A Palestinian’s Land is More Valuable to Me Than al-Masjid al-Aqsa

image-adapt-960-high-palestinian_refugees_01aIn the wake of the United States’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israel, I heard yet another Friday sermon on the centrality of Jerusalem and al-Masjid al-Aqsa to Muslims’ religious practice. In fact, every time Israel commits some atrocity towards the Palestinians and Lebanese, such as its 1982 and 2006 invasions of Lebanon, its using its Apartheid Wall to seize more land from Palestinians in the West Bank or its election-cycle timed massacres in Gaza, I hear some sermon like today’s. I’m sure the preacher thinks that he is exhorting Muslims to support the Palestinians, and I don’t criticize that motive. Continue reading

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How Should You Answer المذهب (Sect) Question on Your Umra Application?

An acquaintance shared with me his umra visa application. On it, I noticed that the pilgrimage authorities ask for المذهب, which is translated as sect.

umra-visa - cropped
I wonder how the authorities would act if an applicant wrote:

ما ألفيت عليه آبائي

What I found my forefathers practicing

I’m so sick of sectarianism.

Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) Accuses Federal Judges of Terrorism for Refusing to Endorse Religious Displays in Public Buildings

As your constituents, we are saying to you that we are sick and tired of having our country and its religious heritage and its freedoms hijacked by a judicial terrorists. [sic]

Jody Hice delivered this speech November 22, 2003 in Atlanta. In the speech, he demanded that:

I call upon members of the Georgia Congressional Delegation to support legislation to limit The jurisdiction of federal judges. [sic]

He directed harsh words in particular to Judge William O’Kelley (died July 5, 2017), who ruled against the installation of The Ten Commandments in public buildings in Habersham County, Georgia.

At that time, he was the head of Ten Commandments – Georgia, which pushes municipalities and county governments to install plaques of The Ten Commandments and other documents in public buildings. He is currently the representative of Georgia’s Tenth Congressional District.

To read this terrifying speech from November 22, 2003, download it from Ten Commandments – Georgia. If that organization removes the document, I’ve stored it in scribd.com.

Can Religion, Islam Specifically, Be Anti-Racist?

Apologetics is the “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.” As Muslims engage in public outreach efforts to reduce the impact of Islamophobia, one topic might be “racism” or “race-relations.” My fear is that such efforts might take the form of apologetics rather than a serious discussion to address the real impacts of racism among Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the United States and elsewhere. Continue reading

Over-reliance on Apologetics is Bad

I’m reviewing articles from a print journal from 1998 for possible inclusion in an online, open access website. One article advances the idea that “there is no evidence that ritual clitoridectomy, unlike male circumcision, is or has ever been a required practice in Islam.” This article is a great example of why apologetics are dangerous.

Continue reading

Preaching Heedlessly – وعظ بلا وعي

I heard a Friday sermon (خطبة جمعة) about the importance of the ritual prayer (الصلاة). The preacher used the story of the assassination of Umar, the Second Caliph (رضي الله عنه), to demonstrate how the first generation of Muslims valued the ritual prayer. This rhetoric was an example of our contemporary religious discourse’s reliance on entertaining stories without considering their social or moral implications. Continue reading