Monday, April 30, 2007

The Rise of Russian Muslims

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Despite the rise of xenophobia, the seemingly return of cold war Soviet tactics, and the near mass exodus of Muslims from some areas of Russia; the number of Muslim Russians is on the rise. This encouraging on many levels.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Turkey Served on a Platter

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Turkey is definitely not a Muslim nation and some may argue that it may not be nation of Muslims either (Allah makes Muslims so I defer). The irony is that they have essentially mortgaged their identity and possibly even their national integrity to join the European Union. They ban the hijab, protest a leader that even remotely displays any adherence to Islam, and imitate their European neighbors despite their own rich heritage. Be careful what you ask for because you might get it, and it will be yours to keep. The funny part is that with all of the whitewashing and attempts at assimilation, they are still too Muslim for the EU.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tampa Troubles

I once considered moving to Tampa. Boy an I glad that I didn't. It seems that Tampa Muslims have had more than their fair share of drama. There was a court case with a sister and her hijab, I believe that there was vandalism at the mosque, the usual threats from the local yocals, I think the Feds may have even kicked in some doors, and now there has been a suspected arson at an Islamic school. Man, this is a lot for most people to deal with individual, but collectively it comes dangerously close to making my conspiracy detector tingle. I guess that the least that we can do is keep the brothers and sisters in our duas and avoid Tampa if possible. Come to think of it, Miami and Orlando's reputations aren't that hot either. Just avoid Florida.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Media Confirms Islamophobia May Be Real

Breaking News! Media outlets are beginning to suspect that Islamophobia may be real. Phew! I'm glad. I was beginning to think that the 1.3 billion Muslims throughout the world and especially the 4-7 million that reside in this country were just paranoid. But now I know. Now I know, because the media has finally quasi-confirmed the existence of Islamophobia. Muslims are discriminated against, now I can sleep knowing that I , and the other 1.3 billion Muslims aren't paranoid.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thought Police...American Style

A Muslim Chaplin was the victim of a crime, actually several crimes while employed as the Chaplin for a correctional institution. Given the location of the crimes, this would not sound unusual, but it really is. The crime that gained notice was the defacing of the Chaplin's photo with white -out and racial slurs. What was not seen as a crime was the fact that his computer was confiscated because he had files on it that were titled "jihad" and "terrorism". The files were scholarly works, but astonishes me is the overreaction to have files named this on his computer. I mean really. How many people that would be involved in such activities (and I don't condone those activities) would have files on their work computer with these titles. This is just one more example of how commonsense has given way to paranoia and pretexted discrimination.

Monday, April 23, 2007

PBS Nixes Controversal Film

PBS was planning a film entitled Islam v. Islamists. PBS is reported to have scratched the project in fear of some type of extremist reprisal. Their fear may be rooted in the fact that the project was produced by some members of a conservative think tank. I am not disappointed that PBS pulled the plug in this film. Odds are, the film is not objective or unbiased. So I applaud them for protecting their name by not allowing it to be used as a propaganda tool.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How the Holy Qu'ran was Compiled

Here is a good series by Hamza Yusuf on How the Qu'ran was compiled.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Have You Seen this Man?

This man was last seen on the floor of the Texas State Senate before the ceremonial prayer was given. Before the ceremonial prayer? Could this be why he was missing? Dan Patrick a Republican, Conservative Christian, Lawmaker for Texas left the floor of the Senate because for the first time in Texas history the ceremonial prayer was being given by an Imam. To flavor this story up even more, the Imam was invited by a Jewish lawmaker. You can't make stuff like this up.
It appears that his tolerance for other religions ends with those that he doesn't view as Judeo-Christian. This is just more support for my argument that Texas is not just another state or former nation. It's mentality lends strong credibility to the notion that it may even be a different planet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blocking Backlash

By now the homicidal events at Virginia Tech arewell known, but what is equally as telling is the image that we as Americans have here and globally. Once the identity of the killer was identified, the South Korean government issued three formal condolences within a little more than 24 hour period. This wasn't by coincidence. There is a fear that Korean-Americans and Korean nationals in this country will face discrimination and possible violence from the hands of the local populace. In all honesty, I must admit that I was relieved that the culprit was neither Muslim, African-American, Hispanic, or Arab. We have caught enough heat lately. We can do with more pretexts to be used to justify fear and xenophobia. I believe that this is an opportunity for Muslims to be Muslims. We should be among the first to lend support to Koreans or other Asians that are being mistreated (for some reason ignorance has a problem distinguishing between the various Asian nationalities), which goes to prove that such vile actions are only thinly veiled excuses to act on vitriol elements that exist with the perpetrators heart and personality. We as Muslims and minorities know all to well the feeling of having to bear the weight of the actions individuals that don't represent us as a whole.
On a national level, what does this ay about us a culture. Do we as Americans want to be known as a nation that exacts revenge on an entire ethnic group because of the actions of one or a few. I know that Americans have done this in the past and continue to do this, but we are only accountable for ourselves and those in our charge. Many Muslims do and have done the same thing against other Muslims and non-Muslims. It is gut check time. If this applies to you, then maybe you should reevaluate your interactions and relations with others and seek to be fair to all people regardless of past incidents. As always, I tell myself this before telling you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The New Imam on the Block

