I started City of Brass in March 2002 at Blogspot, and moved to Beliefnet in August 2008. Over a thousand posts and a million page views later, it is time to end this chapter and start a new one. However, I am not technically going anywhere – Beliefnet recently acquired Patheos, where I am going…

My friend Taha Raja just finished Arbaeen, a 53-mile walk on foot from Najaf to Karbala in Iraq, a pilgrimage for remembrance of Imam Husain’s sacrifice for Islam and humanity. Inshallah I will someday soon take part, but in the meantime, I was privileged to share in Taha’s journey, as he posted updates during the…

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Third in a series; See Arbaeen Day 2 for the previous entry. Post 1278. close to the right turn to go to the city center of Kerbala. Resting with a Iranian Tea which is a light blend of black tea and water with lots of sugar.…

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Second in a series; See Arbaeen Day 1 for the previous entry. Post 580. It 5:30am and we resumed our walk to Kerbala. Breakfast on the road. Samoon (Iraqi fresh bread) with lentil soup a tradition for millennia of the Bedouins. Hit Iraqi black tea with…

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Post 53. Today I started my journey on Arbaeen, a 53 mile walk from the city of Najaf to Kerbala. An annual event that marks one of the largest human gatherings in the world. I am at the 1/3 mark and I have experienced the best…

Call it the Weinstein Effect: other serial abusers are being systematically outed, not by single accusers by by legions of women speaking out in solidarity. This is why the #MeToo campaign exists, to provide collective voice and solidarity to women who are victims of sexual abuse but fear the consequences of speaking out alone. I…

Shabana Mir’s blog is (at least) a decade old! Congratulations, Shabana – Koonj (The Crane) is one of the pioneers of the Islamsphere, and earned a runner-up Brass Crescent Award as far back as 2006. Shabana is just as relevant as ever though. Her latest post is a courageous piece inspired by the #MeToo movement…

Traveling to Karachi from the US is not easy. But traveling back is even worse. I returned a couple weeks ago from my trip and have been coping with the usual jet lag and GI/respiratory baggage that comes from an extended trip to the far side. The pace of events during Ashara itself was too…

Every year, I travel to attend the Ashara Mubaraka majlis (gathering), with the spiritual leader of my community, the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims. Last year, I went to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; the year before was on my home turf of Houston. I have been attending regularly for almost a decade now – starting with Colombo…

I don’t write about 9-11 every year, because on the 12th anniversary I looked back at over a decade of writing about it and realized I had nothing much left to say. On the 13th anniversary, I said, and I still believe, that: The simple truth is that our response to 9-11 – the Afghan…

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