Friday, December 16, 2011

Tonight: In Conversation with Dr. Umar "Living Islam with Purpose"

Tonight, Friday Dec 16, from 7pm-9pm EST: In Conversation with Dr. Umar: In-depth “town hall” style discussion. Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, Shaykh Afroz Ali (From SeekersHub Sydney and Al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences & Human Development in Australia) and other guests will discuss Islam and culture in historical and contemporary contexts. Discussions will be centered around relevant papers authored by Dr. Umar. Join us in person or live online: The paper being discussed tonight is "Living Islam with Purpose" and can be found here:
via SeekersGuidance

Also available here:

Quote on politics, culture, Cultural Studies and Stuart Hall

The rethinking of socialism represented as significant break with pre-1956 Marxism because of its singular "preoccupation with 'culture'"[8]. The New Left was preoccupied with "culture," a crucial element for Hall, as a means of challenging and reconceptualizing the dominant understanding of social practices in British society. This conception of culture encompassed a broad sphere of human existence: music, sport, leisure activities, youth culture, morality, and articulations of national identity. The articulation of the New Left's cultural politics marked a crucial transition in British intellectual life. The emergence of the New Left represents the moment in which the Scrutiny (and Bloomsbury) tradition of highbrow literature as culture was critiqued (and tentatively replaced) by a more popular understanding of the practices of everyday life. For all the ostensible differences between these two cultural modes, however, the fledgling 1950s movement that would mature into an as-yet-unnamed practice called cultural studies was as much as an evolution of the Cambridge University-based journal as it was a commentary on Scrutiny's ideological shortcomings. [9] In The Moment of "Scrutiny" Francis Mulhern briefly (and, quite unintentionally) delineates the similarities, differences, and intellectual links between the two movements: "Anti-fascist, anti-war, anti-capitalist, and yet unable to accommodate itself to socialism, even in the latitudinarian popular-frontist version of the late thirties-Scrutiny's eventual recoil from socialist politics was indicative of its general failure to make the practical connection between 'culture' and organized politics." [10]
-Grant Farred, What's My Name: Black Vernacular Intellectuals, 156.

Zahid H. Bukhari on CNN My Take: Pulling 'All-American Muslim' ads is bad business

On Religion: A One-Man War on American Muslims

via Dustin and Iram

The 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World

via Irfana

One of my history professors was saying how the Bobst library was clearly designed by someone not familiar with libraries...(see here)

Best Religious Books of 2011: HuffPost Religion's Top 11

I Speak For Myself made #2. 45 American Men on Being Muslim will be available in the summer God willing.

Iram Ali: re: AAM, Lowe’s, NDAA

This is the video FOX removed from YouTube - Ron Paul

Beyond Eeny Meeny Miny Moe: Sorting Out the G.O.P. Field

"If you're a libertarian, go for Ron Paul. If you like science fiction, go for Newt Gingrich."

A Litmus Test for the All-American Muslim Community «

Via Iram

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The importance of Dr. Mattson's piece on dogs & All-American Muslims

Read Dr. Mattson's article (posted previously) in light of this complaint from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (via this piece by 'Hollywood Reporter').

Also see Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl's entry on “Dogs in the Islamic Tradition and Nature”and "a fatwa on dogs".

You can watch the fifth (and previous) episode(s) of All American Muslim here online. (For help with watching on icefilms, see this guide).

If you missed Jon Stewart's awesome segment on this, see it here.


President Obama to sign U.S. into Police State: Demand a Veto of NDAA of 2012 (via Usama Canon via IMAN) (via Zahra)

Obama to approve indefinite detention and torture of Americans — RT

Via KLatif

In Conversation with Dr. Umar Abd-Allah: Islam and The Cultural Imperative - 10 Dec 2011

Check out this video on YouTube:

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah On Spiritual Guidance: Commentary on Ibn Ata'illah's Hikam - 10 Dec 2011

Check out this video on YouTube:

Al Jazeera Documentary - Muslims of France - Citizens (45 min)

(Yet to watch)

White House Highlights Linda Sarsour as a “Champion of Change” Who Is Giving Back

Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. Currently she is the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Coordinator for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a network of 22 Arab American organizations in 11 states including the District of Columbia, nationwide where she conducts trainings nationally on the importance of civic engagement in the Arab and Muslim American community. Locally she serves as the Director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social service agency serving the Arab community in NYC. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of community development, youth empowerment, community organizing, civic engagement and immigrants’ rights advocacy.

Take Action - Congress Sends Letter To Lowe’s

The National Lowe’s Boycott Network

 The National Lowe’s Boycott Network is a grassroots effort and campaign started by activists across the country in wake of the Lowes decision to pull advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim.” Those involved in the campaign come from a broad spectrum of religious, ethnic and professional backgrounds – one thing they do have in common is their united stand against hate and bigotry.

via Iram

Video of Dr. Sherman Jackson & Dr. Cornel West on "Reflections\Problems of Black Suffering" (March 29, 2010)

(was revisiting this)

New book: Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

Romance, dating, sex and - Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love, showing just how varied the search for love can be--from singles' events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.

