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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Secretary Kerry’s remarks on religious freedom and America at the State Dept Iftar #WhiteHouseIftar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The transcript of Secretary Kerry’s remarks at the State Dept Iftar (to which I was invited but was sadly unable to attend) are now posted online and I found this section to be particularly moving: I want you to know […]

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liberté, égalité, fraternité: pregnant muslim woman in France violently attacked over hijab; loses her baby

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a horrific story and the first thought should be duas for the grieving family for their loss: A young pregnant Muslim woman, who was allegedly attacked in the street for wearing a veil has lost her baby, her […]

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

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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Eid intolerance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Murfreesboro mosque construction halted on a legal technicality

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

China’s Uyghurs: forbidden to fast

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As I alluded in my earlier primer on the oppression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, China, the Chinese authorities are engaged in what amounts to a cultural genocide against the Uyghur people. One of the ways this is done […]

American Muslims Call on Chinese Govt’ to Protect Religious Freedom

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a press release issued by a group of muslim Americans regarding the oppression of the Uyghur in China. I am a signatory to the release and the forthcoming petition. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 23, 2009 Media contact: […]

VIDEO: Shari’a in the USA

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

an Uyghur primer: the roots of discontent

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The oppression of the Uyghur in China’s Xinjiang province has been getting a surprising amount of media coverage. The first reaction most people have upon hearing about the Uyghur is to ask, “who?” so it’s worth reviewing some basic information […]

Dunkin Donuts says halal is not kosher

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

For over 20 years, Arab-American businessman Walid Elkhatib has run a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in a suburb of Chicago. Now, however, the Dunkin Donuts corporation has decided to single him out for his faith, revoking his franchise: An Arab-American owner […]

Gitmo guard converts to Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Dawah on the bus goes round and round

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

Baha’i persecution in Iran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Imagine an ethno-religious group that is treated as second-class citizens by their host country, and actively persecuted, with accusations of divided loyalties and sympathies to enemies of the state. Arabs in Israel? no – the Baha’i in Iran, who have […]

infantilizing the Ummah

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This article in the Economist takes an interesting and detailed look at the religious practices of South Asia’s Sufi muslims. There is a large amount of syncretism between Hinduism and Islam in the region, as there is between Islam and […]

Mikael Jackson: Ya Wanna Be Starting Something

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m not particularly keen to judge another man’s faith, so I pass no judgement on Michael Jackson’s conversion to Islam. However, I will note that Islam is big enough to contain me and Jackson within itself. Check out the discussion […]

French hijab ban

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I linked this earlier, but it’s worth highlighting again – this article at Islam Online about the French hijab ban is a fantastic retrospective and absolutely required reading on the topic. 

child abuse

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am pleased to see that Mr. Syed Mustafa Zaidi of Manchester, UK has been found guilty of child abuse. Zaidi, a Shi’a muslim, forced two young boys to participate in a ritual self-flogging exercise during the holy month of […]

Previous Posts

Ramadan Pearls 04 - angels
He who has fasted for Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, and is in the discomfort of heat and struck by thirst, will have his face wiped and be given the good news by a thousand angels whom Allah has entrusted to him until he breaks his fast; at ...

posted 8:16:29am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

ibadat in Ramadan - process as piety
There are a lot of articles written during Ramadan about what Ramadan means, about what we as Muslims should be "getting out" of Ramadan, what the benefits of Ramadan should be. But I think that these sorts of articles miss the point of ibadat. ...

posted 10:20:36am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 03 - mystery
Know that the goal in fasting is for the veil of appetite and anger to be lifted from the heart's eye so that the heart may see the mystery of the dominion of heaven and earth. (The Easy Roads of Sayf al-Din, as translated by William Chittick ...

posted 8:57:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 02 - non-existence
Fasting leads to non-existence, for, after all, the joys are there. God is with those who patiently persevere (2:249) (Jalaluddin Rumi, compilation The Essential Rumi) ...

posted 8:47:33am Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 01 - criterion
It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was first bestowed from on High as a guidance unto Man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as a ...

posted 3:36:22pm Jun. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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