Showing posts with label Islam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Islam. Show all posts

Friday, July 29, 2016

Do You Understand The Constitution?

Before I get to Hillary, I want to turn the spotlight on this guy. Mr. Khan represents what our country is all about. This was the ultimate mic drop moment to the people who are now running the GOP. Their hatred looks more ugly now than it ever has...


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bigotry, Anger, Hate, Fear

As I have been saying for years, a political party filled with anger, hate, bigotry and fear.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Message of Peace

Reprinted in its entirety...

To our Christian brothers and sisters:
Out of our shared love for the Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, Peace Be Upon Him, we greet you with peace and joy during your celebration of his life.
The Bible refers to him as the Messiah and describes the annunciation, his miraculous birth and his numerous miracles.
The Qur’an refers to him as the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary. It teaches about his miraculous birth and how his mother Mary was honored above all the worlds. Muslims are instructed to invoke peace upon him whenever his name is mentioned.
The Qur’an narrates the story of the angel who visited Mary, saying “O Mary, indeed God has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of all the worlds.” (Qur’an 3:42)
The angel said, “O Mary, indeed God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary. He will be honored in this world and the Hereafter and he will be among those closest to God. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and he will be of the righteous.” (Qur’an 3:44-45)
She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” The angel said, “Such is God; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (3:47)
The Qur’an describes how the baby Jesus, immediately upon birth, looked up to his mother and comforted her: “Do not be sad; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.” (Qur’an 19:24-26)
The Qur’an describes many instances in the life of Jesus: how he preached the worship of God and compassion to people, how he healed the leper, how he healed the blind, and even how he brought the dead back to life.
Our two religions, Christianity and Islam, which both profess love and reverence for Jesus as a central figure in each of our religions, constitute over half of the population of the world.
Mercy and compassion, charity and love are the divine attributes that the Christmas season evokes among Christians. A mother’s devotion, a child’s love, and the promise of God’s mercy and grace in the coming of Jesus to us are sentiments that Muslims can share and appreciate.
In the Bible, we are told that Jesus, in response to a question about the most important commandment, is said to have answered: “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is similar. You should love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40) Jesus added that those whose hearts are filled with such love of God and neighbor live not far from the kingdom of God. (Mark 12:34)
Similarly, the Qur’an teaches us that to “worship God being sincere to Him in faith, to incline towards the truth, to establish prayer and to give alms to the poor is the essence of the religion.” (Qur’an 98:5) “ … And you should forgive and overlook: Do you not like God to forgive you? And God is The Merciful Forgiving.”  (Qur’an 24:22)
The Prophet Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him, taught: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
In the words of St. Paul, let us put on the armor of light which is the teaching of God that we are to love one another that we might together better confront the dark that lies within some human hearts which are far from God. (Romans 13:12)
As Jesus taught so movingly, let our lights so shine together before all people that they may see our good works which glorify our God in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Jesus taught us that we should not live by bread alone but by every word of God. (Matthew 4:4)
Thus, we applaud the good hearts and loving deeds seeking to please God in His mercy and compassion that are befitting for us not only during this Christmas season but also every day of every year. Let all people, Christians and Muslims, who love Jesus, peace be upon him, come together to practice what he preached. Let peace and goodwill spread among us all.
We invite all our Muslim brothers and sisters of goodwill to join us in this open letter at this Christmas season and throughout the year as peace and joy, love of God and neighbor, are to be with us always.
This article was submitted by Imam Asad Zaman, Muslim American Society of Minnesota; Dr. Odeh Muhawesh, Imam Hussain Islamic Center; Shaykha Tamara Gray, Rabata/Daybreak Bookstore; Dr. Tamim Saidi, Masjid Al Kareem; Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota; Dr. Shah Khan, Islamic Center of Minnesota; Dr. Onder Uluyol, Islamic Resource Group; Zafar Siddiqui, Al Amal School; Imam Sharif Mohamed, Islamic Civic Society of America — Masjid Dar Al-Hijrah, and Owais Bayunus, Islamic Center of Minnesota.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

From The Qu'ran?

This video made me laugh my ass right off of my socks...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Smart Kid!

And he's from Minnesota!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What's In A Name?

