Friday, October 26, 2018

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: President Trump Is the Greatest Threat to National Security

There’s Something Suspicious Going On With Georgia’s Voting Machines

Sources: MTA tells task force that system-wide repairs could run $60B

Is This Finally the Reckoning for the Catholic Church on Sexual Abuse? (Oct. 22, 2018)`

 Patricia Miller

A Justice Department investigation marks a major turning point in the decades-long sexual abuse crisis, but there are indications the Church will not surrender without a fight.

Religious Freedom May Now Include Discrimination Against Jews and Muslims (Oct. 25, 2018)

 Heron Greenesmith
South Carolina governor Henry McMaster moved to protect Miracle Hill and other agencies that want to to discriminate against Jews and others and continue to receive government funding.

“Nusrat Amin’s ‘Treasury of Knowledge’: Exploring the Shi’ite Qur’an Commentary of a 20th Century Female Scholar.”

Hartford Seminary welcomed Dr. Maria Massi Dakake of George Mason University on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, for a lecture she called: “Nusrat Amin’s ‘Treasury of Knowledge’: Exploring the Shi’ite Qur’an Commentary of a 20th Century Female Scholar.”
Dr. Dakake said very little research had been done on Nusrat Amin, an Iranian scholar who lived from 1886-1983, possibly because she was a woman and a fairly conventional one religiously. But her 15-volume Qur’an commentary, which Dr. Dakake found in the library at Princeton University, is worth studying.
The entire lecture can be viewed below:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Kathleen Moore: The Unfamiliar Abode: Islamic Law in the United States and Britain

Explores the development of new forms of Islamic law and legal reasoning in the US and Great Britain

The first to offer a close examination of the emergence of a contingent legal consciousness over the last two decades
Today there are more Muslims living in diaspora than at any time in history. This situation was not envisioned by Islamic law, which makes no provision for permanent as opposed to transient diasporic communities. Western Muslims are therefore faced with the necessity of developing an Islamic law for Muslim communities living in non-Muslim societies. 
In this book, Kathleen Moore explores the development of new forms of Islamic law and legal reasoning in the US and Great Britain, as well the Muslims encountering Anglo-American common law and its unfamiliar commitments to pluralism and participation, and to gender, family, and identity. 
The underlying context is the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7, the two attacks that arguably recast the way the West views Muslims and Islam. Islamic jurisprudence, Moore notes, contains a number of references to various 'abodes' and a number of interpretations of how Muslims should conduct themselves within those worlds. These include the dar al harb (house of war), dar al kufr (house of unbelievers), and dar al salam (house of peace). 
How Islamic law interprets these determines the debates that take shape in and around Islamic legality in these spaces. Moore's analysis emphasizes the multiplicities of law, the tensions between secularism and religiosity. She is the first to offer a close examination of the emergence of a contingent legal consciousness shaped by the exceptional circumstances of being Muslim in the U.S and Britain in the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century

Sharia Revoiced

Shari'a Revoiced is a three-year collaborative project of the UC Humanities Research Institute's Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs (RIDAGA) Initiative. Funding provided by the Henry R. Luce Foundation.

"His Body Was Behind the Wheel for a Week Before It Was Discovered. This Was His Life."

A software designer ended his life in his parked car in the East Village. His family asked the police for help finding him, but met resistance."

via Ruth

The Independent UK: Donald Trump urged to intervene in case of Saudi student facing execution for protesting the Kingdom's rulers (July 20, 2017)

Monday, October 22, 2018

"I want to be a traveler in this world."

