Monday, December 30, 2013

Open Access Academic Books from University of California Press

h/t Mark Lynch, who retweeted
Here are some books which may interest readers of this blog:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Important Radio Discussion This Saturday on Intra-Muslim Racism

From Dawud Walid's blog: (I've added the date and a few links)
Arab American Association of New York Director Linda Sarsour and Dawud Walid are scheduled to be 900 AM WURD in Philadelphia this Saturday (Nov 30, 2013) from 5pm to 6pm Eastern to discuss the issue of the usage of the slur “abeed” and the broader issue of intra-Muslim racism and tribalism.
Islam Today Radio Show is hosted weekly by University of Pennsylvania Chaplain Kameelah Rashad. The show may be listened to live-streaming at www.900amwurd.com.  Callers may join the conversation at (866) 361-0900 or (215) 634-8065.
Updated December 2, 2013: A recording is available online.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Film: The Silencing of Dorothy Thompson - Support its Production



Consider pledging money to support this Kickstarter project on a US journalist who lost her status by drawing attention to the plight of Palestinian refugees from the 1947-48 war.

I heard about this because I follow updates from If Americans Knew (Facebook, Twitter). Its executive director, Allison Weir, is a script consultant.

The production company is Alternative Focus.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Production Stills from Unity Productions Foundation's Film on Noor Inayat Khan

Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is close to completing a film on Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim who spied for the British government during World War II. Here are some picture from the production. The website for the film is http://NoorKhanFilm.org, and it should be complete by mid-November 2013. UPF asked me not to share the stills I received, so I have taken them down and I apologize to you readers for the misdirection. But I was assured that some of the stills would be placed on the website soon. In the meantime, please support UPF financially to bring this and other projects to life.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Religious War is Not So Bad: Modern Defenses of the Crusades

I was flipping through the TV yesterday and hit upon EWTN ON LOCATION - RETHINKING HOLY WARS: THE CRUSADES AND CATHOLIC DEVOTION IN THE MIDDLE AGES. It featured a lecture by Dr. Thomas F. Madden, of Saint Louis University, on "Rethinking Holy War: The Crusades and Catholic Devotion in the Middle Ages" delivered at the Catholic Vision of History Conference at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. The full lecture is available in audio and visual format through iTunes University.

Review: Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation by Tariq Ramadan

Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation
Mohammad Fadel (Twitter) of the University of Toronto Law School reviewed Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation by Tariq Ramadan in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

I have not read the book.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: Democracy and Intolerance: Christian School Curricula, School Choice, and Public Policy by Frances R. A. Paterson

Democracy and Intolerance: Christian School Curricula, School Choice, and Public Policy by Frances R. A. Paterson

The author reviewed textbooks commonly used in Christian private schools' social studies and history classes in the United States and found that they prepared the reader to accept narrow political, social and religious views. Because many in the United States seek government support for these private schools, the author urges that no public support be given because these books promote intolerance of others' viewpoints in an undemocratic manner.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960

A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960
A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960 by Bruce S Hall

Duke University Department of History Professor Bruce Hall has written an important book about the Sahelian region of west Africa, with implications eastward to Sudan. In our times, this region has witnessed horrific conflict, in particular Darfur in western Sudan and the periodic conflicts in northern Niger and Mali between Arab and Tuareg separatist groups on the one hand and the national governments on the other.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Crayola Provides Free Ramadan Coloring Pages

If your kids (or you!) like to draw with crayons, they can do so with Ramadan-themed coloring pages from Crayola!

I found out about this because of Mother Jones article exposing Islamophobes. The best way to encourage Crayola to continue creating such content is to download these pages and let your children draw!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Recitations of Qur'an, files divided into 30 parts

I was looking for .mp3 files of recitation of the Qur'an for my MP3 player. I found many freely available collections where each file was one sura, but I was looking during Ramadan to be able to organize my listening by juz' (part). Muslims, for ease of tracking recitation, have divided the Qur'an into 30 approximately equal parts or ajzaa'.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Law & Order S01E20 Perpetuates Anti-Arab Stereotypes

I finished watching Law & Order's first season on DVD. I'm sure somebody's writing Ph.D. dissertations about the cultural messages of Law & Order. I've seen a lot of Law & Order episodes over the years, but I'd never seen any of the episodes from its first season. Compared to the last few seasons, this episode had a lot more content related to what I believe is USA White Supremacy's most dangerous remaining tool, the criminal justice system expressed through the war on drugs. The real-life term Law and Order arose in response to the race riots in US cities in the 1960s. The first season of Dick Wolf's Law & Order has the echoes of the 1970s "urban blight", Central Park 5 New York City prior to the gentrified Manhattan of the last several seasons of Law & Order.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Spiritual Gems of Islam by Jamal Rahman

Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi, & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat reviewed Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind by Jamal Rahman. I have not read the book.

