Saturday, January 7, 2017

Nature by Numbers - Recommended by Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah

A Humble Mountain: An Interview with Zaid Shakir on the Passing of Muhammad Ali by Aaron Sellars

In Popovich [head coach of the San Antonio Spurs], a philosopher [Prof. Cornel West] finds inspiration (January 3, 2017)

“Brother Popovich has a moral and spiritual authority that’s rare in America,” West said. “It’s partly because he’s true to himself. ”He’s not concerned just about what’s being bought and sold. He’s concerned about what’s being lived and laughed and struggled for.”

"BALDWIN'S NIGGER" (James Baldwin and Dick Gregory)

A 1969 conversation with writer James Baldwin and Dick Gregory in London about the black experience in America and how it relates to the Caribbean and Great Britain. Directed by Horace Ové.

A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam The Essence of Islam in 12 Verses from the Qur’an

“Easy to read, easy to understand and easy to swallow and digest. It very beautifully explains what Islam really is, how it is explained in its sacred texts, and how it has been understood throughout centuries by the overwhelming majority of Muslims.” —Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani  
“A very much needed book, comprehensive, yet concise, easy to read, and authoritative. A must-read book.” —Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi 
 “A salient account of a mighty faith drawn in deft strokes by an insider. Edifying, broad, and stimulating.” —Shaykh Nuh Keller  
“Much anxiety comes from not properly understanding what others think or believe. One example today is the widespread misunderstanding of Islam. So when a respected scholar of Islamic philosophy such as Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad writes A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam, it is of global significance. I welcome the publication of this book, convinced that interested readers will find much in it to inspire them and set their minds at rest.” —H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

I Am Not Your Negro - Official Trailer

Cornel West on Donald Trump: This is What Neo-Fascism Looks Like

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Barack Obama in the Harvard Law Review: The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform

Changing Structures of Islamic Authority and Consequences for Social Change: A Transnational Review (CSIA)

The Walking Qur'an Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa By Rudolph T. Ware III

Spanning a thousand years of history--and bringing the story to the present through ethnographic fieldwork in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania--Rudolph Ware documents the profound significance of Qur'an schools for West African Muslim communities. Such schools peacefully brought Islam to much of the region, becoming striking symbols of Muslim identity. Ware shows how in Senegambia the schools became powerful channels for African resistance during the eras of the slave trade and colonization. While illuminating the past, Ware also makes signal contributions to understanding contemporary Islam by demonstrating how the schools' epistemology of embodiment gives expression to classical Islamic frameworks of learning and knowledge.

Today, many Muslims and non-Muslims find West African methods of Qur'an schooling puzzling and controversial. In fascinating detail, Ware introduces these practices from the viewpoint of the practitioners, explicating their emphasis on educating the whole human being as if to remake it as a living replica of the Qur'an. From this perspective, the transference of knowledge in core texts and rituals is literally embodied in people, helping shape them--like the Prophet of Islam--into vital bearers of the word of God.

About the Author

Rudolph T. Ware III is assistant professor of history at the University of Michigan.


"An excellent and needed contribution to understanding classical Islamic learning methods."
--American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
"Full of bold moves….An important book whose provocative and controversial exploration of the phenomenology and epistemologies of West African Islam…succeeds in reopening the scholarship and public debate about Islam, not only in West Africa but also in the Muslim world."
--Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
"A fascinating new account of the history of taalibes."
--Book and Ideas
"Outstanding…With [this] publication, Ware has established his reputation as an authority on West African history and Islamic epistemology."
--Harvard Divinity Bulletin
“A compelling account of Muslim epistemology and a strong contribution to African history.”
--Journal of Africana Religions

"Full of original ideas and interpretations, Ware's model of embodied Qur'anic learning is an important contribution to our understanding of Islam in Africa."
--Nile Green, University of California, Los Angeles

James Traub: Donald Trump: Making the World Safe for Dictators

James Traub: NYT Book Review: The End of Intervention: Two Books Explore the American Catastrophe in the Middle East (August 31, 2016)

Democrats prep bill to fight Trump’s Muslim registry plans

Dr. Sherman A. Jackson: Politically Speaking, Who Am I, And What Do I Want As An American Muslim?

Annual Ridgewood-Glen Rock Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Is Jan. 16 [featuring Imam Zaid Shakir]

Monday, January 2, 2017

Black Lives Matter | Imam Zaid Shakir | Festival of Faiths 2016

Letter to Ilyasah Shabazz

November 25, 2016

Ms. Ilyasah Shabazz

Dear Ilyasah,

Please accept my thanks for your gifts. I appreciate your sharing your father’s story with me.

Progress in our country comes from heroes like your father who fight and agitate for a future in which no one is denied basic rights. The poetry of Malcolm’s words and his uncompromising demands for respect had a profound influence on me as a young man. While more remains to be done to ensure every American is treated equally, passionate, engaged women and men are carrying forward your father’s proud legacy by working to secure equality in our time and for generations to come.

Again, thank you. I wish you all the best.


Barack Obama