As the adolescents in the political world snipe at President Obama for not calling ISIL "Islamic Terrorists, I think it's important to take a step back from this latest in a far too lengthy and nauseating series of "Gotcha, Mr. President" childish games and realize that it's actually a very smart idea not to tie them to Islam at all. Why?

First, that's exactly what they want. If the president did this, they would gain more recruits and funding, making it easier to frame the war as an Islam v Christianity battle. Second, there are Islamic extremists in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, whose help we need to fight ISIL. Bringing Islam into the battle more prominently would alienate some of our allies. Third, the last thing in the world that we need here at home is Christian Conservatives (our own nutball extremists) on our fucking side. Their emotions about their belief system and ideology makes them incapable of rational and logical thinking.

I will, however, disagree with the president on why ISIL is ISIL. It has absolutely nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with ideology. We win this battle, not with financial aid or guns, but with our hegemonic force. Our economic, soft power is what ISIL fears the most. Their stated end game is the apocalypse and a return to good ol' 7th century values so we beat them by illustrating the power of free markets combined with 21st century technology.

After all, they are using social media to spread their insanity. We need to meet them on that battlefield and pummel them into submission. We invented this technology so let's use it to our advantage and lure away those angry young men from potential ISIL recruits towards the reality of real freedom and ideological prosperity.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Religious Freedom in Saudi Arabia

A very hopeful piece which I found illustrates that it's best to leave behind stereotypes.

Mr. Awda, alone among Saudi clerics, openly welcomed the Arab uprisings of 2011, and even published a book called “Questions of Revolution.” Promptly banned here but widely disseminated on the Internet, the book drew on Islamic texts and history to reach some very unorthodox conclusions: that democracy is the only legitimate form of government; that Islam does not permit theocracy; that separation of powers is required; that the worst despotism is that practiced in the name of religion.

I've come a long way with my horrible bias and prejudice towards Muslims. I let my anger over the 9-11 attacks cloud my judgment and that was very short sighted and fundamentally flawed. Most of what changed me I don't write about much on here. The general reason are the students that I have had the absolute honor to know in the last few years that are of the Islamic faith. These young men and women have showed me that there is always hope for a strong bridge between the East and the West.

Of course, the hope extends beyond me. The conservatives of the Islamic world (like our own conservatives here) aren't going to last if they don't change.

Friday, December 06, 2013

A Very Overheated Religious War

The situation in the Central African Republic is simply terrible. Roving gangs of Christian extremists in the capital of Bangui have been targeting Muslim neighborhoods and wantonly killing people in the name of their God for retribution against Muslims gangs that have done the same. I'm not sure what God they worship but it certainly isn't the Christian one. Thou shall not kill, remember?

French troops are arriving in the coming days to hopefully keep the peace. They are also sending air support to hopefully quell any future uprisings. AP is reporting that the French are reluctantly going in which strikes me as complete bullshit as they are partly responsible for the situation on the ground. The CAR has never gotten over the Scramble for Africa. French meddling in the region created the power struggles that we see today. So, this is largely blowback from colonization over a century ago.

It's going to take a lot more than 1200 troops to stop what is now clearly genocide. The United Nations needs to have a robust and permanent presence there and the French need to invest far more resources (especially financial) than they are now. It's very quickly becoming too late and far too many people have died.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Oh Really?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Get used to seeing more of this..


Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Hard Sunday Lesson Learned

Caught this headline the other day and laughed my pants off

Republican Horrified to Discover that Christianity is Not the Only Religion

But one Louisiana Republican is learning the hard way that religious school vouchers can be used to fund education at all sorts of religious schools, even Muslim ones. And while she's totally in favor of taxpayer money being used to pay for kids to go to Christian schools, she's willing to put a stop to the entire program if Muslim schools are going to be involved.

Well, that has to suck for her.

I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools. I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school.

Uh, there's only one problem there, Ms. Hodges.

As The Friendly Atheist points out, the brand of Christianity currently espoused by many in the religious right wing would be pretty unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who were pretty high on Deism and pretty low on Christian rock concerts/ talking about The Children's collective virginity/ having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But whatever. Facts are immaterial at this point.

The Founding Fathers came from many different religious backgrounds and were products of the Age of Enlightenment. Many viewed Christianity as I do...that Christs's moral teachings are just as important as his holiness.