With enthusiasm and authenticity, the author taps into the wisdom of Islam with insights and practices from the Qur'an, Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad as well as the hadith qudsi, which are God's words communicated through the Prophet), the 14th century Sufi poet Rumi, and Muslim teaching stories. Read more ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Help Preserve Ancient Manuscripts in Timbuktu



When activists moved manuscripts away from rebel-held areas in northern Mali to areas in southern Mali, the pages were exposed to a much more humid climate without appropriate protections. Please support this project! I met Ustaz Abdul Qader Haidara in Timbuktu in 1995 or 19966, and I remember his tireless advocacy on behalf of the preservation of knowledge. He also cooperated with the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi. More information is available at the T160K website.

Karama Has No Walls


Karama Has No Walls Trailer from S. Ishaq on Vimeo.

I've been able to see the full 27-minute movie, and I can tell you it is critical. Our peace group in Augusta, Georgia is planning to screen it as an intro to a talk by Augusta's favorite son Jeb Boone, who spent years in Yemen as an independent journalist.

In sha Allah, I'll get more information on how people can see it.

Review: The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction by Ben Daniel

The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction
Rachel Magruder at The United Methodist Reporter reviewed The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction by Ben Daniel . I have not read the book.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: The Duties of Brotherhood in Islam by al-Ghazali, translated by Muhtar Holland

A review of a translation of a portion of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's book Ihyaa' Uluum al-diin is available at A Muslim's Book Shelf. I have not read the book, but I read this chapter from Ihyaa years ago. The excerpted passages are well-written English and convey the meanings I remember.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Film: Valentine's Ghost

I have not seen the film.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Light Without Fire: The Making of America’s First Muslim College

Bushra Burney, the Caffeinated Muslim, reviewed Scott Korb's book Light Without Fire: The Making of America's First Muslim College. You can follow Bushra on Twitter.

I have not read the book.

H/t to Ebadur Rahman

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundnani

Updated: Read and reviewed!

  The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror
The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundnani (Twitter)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Twitter drew people's attention to this book, scheduled to be released in February 2014.


Updated February 16, 2014: I've reviewed the book!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan and Mehrdokht Amini

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors
Lori Norman of StoryQuill reviewed Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. You can like Hena Khan's Facebook page.

Lori Norman is on Twitter.

I have not read the book.

The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?

The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?
Gene Bedient reviewed The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? by Doug Sanders (Twitter) at Prairie Fire (Twitter).

What Turns Some Western Muslims into Terrorists? The Causes of Extremism, an excerpt from Chapter 2 of this book, has been published at Doug Sanders's blog.

I have not read the book.

Living Shrines of Uyghur China by Lisa Ross

Friends of God: Sufi Shrines in Western China
Ian Johnson reviewed Friends of God: Sufi Shrines in Western China by Lisa Ross in The New York Review of Books. Some photos are on exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York through July 8, 2013.

NPR also published a piece about the book, with some photos. La Journal de La Photographie also published an introduction to Lisa Ross's work, and it has some pictures as well. There's also an article in The Wall Street Journal. Lisa Ross also participated in a Rubin Museum of Art podcast episode (iTunes).

If you are in NYC, you can meet her for lunch today, May 8, at 1:00 PM.

I have not read the book. Hat tip to Omar Sacirbey, editor of Moozweek.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Support Georgia Innocence Project's Concept Album on Life of Clarence Harrison, Exonerated After 18 Years


I attended a talk by Clarence Harrison, a Decatur, Georgia man convicted of rape and kidnapping and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served 18 years before he was exonerated with help from the Georgia Innocence Project (Facebook page).

I have posted other material regarding the United States criminal justice system. And I hope you've watched the latest Ken Burns documentary, Central Park Five.

Donate to the Georgia Innocence Project. In addition, some musicians are teaming up with Clarence Harrison to produce songs about his life, in mostly his own words. That project needs support as well.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Play: "Disgraced" by Ayad Akhtar

The New York Times published a review of the play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar.

I have not seen the play.