These heartfelt narratives are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. Finding herself twice-divorced and the mother of a young son, an African-American woman wonders if she'll be alone forever in a community obsessed with youth and race. A young girl defies her South Asian parents' cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results.

These compelling stories create an irresistible balance of heartwarming and provocative, revealing and deeply moving.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fwd: Personal, Urgent Request - The Final Push: 59 hours left to make a difference (+ 7 FAQs)

Begin forwarded message:

From: Chris Blauvelt <>
Date: December 14, 2011 4:15:25 PM EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Personal, Urgent Request - The Final Push: 59 hours left to make a difference (+ 7 FAQs)

As salaam alaikum,

Alhamdulillah we're in the final push to raise money to establish the first privately-funded Muslim Chaplain at a public university!

Thank you for everyone who has contributed thus far, here are the stats to date:
  • 181 funders
  • $21,955
  • 59 hours remaining
Only $3000 left to reach our goal!  That translates to a ~$50 donation every hour, not too bad :D  More importantly though, let's get the number to 300 funders - it's a lot easier than it sounds, everyone just needs to give today and get 1-2 friends to do the same - it all ends on Friday!

A lot of people have had questions about the campaign, here are the most frequently asked ones:
  1. Are you going to be doing this every year?  No, this is a one-time effort to engage students, alumni & local community to be aware of the new position and feel invested into its creation.
  2. Will this always be a part-time chaplain?  No, our goal is to turn it into a full-time chaplain in a year and a half inshallah
  3. How will this be sustainable then?  We have an incredible Board of Trustees and Alumni Association behind the effort, with plans to start fundraising as soon as next semester for the future
  4. How are you selecting a chaplain?  The Board of Trustees has been working for a year now in collaboration with other Muslim chaplains, alumni and students on campus to develop the job description, bring in applicants, and review candidates.  Ultimately the student feedback is of the greatest concern.  To see who is on the Board of Trustees and Alumni Association visit here and here.
  5. What if I want to be involved with the chaplaincy at UM?  We're always looking to get great people involved, and there is so much work to do - please contact me to become a volunteer or adviser to the project!
  6. How can we do this at our University?  About half a dozen schools have asked us this, so we will be hosting a free conference/call webinar next week to help those alumni or students interested in doing this at there school get started.  If interested just email me directly
  7. Who will the chaplain be?  Stay tuned! ;)

Daily Show: Newt Gingrich's Poverty Code - Larry Wilmore analyzes Newt Gingrich's janitorial solution to America's poverty problem.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Newt Gingrich's Poverty Code
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The problem with Gingrich’s simplistic attack on sharia

Think Progress on The Dangers Of Gingrich’s War Against Islam

Dr. Umar on Career Choices

"A blog should probably be more than just quotes," you may say. Yes, I agree (I'm try to work on that...) But I also feel that there's just these brilliant pieces of work out there that I know have been so insightful for me and I would like to share because a lot of times they may not be that well-known, so I feel that if I can connect those thoughts and writings with more people, that itself would be a service, no?

That being said, this is one of my favorite quotes. I think it sort of defines or is an inspiration for what I hope to do now - study the social sciences and humanities and tie that with a foundation in the Islamic sciences..

This is from Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah in his most recent Nawawi paper called "Living Islam with Purpose:"

(and yes, I'm crazy and I actually typed this up from the pdf file :)

All professions and fields of learning that serve the community's material and cultural needs fall under societal obligations. There can be no place in the community for elitism; any honest profession is a good profession. Whether a person is driving a taxi or working in a hospital emergency room, each livelihood helps serve a vital societal function. Too often, however, our community's attitudes toward career choices and professions have everything to do with money and social status and little to do with our overall societal needs as a developing Muslim community in America.

Medicine, engineering, and a number of other well-paying fields are well represented, if not over represented in the American Muslim community. They have indisputable value, but the community's tendency to socially compartmentalize desirable careers within this limited range stultifies our future. Social sciences like psychology, sociology, and anthropology are often mistakenly regarded as less worthy because they are not as lucrative and do not afford elite status in our community. In reality, the social sciences play a critical role in modern society and constitute key priorities for American Muslims. They serve the community's essential interests in areas such as mental health, social welfare, and cultural development. Our ability to function effectively as Muslims in modern society requires a nuanced understanding of modernity. Such an understanding falls squarely within the competence of the social sciences. It is a primary societal obligation for American Muslims to develop sufficient cadres of well-trained social scientists whose research is not only of use to the Muslim community but is valuable to the greater society at large.