And didn't Thomas Jefferson have a copy of the Koran?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago today this forum started in email form. It became an outlet for my immediate and very justifiable anger over the September 11th attacks. A few years later, my friend Phil set up this site to continue the long discussions over what transpired that day.

Over the years, the site has obviously changed. The focus back then was on foreign policy. These days, it's mostly about politics. Part of me regrets the change but another part of me is happy that it happened. In many ways, I think I needed to put the horror of that day behind me and that's a big reason why I shifted to more political rants. I suppose in some ways it's avoidance and denial. Even as I watch the anniversary shows that have been on of late, it all seems so unreal.

The jumpers...I'll never forget the jumpers...

And I think that all of us who remember that day so well can't help but imagine planes flying into buildings nearly every time we see a simple jet flying over head in the bright blue sky.

The loss of life on that day is still too overwhelming for me to comprehend. When I stop and think about it, I can't help but cry in thinking about the people who will never see their loved ones again. My tears turn to frustration when I try to explain to the young people whom I see every day and who were very young at the time of the attacks just how awful that day was...only to get back reactions of indifference.

During those first few months after 9-11, I was so filled with anger and hate that I lost a lot my rationality. I watched quite a bit of Fox News and listened to the local right wing radio station (AM 1280) nearly every day. I argued vociferously with a poster and friend of mine named Charlie that we should invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat. My bigotry towards Muslims was seemingly infinite and it wouldn't be shocking to hear me back then say that they were essentially animals.

After several months, I looked at what I had become and hated it. I lost touch with my ideological roots and realized, through personal experience, how easy it was for the right to enlist foot soldiers with their propaganda. In many ways, the 9-11 attacks were a boon for the cottage industry that is conservatism today. With such a large audience willing to spend their hard earned money on anger, hate and fear, who can blame them for wanting to make millions? And they do...

So, I spent some time doing some serious reflection, much of which was played out in the early days of this site. I got back in touch with my convictions and let a lot of the narrow views that I had towards Islam, for example, fall away. Throughout this time, I came to a very clear realization.

We can't fight extremism with extremism. As with nearly everything else they propose, the right in this country are under the impression that we have to become religious extremists to fight religious extremism. In fact, it's the opposite. We have to use our reason and logic to prevail. In other words, our intelligence. In particular, we have to recognize that our military might alone will never work. In fact, we have a much more powerful tool that we are using that has been far more effective: our soft power.

Earlier this year, I got an iPhone 4. A few days after I bought it, I was fiddling around with it during an exam at school. Three Muslim women, dressed in the customary garb, approached my desk. For a moment, I imagind how puckered your garden variety conservative's butt hole would become. I chuckled as it would have been my butt hole 8-10 years ago! I assumed they all wanted to go to the bathroom (the question a teacher gets asked more than anything else) but that wasn't it.

"Um...we wanted to that the iPhone 4?" one asked.
"Yes," I responded.
"Ooo! Can we check it out?" another giggled. All of their eyes lit up.

And there it was. America's soft power on brilliant display.

We will always prevail in our struggle against the people who attacked us 9-11 and it is largely due to our economic might. The lure of open markets and free trade is much more powerful than the call to return to 12th century Islam. The children of the people who may have supported the 9-11 attacks have already succumbed to free market ideals and the prosperity that comes with the liberal global market place.

To put it simply, they want to drink a Coke, eat a Big Mac, and geek out on their iPhones.

The hirabis know that this is our most powerful weapon. This is why they targeted the World Trade Center-a world financial landmark. They knew that once this sort of ideal takes hold, it's impossible to reverse. There's no going back from the benefits of freedom and the hirabis know that they lose that battle every single time. Their only hope right now for any sort of victory is that the extremists in our own culture--and you know who I am talking about--give them red meat to feed to their own version of the base with the hopes of growing its population.

Let's not give them gifts and continue to focus on the most effective strategies that deter extremism. I've worked very hard to overcome my biases towards Islam and would be a liar if I said I am completely over them. It's pretty easy, though, and doesn't require any effort. We share the same ideals as they everyone who cherishes freedom does. After all, one of the most common sayings among Muslims (something I use to greet all of my Islamic students) is "As-Salamu Alaykum."

Peace be upon you.