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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

the State of the Ummah, 2014/1436

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I tuned into President Obama’s 2014 SOTU for a while last week – mainly because my daughter was tasked to watch 15min minimum for school, a limit to which she adhered to precisely – and was struck by how futile […]

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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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Obama and the Muslim “Smear”

posted by ajamali

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

Congratulations to David Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Obama’s foreign policy record: beyond the waters’ edge

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Whatever happened to the Bush-era adoration by Republicans of the wise adage by Senator Arthur Vandenberg in the Truman era, that “politics stops at the water’s edge” ? Well, that is a naive question, of course. The only real theme […]

terror mail: the Eid Stamp

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Mayor of Clarksville, Tennessee sent out an email recently, urging “all patriotic Americans” to protest that singular threat to Western civilization, the Eid Stamp: Mayor Johnny Piper did not add any comments of his own to the e-mail, The […]

Obamaphobia: The President is indoctrinating our schoolchildren!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: transcript of President Obama’s prepared remarks now available. This video is from 1992, right before the election. That wasn’t President Bush Sr.’s only address to schoolchildren, either – a few years earlier, he also made a 15-minute appeal to […]

the AARP’s amazing press release

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This press release by the AARP, in response to ongoing Republican mischaracterizations and fear-mongering about health reform, particularly a recent diatribe by RNC Chairman Michael Steele, is a masterpiece of snarky fact-checking. See below for the full text, with the […]

birthers now claim Obama born in 1957?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is just laughable – the right-wing World Net Daily, which boasts of “over 200 exclusive reports on the eligibility issue”, has issued a breathless report that Obama’s actual year of birth was 1957, not 1961 as was previously thought […]

the public option: some liberal skepticism on health insurance reform

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Over the weekend, the liberal blogsphere had a bit of a freak-out with news that Obama seemed to be dialing back his support for the “public option” – a non-profit insurance provider which would compete with the private insurers. The […]

Governor Palin proclaimed April 16, 2008 as Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I called Sarah Palin a flat-out liar in my previous post because I believe she is too intelligent to believe that Obama’s reform agenda really includes “death panels” which would coerce euthanasia on senior citizens. The purpose of Palin’s deliberate […]

Sarah Palin is lying about death panels

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Palin still insists that death panels are a reality: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin refused to retreat from her debunked claim that a proposed health care overhaul would create “death panels,” as the growing furor over end-of-life consultations forced a […]

Paula Abdul named to Obamacare death panel

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Mike Licht breaks the news – it’s time to start singing “Cold Hearted“: Entertainer Paula Abdul has been named to the Death Panel mandated under the new U.S. Healthcare Reform bill. We have been unable to confirm either of the […]

Sarah Palin, queen of the Deathers

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve gone on enough about the nuttery (and yes, racism) of the Birthers who are besieging the last remnants of sanity in the Republican Party. It’s only fitting, therefore, that the wackiness continue with the rise of Deathers, who insist […]

Happy Birther Day, President Obama!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: I owe Daniel an apology for my unintentional implication below. Also, I lay out my argument for why Birthers are primarily racist in that post as well. President Obama is 48 years old today, and the lunatic “Birther” movement […]

Tricky Dick Cheney and the Shadow Government

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

For years, critics of the Bush Administration have noted that Vice-President Cheney wielded enormous power that was essentially beyond any oversihgt by Congress or the Judiciary. His infamous declaration that he was a “fourth branch of Government” was an attempt […]

Republican Town Hall on health care reform in Houston

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha Raja, who recently attended a “town hall” meeting on July 30th, 2009 about health care reform hosted by Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Senator Mitch McConnell […]

The Sarah Palin Chronicles 2012: quitting is winning

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Republican primary for the Presidential nomination in 2012 has begun in earnest this week. While Newt Gingrich has been the most active until now in laying the groundwork for his run, mostly by knee-kerk opposition to everything Obama does, […]

torture is terror

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The recent electoral losses of the Republican Party have indeed been good for conservatism, if for no reason other than the sprouting of new, fascinating conservative blogs run by principled and thought-provoking voices like Daniel Larison, Rod Dreher, and the […]

Texas Republicans debate “motives” of American muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is yet more evidence of an ingrained Islamophobia among the core GOP faithful that is both ugly and yet sadly predictable. At a Republican meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, the idea that muslim citizens of the United States are […]

Arlen Specter’s statement regarding switching parties

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The news first broke on twitter, by @marcambinder, and was later confirmed by Chris Cillizza and Redstate: formerly Republican Senator Arlen Specter will switch parties and become a Democrat, giving the Dems a 60-seat majority in the Senate. Here’s the […]

swine flu conspiracy theories and politics as usual

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my last post I made the mistake of asserting that swine flu was not yet contagious between humans – that’s not true and it’s why the disease is being taken seriously by the health community. I think it is […]

Are Somali pirates like terrorists?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Everyone is talking about pirates, and it’s not even September 19th yet! Last Sunday’s dramatic rescue of the captain of the Maersk Alabama was just the latest chapter in a saga that as far as the public attention span is concerned, […]

Asian American names are “too hard to deal with”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is probably more worthy of mockery than scorn: A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.… The exchange occurred late Tuesday as […]

who killed Culture11?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Daniel Larison implies that RedState may have killed Culture11. Reading the piece on C11’s founding to which he refers, I can’t help but think that the conservative movement as a whole is imploding, and C11 simply got caught in the […]

What would McCain have done?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Larison makes a great point that bears repeating: let us recall that McCain supported cap-and-trade (even if he didn’t necessarily understand what he was talking about when he said so), proposed an insane mortgage bailout plan that pretty much everyone […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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. […]

ou sont les John McCains de l’antan?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the 2000 election, John McCain was a very different politician. He was truly a maverick, unafraid to confront the radical elements within his own party, and he paid the price. He lambasted the social conservatives’ hold over the GOP […]

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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