Following or rather leading the wave of young Muslims that are stepping out of traditional fields. This brother Imam Khalid Latif has been the Chaplin at Princeton and now is the Chaplin for the New York City Police department. This is one of the many ways that we can share what Islam truly is on a daily basis. May Allah reward him.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Muslim Country Singer


I am constantly challenging Muslims to step beyond the stereotypical cultural norms (as long as it is halal), that is why I found this story of the "Muslim Country Singer" so interesting. In some regards he is the typical overachieving Muslim student and others he is a pioneer of sorts.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

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The six Muslims that were removed from a flight a few months ago decided to sue the airline, that's no surprise. In fact, that is par for the course nowadays. Now they are contemplating suing the passengers on the flight who were responsible for the incident. I was originally split over the whole suing thing. I thought that it was just a reflection of our litigious society, but now I think that it can do some good. People have been given the opportunity to be open minded on their own, historically when they failed to do so, litigation has been a impetus. Walk with me. Here is my rationale. If Muslims began suing when we are blatantly profiled or discriminated against, it would make people and companies less likely to hurl accusations about that result in public mistreatment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Muslim Magazine


A new Muslim magazine has hit the market. Like many of the latest magazines in the Muslim genre, this magazine is focused on Muslimenas. Teens to be exact. I wouldn't mind seeing one that marketed to Muslim American men. I think that a display of diversity is a good thing, and magazines are good vehicle to achieve cross-pollination within the community. The Muslim-centric publications that I have come across (Horizons, Jummah, and another that I can't recall at the moment) I have really enjoyed. It is also good to see the Ummah extending beyond the same stereotypical professions (Doctor, Engineer, Car Dealer...etc).

Monday, April 09, 2007

An Islamic History of Europe....Straight from the BBC

This is a very interesting documentary that I came upon. It provides the long ignored link between Muslims in Europe and the rise of "Western" culture.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Target Moves Muslims

In a move to please everyone, Target has decided to move Muslims who refuse to ring up Pork products, off the registers. This is a prime example of how an amicable resolution can be had, especially when there is money on the line. I wouldn't be surprised if Target Management were sitting around their boardroom and asking themselves what would Wal-Mart do?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Islamic Center of Tucson Vandalized.....Again!

The Islamic Center of Tucson was vandalized this past week (Sunday to exact). This is the second time in as many months. This is disheartening on several levels. I use to wonder why the masjid was not left unlocked 24 hours a day? This way people could come in and make salaat any time of the day or night, any time of the year. Unfortunately, I have come to see that this is not something that is practical or realistic in this society. The ignorance and fears of others leads them to transgress in cowardice and reprehencable manners.
On the other hand, it also raises some rather obvious queries for anyone who has attended the ICT. There are cameras in the two major entrances to the building. Are these cameras just decoys or are they not functioning? I was under the impression that these cameras where in response to similar acts of vandalism and tresspassing in the past? What actions were taken after the first of the most recent break-ins?
I hope that one result of the recent break-ins/vandalism is not that the ICT becomes more restrictive more restrictive with building access to worshipers. A few possible solutions would be to invest in a quality security system for the facility, hire a private security firm for evening hours, place working cameras throughout the building, or a combination of these suggestions and ones that I may have overlooked. The ICT should probably consider itself fortunate that the latest break-ins/vandalism was not worse than it was. Now would be a good time to do what we can to limit or prevent future incidents. Knowing the good people on the board of the ICT, I'm sure that they are already on it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Did You Hear That?


As Muslims, we can at times be paranoid to a fault. Some of the best conspiracy theories are of our own design, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Here is an article where the government has been using cellphones to listen in on people (only bad people, suspicious people, or people who could be potentially bad or suspicious). I'm not talking about the garden variety switcharoo, where one phone is switch for an exact duplicate. I am not even talking about a tap on cellphone line. I am talking about using the cellphone that you buy straight out of the box to listen to you. The doesn't even need to be on. Scary hah. It's not scary because anyone is doing something wrong, it is scary because your privacy can be invaded with warning or notification. All it takes is suspicion of suspicion, which means that all Muslim cellphones are being listened in on (the next conspiracy theory!).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Get Up ! Stand Up!

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A Muslim couple on a bus reported the driver to the owning company for jokes and down right racist remarks about Muslims. This story illustrates two things. The first is that there are a pleathora of ignorant people employed throughout this nation. The second is that Muslims need to stand up to this type of poisonous rhetoric that infects the ears that hear it. This incident is also a wake up call for all of those who believe that Muslims can shave off their beards, remove their hijabs, and just fit in like everyone else. What ends up happening is that you are allowed to hear what they really think of you. At the end of the day, you all that you can do is trust in Allah and keep it moving.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Don't Have It? Then Start It!

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Students in the Bronx want to have the Eid holidays recognized like Christmas and Yom Kippur. I think that the days should be recognized, but if they aren't there is always another alternative. Muslims can ope QUALITY Islamic schools that offer both a rigorous and balanced, academic and Islamic studies curriculum. The next step is for Muslims to actually send their children to Islamic schools. Seems so simple, but somehow it eludes most Muslim communities across the country.