Party’s war on muslims in the public and political sphere (Mazen Asbahi, Rima Sinclair, now Rashid Khalidi just the latest examples), his Presidency will do much to mitigate […]

VIDEO – Obama’s 30-minute infomercial

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I missed this as a live broadcast, but fortunately the Obama campaign just put the full video up on YouTube. Here it is:

in which I agree with Sarah Palin

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Hey, this is good stuff from Palin: “In the worst cases, some of the world’s most oil-rich nations are also the most oppressive societies. And whether we like it or not, the money we pay for their oil only makes […]

Review of Obsession by David Shasha

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Richard Silverstein has posted a review of the Islamophobic hate-film Obsession on his blog, written by David Shasha, one of the leaders of the American Sephardic Jewish community. It’s a powerful indictment, beginning with a list of basic facts about […]

I Voted

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I cast my vote for Barack Obama in Wisconsin today. I am excited and proud, not just because I support Obama, but because the very act of voting – for McCain, Obama, or anyone else – is a reminder of […]

The GOP war on muslims: Rima Sinclair

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve praised president Bush for emphasizing that the war on Terror should not be construed as a war against Islam, but the Republican Party has been enthusiastically waging a war against muslims.Even muslims who are members of the Republican Party […]

Barack Obama is not Hitler

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I don’t subscribe to the view that any invocation of Hitler in a debate is an automatic defeat (the so-called “Godwin’s Law“) but it is definitely true that equating various people to Hitler appears to be a national pastime in election silly […]

Barack Obama is a US citizen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve previously addressed the “non-citizen smear”, but as a public service here is a summary for the benefit of anyone who may still doubt the eligibility of Barack Obama for President according to the Constitution: the Obama campaign has already […]

self-inflicted wound: was Ashley Todd the final nail?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The story was sensational, and suspiciously stereotypical in invoking racial prejudices and conservative dogma about liberals’ irrationality. Sure enough, it was also a hoax: Ashley Todd, of College Station, Texas, confessed to making up the story about an attacker scratching […]

Obama will not leave Iraq. (good.)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

have they no decency?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As many have heard by now, Obama is suspending his campaign for a couple of days to fly out to Hawai’i to visit his ailing grandmother. Normal human beings with compassion and love in their hearts would hear this news […]

pushback on Powell

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Republican pundits have been hating on Colin Powell, saying he endorsed Obama solely because of race, as well as impugning his service and his honor. But the really venomous reaction has been from the rank and file, flooding Powell’s inbox. […]

one million repeat donors: people-powered politics

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to my earlier post about how Obama’s $150 million September serves to utterly vindicate the vision of Joe Trippi and Howard Dean, comes this interesting observation by Al Girodano about the donor base: With an average contribution of $86 […]

McCain campaign muzzles muslims?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I lauded the McCain campaign for the incident in Virginia where supporters of McCain and campaign representatives alike vigorously confronted an Islamophobic idiot and his sidekick and forced them to depart the rally. One of the McCain supporters, Daniel Zubairi, […]

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As I predicted yesterday, Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for President. I think that Powell cuts right to the heart of the matter here: “We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education […]

Powell endorsement imminent?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Colin Powell is going to be on Meet The Press on Sunday morning, and speculation is rife that he will endorse Barack Obama: Retired Gen. Colin Powell, once considered a potential running mate for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), now may […]

Obama tax cut calculator

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is pretty handy, in terms of cutting through the misinformation campaign by the McCain camp in trying to argue that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class: a tax cut calculator. According to our family data, we will […]

Obama’s Rovian strategy?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Is the Obama campaign pursuing a Karl-Rove-inspired campaign strategy? This piece at the Christian Science Monitor argues yes, because Obama has opened campaign offices in Michigan college towns: What does an office in this extremely left-leaning college town – as […]

Obama Derangement Syndrome

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Every presidential candidate comes in for their share of partisan bile from their opponents’ more rabid supporters. The generic term for this is X Derangement Syndrome (example, BDS for Bush, etc) and to some extent it is a manifestation of […]

Why I am supporting Barack Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am a liberal. That is to say, I believe that in addition to the tyranny of governments, there also the tyrannies of economics, of prejudice, and of religion. I believe that Liberalism is the route by which the indovidual […]

Obama McCain Debate II: the best question

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Brian McLaren endorses Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Brian McLaren is a Christian pastor who approaches faith and politics from within the compassionate tradition of Christianity, focusing on the Prophet Jesus’ AS example of charity and taking care of the poor, etc for his inspiration rather than judgment […]

word clouds for Biden and Palin

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I manually extracted Biden’s and Palin’s remarks at the debate from the transcript and fed them into Wordle to create these word clouds. First, Senator Joe Biden:And then, Governor Sarah Palin:It seems the primary topic of the evening was John […]

Biden and Palin

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Overall, I think that Biden and Palin did well. Biden met expdectations, and Palin exceeded them. However, neither one really did much to change the overall narrative, which has been trending in Obama’s favor. Palin’s basic objective was to avoid […]

First debate: yawn

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There were really only two audiences for this debate – the people who know they are voting for McCain or Obama, and the people who haven’t decided yet. The former are essentially totally unmovable in their opinion, however much they […]

fiscal crisis explained by stick figures

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This powerpoint of unknown authorship has been making the rounds of Wall Street brokers, so Barry Ritholz embedded it online in Google Docs for all to share (click it to begin slide show): One thing worth noting, and emphasized in […]

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

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This is a guest post by Safiya Dahodwala. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS graced the land of America for the first time as the 53rd Dai (spiritual leader) of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. It has been nearly a decade since his predecessor, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin bestowed his bountiful bl

posted 12:58:00pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, "What does ISIS Really Want?" that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

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