Specializations in the humanities like history, modern thought, philosophy, and literature are widely considered in our community as marginal, but they too are necessary and meet essential societal obligations similar to those of the social sciences. They impart a wider view of the world; how its past relates to its present and future; and the seminal ideas of our times. They give direct access to effective cross-cultural understanding and intellectual development and enable the community to take interpretive control of itself and its religion in a contemporary context."
[Originally posted on April 28, 2009]

Zareena Grewal, Keith Ellison and others on NPR's On Point re: "All-American Muslim" live now

Hamza Yusuf: Don’t Let Wikipedia Become Wickedmedia

Relating to what inspires me to share things here :)
There is something in us that loves to share. The great Persian theologian, Fakhrudin al-Razi, said that discoveries are without enjoyment if they are not shared, and even a child, upon discovering something new, runs frantically to find someone to share it with. As adults, we love to share knowledge because we know, deep down, that it doesn’t belong to any individual but to everyone.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson: What's Up With Muslims and Dogs?

via Khalid Latif

Islamophobia & Military Bases: Ron Paul Video: IMAGINE! China Invades America!

The MeccOdyssey: ICNYU Umrah Trip 2012

Chris Murphy to Lowe's: You're Better Than This

Lowe’s Boycott Of TLC Muslim Reality Show Leaves Jon Stewart Flabbergasted

"Don't talk to me about Muhammad (pbuh)!"

Check out this video on YouTube:

Ron Paul on the Alex Jones Show

Check out this video on YouTube:

The Prophet Speaks - Deen Intensive in Dearborn with Shaykh Dawood Yasin

Schedule for Reviving The Islamic Spirit Conference

Via Rayad

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One of my favorite scenes/quotes from LOTR. 1080p HD

Via Tarek :) Check out this video on YouTube:

ALIM Winter Program in Detroit, MI, Jan 13-15th: Prophet Muhammad (s): Real and Relevant Justice. Responsibility. Action.

This year’s ALIM Winter Program is coming to Detroit, Michigan over Martin Luther King Weekend in 2012, insha-Allah.

The program will utilize Sirah as a lens to focus on issues relating to making the Prophet (S) real and relevant for the individual and collective lives of Muslims in contemporary America. We will seek to enhance our understanding of the intrinsic Islamic values of social justice, personal responsibility, and call to action. By identifying the gap between principle and implementation, we will work towards fostering an actionable plan for the future.

Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of North America

Just found this site as I was researching for a paper I'm writing (on hookah)...

SeekersGuidance - Video: An Introduction to Said Nursi - Dr. Aref Ali Nayed - Blog

Dr. Umar Abd-Allah: Session of Divine Remembrance, & Commentary on Ibn Ata'illah's Aphorisms

Check out this video on YouTube:

Newt Gingrich: Selling Access

Check out this video on YouTube:

Newt Gingrich’s faith journey: How a thrice-married Catholic became an evangelical darling

via Eboo Patel

Talk by Imam/Shaykh/UPenn Muslim Chaplain Marc Manley - "The Journey Within"

"The journey to Islam is different for each person: for some it takes many years, It is important that we as converts foster an environment that is open and welcoming to our families."

Marc is a beloved brother, ma sha Allah. :)

Cucumber “fatwa” seems to be only shoddy reporting - updated 12/10 Sheila Musaji via Irfana

Monday, December 12, 2011

C.L.R. James Quote

“The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary passion soon appeased.” (C.L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, 89)

via Ebrahim Moosa

Sign On Protesting The Pull Out of Ads During All American Muslim

Via Iram

DEEN TIGHT Documentary (Official Trailer)

Check out this video on YouTube:

The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD)

The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) is a faith-based, community service organization, working within a multi-faith frame, focused on the following areas hunger relief and food security, health education, transitional needs of new immigrants.

via Ustadh Abdullah

"Toba Tek Singh" [a short story] by Sadat Hasan Manto

Also see:

[Taking a Topics in South Asian History class this semester and writing my final paper on the Partition...]

India Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 2 of 6

Check out this video on YouTube:

India Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 1 of 6

Check out this video on YouTube:

Ron Paul Highlights at the ABC News / Yahoo Iowa GOP Debate

Check out this video on YouTube:


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bronx food pantries run by Muslim Women’s Initiative will close as funding vanishes, demand rises

via Priya

Dawud Walid: ‘All-American Muslim’, Park51 & the Culture War Against American Muslims

Khulasat al-Madad al-Nabawi: A Compilation of Prophetic Invocations by Habib Umar (in pdf)

via Imad

Dr. Ali Mermer

Dr. Ali Mermer holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Durham, UK. He is currently the Islamic Chaplain at Queens College and has helped facilitate the development of Quranic study groups at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University for the past four years.

You can find his dissertation online on "Aspects of religious identity : The Nurcu movement in Turkey today" (577 pages in 1985 ma sha Allah).

You can also find recordings of halaqas or discussions with him here.

It's been a blessing to study and get to know him more recently ma sha Allah.