H/t

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: Christians, Muslims and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui

Christians, Muslims, and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui
Christians, Muslims, and Jesus
Stuart Kelly reviewed the book at Scotsman.com. Sameer Rahim reviewed it at The Telegraph.

I have not read the book.

Here is a recording of a lecture she gave at Edinburgh University in Scotland on March 11, 2013.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dawud Walid Explains Why CAIR Urges Moratorium on Death Penalty in the United States

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has endorsed a national moratorium in the United States on the death penalty. You can listen to CAIR-Michigan's Executive Director Dawud Walid explain CAIR's position and discuss other matters related to the criminal justice system, which I've blogged about in the past.

Note: The audio file is embedded in 4shared.com. My recommendation is to create an account on the web site, but don't download and install on your computer its "download" assistant, which will embed itself in your browser and activate every time you try to download a file.

P.S. Act on this Amnesty International alert to prevent the execution of Abdullah al-Qahtani in Iraq.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Review: The Wall by William Sutcliffe

The Wall by William Sutcliffe
The Wall

Pitched as a fable, his crossover novel is set in a city split in two by a vast wall. On one side live the privileged, the occupiers – and our hero Joshua. On the other live the desperate, the occupied, and when Joshua, hunting for his lost football, discovers a tunnel that leads under the wall, he sets in action a series of dreadful consequences. Without making it explicit, it soon becomes clear that this is the West Bank, that Joshua, 13, is Jewish, and that Leila, the girl who saves his life on the other side of the wall, is Palestinian.
Read more of Alison Flood's review of March 30, 2013 in The Guardian

I have not read the book.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by Edward O. Wilson. I've reviewed other books by Professor Wilson.

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

This book is a Reader's Digest version of Professor Wilson's ideas as expressed in books like Future of Life and Social Conquest. It's meant to spread biophilia among the religious to get humanity in action to save biodiversity. Bill Moyers's 2006 show Is God Green? addresses some of this as well.

I thought that the most interesting part of the book was Wilson's explanation of biology as a discipline and how love of this branch of science could be inculcated in students, pages 103-61.

Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq

FreeSpeech TV is broadcasting today Shocking and Awful, a series of programs describing how shocking and how awful the USA attack on Iraq was. One segment I've watched is Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq.

Review: The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson

The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson. I've previously reviewed his books The Future of Life and Anthill.
The Social Conquest of Earth
The bulk of this book describes the process by which Homo sapiens' ancestors became eusocial and how that led to multilevel selection. When a species becomes eusocial, group selection becomes an important element in the species' evolution.

For criticism of the concept of group evolution, read blog entry 1 and blog entry 2 from Jerry Coyne, the author of Why Evolution is True, a book I have in my possession and intend to read and review. I heard Dr. Coyne give a lecture in a suburb of Augusta, GA on February 4, 2013.

Being an expert in insects, the typical example of eusociality, E.O. Wilson shifts back and forth between describing the development of eusociality in ants and eusociality in anthropods.

The important thing for me, and for most readers of this blog, is Professor Wilson's final chapters where he presents conclusions on how this understanding of humanity should impact our religious and moral beliefs and ethical practices.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Anthill by E.O. Wilson

Anthill by E.O. Wilson. I've previously reviewed his book The Future of Life.
Anthill
This fiction book presents themes Professor Wilson has emphasized in his nonfiction books. The most important theme is the necessity of creative synthesis of capitalism and environmental protection. The lead character, Raphael Cody, learns that a beloved southern Alabama old wood forest surrounding a lake will be threatened by Mobile's expansion. In fact, his blue-blood maternal uncle is among the business elite advocating this development. Raphael leaves the study of the biosphere to complete a law degree at Harvard. Upon graduation, he returns and works as the legal counsel for the developer who purchased the property and who has previously converted woodland and wetlands to suburban Mobile sprawl. As legal counsel, he is able to develop a proposal which to a large extent preserved the quality of the land while advancing his employer's bottom line.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Minaret by Leila Aboulela

Minaret
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed Minaret by Leila Aboulela.
As the movement goes from late teen’s mini-skirt wearing, callous, and shallow rich girl, to an increasingly religious and conservative working class woman, Aboulela could have made the transformation too fast, too unbelievable, or too cliche.  Instead, the reader believes the changes, comes to understand the transformation of character, and, while wishing for a happy ending that might not come, we do not pity Najwa nor exhault her.  ... read more ...
Dr. Abdelnur has reviewed other books.