I want to be a traveler in this world. Ya Allah, Ya Rahman, Most Merciful God, help me to achieve it.
Help me as this night reaches it's darkest of shades to realize that I am only a pilgrim on this earth and make me from amongst those who embrace the way of the traveler. Help me to live the advice of Your Beloved صلى الله عليه وسلم to be in this world as a traveler. Keep me from being too attached to worldly possessions and make me from those who live as true travelers would. Oh God of this pilgrimage that is my life journey, put into my heart the desire to always take the traveller's way and set my journey's destination be only the best in the world beyond this world. Help me to keep all of my senses focused on You so that whatever I encounter as I move in any direction, I draw closer to You through it.
Along the way send me only those who will be the best of helpers and make me a means of benefit for all those who I meet. Keep me from those who would cause me and harm or affliction and never let me be the cause of pain to anyone
Make my travel light and free of worldly pursuits, and make me from those who simply trust in You for all that I need. My heart sometimes feels so burdened and heavy, and sometimes it feels stronger than strong. Whether is a step of pain, perseverance, patience, or pleasure, make it a step of benefit and one that reminds me that this journey is never finished until I reach its ultimate end. Make me from the people of jannah ya Rabb.
I want to be a traveler. Ya Allah, by Your Love and Mercy make me one. Ameen.

Khalid Latif

 4 mins

New Book: The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment by Alexander Bevilacqua (Harvard University Press, 2018)

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic of Arabic Letters reconstructs this process, revealing the influence of Catholic and Protestant intellectuals on the secular Enlightenment understanding of Islam and its written traditions.
Drawing on Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, and Latin sources, Alexander Bevilacqua’s rich intellectual history retraces the routes—both mental and physical—that Christian scholars traveled to acquire, study, and comprehend Arabic manuscripts. The knowledge they generated was deeply indebted to native Muslim traditions, especially Ottoman ones. Eventually the translations, compilations, and histories they produced reached such luminaries as Voltaire and Edward Gibbon, who not only assimilated the factual content of these works but wove their interpretations into the fabric of Enlightenment thought.
The Republic of Arabic Letters shows that the Western effort to learn about Islam and its religious and intellectual traditions issued not from a secular agenda but from the scholarly commitments of a select group of Christians. These authors cast aside inherited views and bequeathed a new understanding of Islam to the modern West. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"In Shaykh's Clothing"

Tarrant County woman accuses religious leader of sexual exploitation (Oct 19. 2018)

Neil Brenner: Is the world urban? Published: Feb. 9, 2018

In what sense is the 21st century world "urban"? In this lecture, Neil Brenner critiques contemporary ideologies of the "urban age," which confront this question with reference to the purported fact that more than 50% of the world's population resides within cities. Against such demographic, city-centric understandings, Brenner excavates Henri Lefebvre's notion of generalized urbanization for conceptual and methodological insights into the 21st century planetary urban condition. He argues that the geographies of urbanization can no longer be conceptualized exclusively with reference to cities and metropolitan regions, but today encompass diverse patterns and pathways of sociospatial and ecological transformation across the planetary sociospatial landscape, from Manhattan to the Matterhorn, from the Pearl River Delta to Mount Everest, from the Nile River valley to the Pacific Ocean. This variegated urban fabric must become the focal point for new approaches to urban theory, strategies of collective intervention and imaginaries of built and unbuilt environments. 

Professor Neil Brenner (Harvard School of Design)

Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD).  His writing and teaching focus on the theoretical, conceptual and methodological dimensions of urban questions.  His work builds upon, and seeks to extend, the fields of critical urban and regional studies, comparative geopolitical economy and critical sociospatial theory.  Major research foci include processes of urban and regional restructuring and uneven spatial development; planetary urbanization; cities and hinterlands in geohistorical and world-ecological perspective; the problem of spatial visualization in urban studies; and processes of state spatial restructuring, with particular reference to the remaking of urban governance configurations under neoliberalizing capitalism.
In 2014, Brenner was selected as a Thompson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (  Based on Web of Science data, his publications were ranked among the top 1% most cited globally in the general social sciences between 2002 and 2012.
Brenner’s most recent books are New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question(New York: Oxford University Press, 2019); Critique of Urbanization: Selected Essays (Basel: Bauwelt Fundamente Series, Birkhäuser Verlag, 2016); Teoría urbana crítica y políticas de escala (in Spanish; edited and translated by Alvaro Sevilla-Buitrago; Barcelona: Icaria, colección Espacios Críticos, 2016); Stato, spazio, urbanizzazione (in Italian; edited and translated by Teresa Pullano; Milan: Guerini, 2016); The explosion of the urban / La explosion de lo urbano (Spanish and English; Santiago de Chile: ARQ ediciones, 2016); and the edited volume, Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization (Jovis, 2014).
Forthcoming books include Is the World Urban? Towards a Critique of Geospatial Ideology(with Nikos Katsikis; Barcelona: Actar, 2019).  Other collections of his writings are forthcoming in Chinese under the title 城市,地域,星球:批判城市理论 / City, Territory, Planet: Studies in Critical Urban Theory (Beijing: Commercial Press, 2018); and in Portuguese under the title Espaços de Urbanização:  Estudios sobre Teoria Crítica Urbana(Observatório das Metrópoles series, Letra Capital Editora: Rio de Janeiro, 2018).
Brenner’s previous books include New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood (Oxford University Press, 2004) and the co-edited volumes Cities for People, not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City (with Peter Marcuse and Margit Mayer; Routledge 2011); Henri Lefebvre, State, Space, World (with Stuart Elden; co-translated with Gerald Moore and Stuart Elden, University of Minnesota Press, 2009); The Global Cities Reader (with Roger Keil; Routledge, 2006); Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructuring in North America and Western Europe (with Nik Theodore; Blackwell, 2003); and State/Space: A Reader (with Bob Jessop, Martin Jones and Gordon MacLeod; Blackwell, 2002).  Brenner’s books, scholarly articles and essays have been translated into other languages, including Chinese, Croatian, Finnish, French, Hungarian, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.  With Christian Schmid of the ETH-Zurich, Brenner is also engaged in a long-term collaborative project on planetary urbanization.
In 2015-2016, along with his collaborators in the Urban Theory Lab, Brenner co-produced Operational LandscapesTowards an Alternative Cartography of World Urbanization, an exhibition which explores the extension of an urban fabric into some of the world’s most apparently “remote” regions, including the Amazon, the Arctic, the Gobi desert, the Himalayas, the Pacific Ocean, the Sahara desert and Siberia, as well as the earth’s atmosphere.  The work was exhibited at the Melbourne School of Design, the Yale School of Architecture, the School of Architecture/Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and (in a collaboration with Milica Topalovic and Christian Schmid, ETH Zurich/Future Cities Lab Singapore) the Shenzhen Biennale, Radical Urbanism.
Brenner has held visiting professorships in several universities, including the Lim Chong Yah Visiting Professorship (Department of Geography, National University of Singapore), the Wibaut Chair of Urban Studies (Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and Development Studies, University of Amsterdam and the Bard Prison Initiative Distinguished Visiting Professorship (Bard College).  Brenner is a former Chief Editor of the Studies in Urban and Social Change (SUSC) book series (Blackwell-Wiley), former Interventions and Book Reviews Editor of Antipode and a former editorial board member of International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies and Urban Affairs Review. 
Prior to his appointment to the GSD, Brenner was Professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at New York University, where he also served as Director of NYU’s Metropolitan Studies Program.  Brenner has co-supervised Ph.D. research in Sociology, Geography, History, Political Science, American Studies, Law & Society, Urban Planning and Architecture, among other fields.

The Economist: The British Museum’s new Islamic world gallery is a triumph (Oct 18 2018)

Bill McKibben: Let's Agree Not to Kill One Another

Nicholas Kristof: Desperately Seeking Principled Republicans

Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider

Trump Wagers That Voters Will Shrug at a Saudi Storm

NYT Editorial Board: A Saudi Prince’s Fairy Tale (Oct 20, 2018)

Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005)