Bill Maher’s Use of Opinion Polls of Muslims is Ahistorical and May Justify Violations of Their Human Rights

A friend forwarded me a September 2014 video telling me “you’re swimming upstream in your defense of Islam.” Not knowing I was defending Islam (I see my political stances as defenses of human rights of people, including Muslims.), I replied, “only out of respect for you did I waste 3 minutes listening to Bill Maher.” He then wrote, “Who better than you, to point out where he’s right and where he’s wrong? Please share your thoughts.” Of course, there are many better qualified than me (see after the blog post.) But, after some delay, here they are. Continue reading

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

المطلوب إطلاق سراح مروان المظلوم في قضية الفحوص الشرجية #تونس

Amnesty International USA asked people to write to Tunisian officials asking them to release “Marwan,” a man who was convicted of same-sex conduct. “Marwan” is an alias. I found a column by Farhat Othman helpful. This is the body of the letter I wrote:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و صلى الله على النبي الأمي محمد بن عبد الله و آله و سلم و السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

قال الله تعالى وإذا حكمتم بين الناس أن تحكموا بالعدل إن الله نعما يعظكم به إن الله كان سميعا بصيرا

فأرجو أن تصل إلىكم هذد الرسالة و أنتم بخير و صحة و عافية و أطلب منكم الإفراج فوراً بدون شروط عن الشاب الملقب بمروان المتهم بالمثلية و مسح سجله من تلك التهمة و إلغاء إدانته ثم إبطال الفصل 230 المجرِّم للمثلية.

كل ذلك ضروري لإرساء دولة القانون في تونس الحرة التي هي قدوة للشعوب العربية جميعا.

لكم الشكر و التقدير

Updated October 25, 2015: Minister of Justice expelled from cabinet, partly over his call to decriminalize same-sex behavior.

Amnesty International Appeal for KSA Prisoner of Conscience Ali Al-Nimr

I followed the Amnesty International USA instructions to appeal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia not to execute political prisoner Ali Al-Nimr. I wrote a letter in Arabic to King Salman and Prince Mohammed bin Naif. You are welcome to download them and modify them as you see fit.

Here’s a copy of Amnesty International’s statement about the situation in Arabic.

One could just as easily say that about 70 percent to 75 percent of the people described as committing violent crimes, could also be described as generational victims of racist policies, like the ones Kelly and Bloomberg are promoting. One could just as easily say the vast majority of violent criminals in New York city hail from neighborhoods that have — over many generations — been the victims of a national wealth transfer, the remnants of which are with us even today.

We don’t say that. Writers and intellectuals on the Left would much rather talk about class. Same as it ever was. But this isn’t going away. We aren’t going away.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the explicit racism of Stop and Frisk  (via theatlantic)