Showing posts from December, 2008

Becoming a Religious Extremist in the United States, Embracing Moderation in Saudi Arabia

On Al Arabiya website there is an interview with a TV show host, Ahmad Al Shoukairy who recalled his extremism in the US being changed to moderate religiosity in Saudi Arabia.
He came to study in the United States and was not religious. He became religious in the United States and started praying in 1994.
He told the interviewer: "my religion started extreme...I used to argue with my mom and raise my voice because she trimmed her brows[ ultra conservatives think trimming brows is haram].” He said his religiosity began in the United States.
He abandoned extremism in Saudi Arabia. When he went back to Saudi Arabia, an Imam, Shaykh Adnan Al Zahrani, changed him and made him understand that” religion is not as narrow as he thought and there are other opinions.”

وتحدث الشقيري عن بعض نواحي حياته الشخصية المبكرة، معترفا أن "لحيته في مرحلة ما كانت طويلة"، مشيرا إلى أنه كان شديد البعد عن الدين ولم يكن يصلي، وفي عام 1994 بدأ الصلاة "ولكن بدأ تديني متطرفا.. أتشاجر مع أمي وأرفع صو…

From Southfield With Hate: Barbaric Attack not Enough, Michigan Attorney Calls Palestinians Cancer and Calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza

The world is shocked at the barbarity of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
There is no courage or honor in unleashing a huge killing machine on the besieged and almost defenseless Gazans.

But Israel does it any way.

The worshippers of hate and mayhem are never satisfied. It's not enough to besiege and murder in cold blood. To the lunatic fringe of Israel supporters, this is not enough. The Palestinians are dehumanized and called a cancer that Israel needs to exterminate. To the hateful faithful it is not enough to bomb Gaza, Gaza needs to be ethnically cleansed as well. The Arabs of Gaza are a "cancer."

Mission accomplished Meir Kahane- your American disciples are marching on.

When I read the hateful rhetoric of blogger Debbie Schlussel, the image of the five dead Palestinian young sisters killed by Israel "precision bombs" came to my mind. The image of the five dead sisters was broadcast and rebroadcast in the Arab media to advertise the human cost of Israel safety for …

Gaza: David vs. Goliath

Israel has unleashed its massive war machine on Gaza. After years of keeping the Gazans prisoners in the Gazan big prison, the Israelis are flexing their muscles on the impoverished and virtually defenseless Gazans. Israel is promising the Gazans more death and destruction.

The Arab and Muslim world is not amused. There is, predictably, more hate and outrage directed at Israel, the moderate Arab governments and at the West.

It's a classic David vs. Goliath. And Israel is Goliath with all the might, fury and lack of balance.

Israel is using excessive force to deal witht the Hamas group. Israel is flounting all international norms of decent behavior. The siege of Gaza resulted in massive human suffering for civilians- imposing on them collective punishment that only radicalizes them. Stopping shipments of food and medicine in no way harms Hamas. It is ordinary Gazans who are starved, denied medicine, and bombed by the most powerful military and the only nuclear power in the Middle East…

Brothers in Misery: Muslim and Jewish Charities

2007 has not been a good year for charities. With the economic downturns, charities across the board are getting hit with decreasing donations.

Two types of charities stand out for losses- American Muslim and American Jewish charities. They both end the year with major losses.

Granted, Muslim charity pales in comparison to Jewish charity. Jewish charity totals in the billions, the combined budged of all Muslim NGOs and charities is probably less than 50 million dollars. All the big deal made about American Muslim charities misrepresents the reality of their being bit players in the charity business.

But despite being bit players, they brought the best in people- their small budgets made a huge difference in Gaza, Pakistan and Afghanistan where a dollar goes a long way. I have seen the Muslim working poor giving a single dollar and 5 dollar bill to help alleviate suffering overseas.

Unfortunately, this hard earned money got either frozen or got subjected to unrelated lawsuits- or spent on …

Afghanistan War

Charile Wilson's War the book by George Crile should be a must read. The movie version is excellent.

An interview with the author is below.

Mutaa and Other Nontraditional Islamic Marriages

The Mutaa, Misyar, and Urfi marriages are becoming more common arrangements in the Muslim world. These arrangements pose legal and social challenges that different societies are developing different strategies to cope with. I am not aware of studies that examine these forms practice in the United States. There is anecdotal evidence that they are being practiced. In Sex and Reason, Judge Richard Posner mentioned in passing Islamic practices such as the Mutaa and polygamous marriages and I am not aware of extensive legal studies of Muslim practices in America.

While I am not aware of legal cases making arguments for the validity of these arrangements as marriages in a court of law, it does not seem that any of them would qualify as marriages in the common American law understanding of a legal marriage.
Family law is a matter of state law. This is a reason cousins can marry each other in some states but not in others. The age of consent for sexual activity and marriage is different to fro…

TPS for Iraq

In an article in the Free press by Niraj Warikoo, "Top Chaldean says US efforts in Iraq fall short- people need better security," Iraqi Cardinal Delly states: "The occupying powers could do a lot more to help bring about peace, reconciliation and security,""We are puzzled as to why they have not done more to bring about peace and security in Iraq." Cardinal Delly described the post invasion reality in Iraq as "The absolute worst time that I've seen in my life has been the last five years." He added that "There is a complete breakdown of security and "that about 40% of Iraq's 1.25 million Christians have fled the country during the past five years, but he said that Christianity will continue to survive in Iraq.

Cardinal Delly said "there is no official persecution" from the Iraqi government, but that the attacks against Christians come from "individuals in the country who are antagonistic."
A number of Iraqis w…