Review: Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Z. Janmohamed

Love In A Headscarf
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Z. Janmohamed.
What a fun, refreshing, and good-natured presentation of the process and problems facing Western-raised Muslim women on the market for marriage! ... read more ...
Dr. Abdelnur has reviewed other books.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam
Professor Heather Abdelnur reviewed The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson. I have not yet read it.
After reading it, I’m almost angry.  How could I not have heard of Willow Wilson before?  How had I missed this book? ... read more ...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Ask Alison's Science Books for Everyone

Science educator and blogger Alison Monahan answers the question:
Would you put together a recommended reading list for a world citizen in 2013 to be in a good position to judge political and moral claims in the light of science today? 

Friday, February 08, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To-Read: Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens by Richard Seymour

After reading a review, I'm interested in reading Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens by Richard Seymour.
  Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens

h/t Glenn Greenwald

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ebad's Reading List

Ebad posted online a document related to the completion of his B.A. which includes many quality books. So have a look!

I've reviewed two of those books:
Jackson, Sherman A. Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking toward the Third Resurrection.
Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. 


Marable, Manning. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Viking, 2011

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq by Michael Scheuer

Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq by Michael Scheuer (Twitter)

Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq
As I was listening to this abridged book on CD, I pictured its author Michael Scheuer as a combination of Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now and Cersei in Game of Thrones. His commitment to no principle other than the cohesiveness of the United States and his view that ultra-violence is a necessary tool to preserve that cohesiveness made it difficult for me, a proponent of non-violence and globalism (his term is antinationalist), to keep an open mind to his ideas. Yet I'm glad I did persevere and finish the book, and there is some value in it.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Review: The Book of the Superiority of Dogs Over Many of Those Who Wear Clothes

The Book of the Superiority of Dogs Over Many of Those Who Wear Clothes by .

The author lived, according to my memory, in 6th (AH)/13th (CE) Baghdad.

The book is in two parts. The first part condemns humans for their cowardice, greed and disloyalty. The second commends dogs for their bravery, selflessness and loyalty.

The author quotes poets and relates stories to support these contentions.

The editor/translator includes an introduction on the author and a discussion of Muslim religious rulings and attitudes regarding dogs.

The Arabic Wikipedia has an entry on the book which includes some delicious lines of poetry (my translation):

The human dog, if you consider it,
    is worse for you than the canine dog
If you drive the canine away, it leaves,
    while the human dog clings to you despite your rebukes.
The canine does not harm its companion,
    while you remain your lifetime afflicted by the other kind of dog.

It may be difficult to purchase a copy. Use Worldcat to find a copy in a library near you or ask your local librarian to get it for you using interlibrary loan.

A Glenn Greenwald tweet about a modern instance of a dog traveling miles to stand watch over the grave of its owner reminded me of this book:
Updated May 22, 2013:  Man's Best Friend Guards Owner's Body

A friend of my father's wrote a Facebook note about dogs.

This organization trains dogs and places them with children with special needs:

Friday, January 04, 2013

BBC Radio: Hitler's Muslim Legions

BBC Radio's Hitler's Muslim Legions is an interesting introduction to the situation of Muslims and their neighbors in the Balkans during World War II. As in many BBC historical programs, I think it glosses over some of the faults of the British Empire, but this is the first program I'd heard about Muslims who trained in Nazi Germany's armed forces.

It's no longer available at the BBC web site, but you can use peer-to-peer technologies and download it using a BitTorrent client.

Which book would you recommend to your friend's Islamophobic friend?

A friend requested my recommendation for a book she could recommend to her Islamophobic friend.

My friend discovered her friend was Islamophobic through a conversation that went something like this:
Between a Mormon and a Muslim, I wish the Mormon had won. I know some Muslims. The ones I know are pretty good. You don't know that Muslims believe such-and-such and are commanded to do such-and-such? If I gave you a book, would you read it? Yea, maybe.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Film: Nero's Guests by P Sainath

LinkTV is broadcasting the documentary Nero's Guests about crushing poverty in rural India. Subthemes are the injustice of the World Trade Organization, which enforces "free trade" on the world's poor and leaves the world wealthy unpunished, and the morally horrifying callousness of India's wealthy.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Akbar Ahmed's Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam

Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam
Akbar Ahmed's book Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam is also a documentary movie. It has a YouTube Channel, a Flickr stream and a blog.

There's an article adapted from the book in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Islamic Horizons, which should be posted soon either here or here.

I haven't read the book or seen the movie.