Friday, May 27, 2011

New book with local ties examines Muslims, Jews — and ther common ground (one of the co-editors is Reza Aslan)

Omid Safi on Modern Muslims & the Qur'an

Muslims, particularly in modern times, make a sharp delineation between the authority of the Qur'an and that of other sources, even the words of Muhammad (hadith). Yet it is worth noting that while Muslims have always privileged and prioritized the Qur'an as the supreme source of authority, the Qur'an has never been for Muslims the sole source of authority. To put it differently, prior to the last few decades, Muslims had not historically adopted the Sola scriptura ("by scripture alone") notions that came to characterize the Protestant Reformation approach to reading scripture. It is only very recently that some Muslims have become so suspicious of all non-Qur'anic Islamic texts that they have sought to abandon everything but the Qur'an as a reliable source for Islamic thought. Before the present day, Muslims have been more similar to Jews and Catholics, who have always looked at scripture through the multiple lenses of the later tradition - a tradition that for Muslims was shaped by the words of Muhammad, extra-scriptural stories ("Tales of the Prophets"), oral narratives, mystical tales, and other texts. In addition, with the exception of select groups like the Kharijis, who were deemed extreme, Muslims always approached the Qur'an through the authority of interpreters. In other words, they understood that scripture never speaks by itself but it is always interpreted and mediated through human voices. Another way of saying the same thing is to point out that until the twentieth century, no Muslim would have looked at the index of the Qur'an (or done a Google search) to find out what was expected of them. Divine guidance began with the text, but was always mediated through authoritative - human - teachers.
 -Omid Safi, Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters, pg. 165-166

‘Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra’ at the New York Botanical Garden - Review

via Justin Benavidez :)

Imam teaches Islam with a distinct U.S. style (Profile on Imam Suhaib Webb),0,5640663.story

via Faiza

Excerpt from an important book by Tony Judt - "Ill Fares the Land"

Paul Krugman: Medicare and Mediscares

NYT Editorial: The Mideast Peace Process: Washington Makes Things Worse

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stephen M. Walt on Robert Gates' Farewell Address

Required Reading: Muslims, the Constitution and Negotiating Political Reality (Sherman Jackson)

John L. Esposito: Getting It Right About Islam and American Muslims

Islamophobia: Increasingly Ordinary and Therefore Most Terrible (on Tennessee Islamic Center, Islam IS a religion & "shari'ah")

Glenn Greenwald: "Great American Patriots" (On Congress's reaction to Netanyahu)

New Reports Document Discriminatory Government Treatment of Muslims in America

via Dinu

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's Praise of the Prophet Muhammad - "Spring's Gift" - ...

أحداث سورية خطبة الجمعة للشيخ محمد اليعقوبي من دمشق

A Moment for the Hearts Tour (Nasheed Video)

(Video) الحبيب عمر : الرحمة في التنوع Habib Umar with Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad translating

Robert Reich: Paul Ryan Still Doesn’t Get It

Stephen M. Walt: 'The smallest minds and cowardliest hearts': Is Congress clapping for apartheid?

The Great Disappointment: When the World Fails to End on Schedule

Kristof: Raiding a Brothel in India

Monday, May 23, 2011

Greenwald: The Patriot Act and bipartisanship

Stephen M. Walt: The Choice

Is Obama really getting tough on Israel? The co-author of "the Israel Lobby" responds to the storm over Obama's Mideast speech

via Faiza

Robert Fisk: President's fine words may not address the Middle East's real needs

(May 19, 2011)

Sea burial & religious literacy

Posting this really late, but just for the record:

In contrast to Stephen Prothero's assertion "What is not up for debate, however, is the fact that in this case the Obama administration and the U.S. military demonstrated real religious literacy," see Abdal Hakim Murad's piece - also on CNN - that "Bin Laden's sea burial was 'sad miscalculation.'"

Muslim activist puts his faith to work in troubled Chicago [on Rami Nashashibi and IMAN]

Tariq Ramadan in Turkey's Today's Zaman

Chris Hedges: Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West

Framing Islam: Challenges of Islamophobia & Orientalism with Dr. Peter Gottschalk & Imam Omer Bajwa

Program Description:

Monday, April 4th - Framing Islam: the Challenges of Islamophobia & Orientalism
7:00pm - 9:30pm
Kimmel Center, Room 802
60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

In 2004, Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations famously said, “ when a new word enters the language, it is often the result of a scientific advance or a diverting fad. But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia…Today, the weight of history and the fallout of recent developments have left many Muslims around the world feeling aggrieved and misunderstood, concerned about the erosion of their rights and even fearing for their physical safety. So the title of this series is very appropriate: there is much to unlearn.”

The panelists, distinguished by their unique perspectives of understanding the issue, will speak about their findings on the topic as well as the steps needed to move towards a more inclusive society.

*Dinner will be served.

Speakers: Dr. Peter Gottschalk, Imam Omer Bajwa

Thanks Iram!