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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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Full transcript of President Obama’s speech on national security: drones, the war on terror, and Guantanamo

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

(as prepared for delivery; while Obama gave the speech, he was repeatedly interrupted by a heckler, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink) It’s an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform […]

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open-source, lone wolf terrorism: different ideologies, shared methodologies

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

To summarize what is known at this time, the main suspects for the Boston marathon bombing are two brothers who immigrated from Chechnya to America years ago and have grown up here. How they became radicalied, and what their motive […]

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Saudi national cleared of suspicion in #Boston marathon bombing

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday I posted some facts about a young Saudi national, a student on scholarship, who was injured in the marathon bombings but was “tackled” by another bystander for appearing “suspicious”. Today comes word that he has been cleared of all […]

The Boston marathon bombing and the Saudi national

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: the Saudi national has been cleared of all charges by police. For the American public, the horrific images out of Boston yesterday were far more explicit than images from warzones and conflicts around the world. This attack was not […]

Iraq War retrospective: not convinced by Colin Powell at the UN #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Feb 5th 2003, Colin Powell gave a speech at the United Nations that supposedly laid out the case for WMD in Iraq and the argument for invasion. After the war began and WMDs were not found, this speech destroyed […]

Iraq War retrospective: How does attacking Iraq solve the problem of terrorism? #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following post was written in late October 2002, after my earlier post about the Bali bombings, where I was still trying to work out just how the Iraq War would be related to terrorism. As the post makes clear, […]

Iraq War retrospective: the Bali bombings #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following post was written shortly after the Bali resort bombings, which killed over 200 people, of which 88 were Australian tourists, 38 Indonesians, and 27 citizens of UK. At the time, the case for war against Iraq was in […]

more domestic terrorism in Ramadan: mosque in Missouri burned to the ground

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A second fire in less than five weeks occurred at a mosque in Joplin, Missouri early Monday morning. The cause of the latest inferno is still unknown, but Monday’s flames were much more devastating than those that occurred July 4, […]

the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin: call to dua

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today there was a shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, and early reports are that seven people are dead. This details of this horrific tragedy are yet to emerge in full, but is is possible that the Sikhs were […]

FBI’s PATCON investigations and relevance to muslim surveillance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday I posted about the anniversary of the OKC bombing, and had some comment about the relevance to today’s investigations and surveillance of muslims. There’s a lengthy article in Foreign Policy that talks about the PATCON investigations by the FBI […]

Calling a Spade a Spade

posted by ajamali

Note:  I will be filling in for Aziz Poonawalla on this site for the next couple of weeks, while he is off gallivanting around the world.  These are undoubtedly big shoes to fill (even though technically  I’m a size 13 […]

Muslim Informants prevent domestic terror: the data

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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

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 […]

I will not condemn Islam or America

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A commentor (and person I consider a friend) took serious issue with my 9-11 tenth anniversary post, commenting: I have to say I am quite disappointed by this post. It seems you just want to sweep the horrors of the […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

9-11 as an outlier

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, I posted my thoughts about whether terrorism was still a threat, noting that in one sense the answer was obviously yes, but asking whether 9-11 was the outlier it seemed to be. My post was intended to provoke a […]

convictions in the liquid bomb plot… finally

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

And so, the anniversary of 9-11 is upon us again. The most important question we can ask ourselves on this day is, what is the likelihood of this happening again? It seems that the answer to that question, at least […]

9-11 reflections: Is terrorism still a threat?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The obvious answer to the question is yes – and that goes for before as well as after 9-11. In many ways, 9-11 distorts the picture because it was the single largest casualty count of any terrorist attack in history […]

James von Brunn, terrorist

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The shooting at the Holocaust Museum yesterday was a chilling reminder that domestic terrorism is real, and was just the latest in a disturbing trend of increased political violence from right-wing extremists. What these fanatics have in common is a […]

Muslim drive-by shooting of soldiers in Arkansas

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I expressed some concern earlier that the high rate of conversion to Islam by violent criminals in prison is going to lead to an increase in the share of criminal acts by muslims by definition. These criminals’ conversion to Islam, […]

another incident of domestic terrorism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: my mistake. This incident occurred last year in 2008. I’ve edited the text below accordingly. My point in highlighting it is twofold: 1. to illustrate that domestic terrorism is a real concern, and 2. that its not just muslims […]

Tiller, terror, and apologetics

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama tried to turn the page on the abortion debate during his speech at Notre Dame. This weekend, the page was turned firmly back to the status quo, with the murder of Dr. George […]

more on the Newburgh Four; MANA press release

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Some more information has come to light about the four bumbling bronx would-be jihadis, who bonded at a Newburgh, NY mosque before embarking on their pathetic plot. In a nutshell, these are men with extensive criminal histories prior to their […]

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s speech on security and values

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the complete transcript of Obama’s speech at the National Archives about the need to balance security and values. The word cloud shows the word “People” as most prominent, followed by Guantanamo and Security. This fits with the president’s […]

the bronx bombers’ bumbling

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Some thoughts on the foiled plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx: The perpetrators were muslim. They were also black, and converted to Islam in prison. I hear Rod’s complaint but I think he’s being a bit politically correct in […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Hajj hoax

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It seems that there was no plot against the Hajj after all, according to Saudi authorities: JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has denied reports published in a Washington-based online newspaper that Saudi officials had launched a massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda […]

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 […]

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 […]

wretched savage barbaric murdering evil obscene damned

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Believe me, the title of this post is mild praise compared to what these subhuman animals deserve: An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child’s father reported that three men […]

no condemnations, please

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As a follow-up to my earlier disagreement with Rabbi Hirschfield, it’s worth looking at what other muslim bloggers in the Islamsphere have to say about the New York Times article about the Hezbollah death shrine in southern Lebanon: Angry Arab […]

Previous Posts

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 »

Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim
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, ...

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 ...

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

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