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Reza Aslan: Expert in Exile

Reza Aslan: Expert in Exile

  An interview with Reza Aslan in the magazine Mother Jones: In 1979, a seven-year-old Reza Aslan clutched his younger sisters hand as he and his family ran through the airport, fleeing an Iran entering the peak of the Islamic Revolution. They planned to return soon, but after Ayatollah Khomeinis hardliners consolidated power, their temporary […]

For Sikhs in New York, a Decade of Progress Since 9/11 Backlash

For Sikhs in New York, a Decade of Progress Since 9/11 Backlash

  From The Wall Street Journal: Sikhism is the world’s fifth-largest religion. For observant men, wearing a turban is mandatory. Another requirement, to carry a kirpan, or dagger, has been contentious in the heightened security of the post-9/11 era. Sikhs also refrain from cutting their hair and beards. The religion is totally distinct from Islam, […]

An Outlet for Afghan Women Online

An Outlet for Afghan Women Online

The New York Times reports on the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. To read the entire article, go here. If Tabasom wants to meet other Afghan writers or to use the Internet, she faces not just a four-hour walk but other constraints. “I need to have a man all the time with me when I come […]


Report: Muslim Americans Are Incredibly Normal

Report: Muslim Americans Are Incredibly Normal

  The Pew Center has a new 136-page report out about Muslim Americans. The report’s title, “Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism” makes Pew’s perspective clear, and seems directed at some conservatives who suggest that all Muslims and Muslim Americans are potential terrorists. Or professors and physicists. But mostly terrorists. […]

I Saw a Woman, with Water in Her Hands « Afghan Women's Writing Project

I Saw a Woman, with Water in Her Hands « Afghan Women’s Writing Project

One day, alongside the road, I saw a woman, with water in her hands. I was in the car, with air conditioning, but still I felt warm, but that woman, she must bring water from at least 100 meters. I looked at the future of Afghan women— We call for changes, we claim we’ve made […]

Is Ramadan Fair to Girls? « Afghan Women's Writing Project

Is Ramadan Fair to Girls? « Afghan Women’s Writing Project

  Editor’s note: Islam’s month of Ramadan this year began on August 1st. Our writer has been fasting for the first week and weighs in on what is fair. “Ramadan is a special month in Islam for Muslims. During Ramadan people take fast. They don’t eat or drink anything, and they take special care to […]


Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America

Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America

“It is our view that in order to safeguard our national security and uphold America’s core values, we must return to a fact-based civil discourse regarding the challenges we face as a nation and world. This discourse must be frank and honest, but also consistent with American values of religious liberty, equal justice under the […]

Where the Personal Is the Intensely Political

Where the Personal Is the Intensely Political

At one point in “Circumstance,” Maryam Keshavarz’s swirling and sensuous melodrama of forbidden love in modern Tehran, four young Iranians slip into a clandestine video club in the back of a store. The walls are lined with Hollywood DVDs, and the friends discuss the possibility of dubbing two recent American movies into Persian: “Milk” and […]

The 9/11 Arts Project: Ten Years After 9/11

The 9/11 Arts Project: Ten Years After 9/11

“Ten Years After 9/11” will feature works whose contextual concerns from the ten year period since 9/11 create multiple points of view and conversations. The invited artists include inter-generational and  established artists who have given generously to the greater metropolitan and international community. The exhibition gathers artists whose work explores the human condition with all its […]


The Rise of Moderate Islam

The Rise of Moderate Islam

From the July 25 issue of TIME:  “In the new Arab democracies, extremist groups are morphing into centrist political parties. Is the change of heart for real–and will it spread?” Read more.             Photograph by Yuri Kozyrev / Noor for TIME    http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2011/1107/wjihad_0725.jpg

Political Opposition to Multiculturalism in Europe

Political Opposition to Multiculturalism in Europe

“Blaming multiculturalism may be politically useful because of its populist appeal, but it is also politically dangerous because it attacks ‘an enemy within’: Islam and Muslims. Moreover, it misreads history.”  John R. Bowen, writing in Boston Review, analyzes  political criticisms of multiculturalism  in Germany, France, Britain, and the Netherlands.  Read Europeans Against Multiculturalism. (The image […]

Postcards from Hell, 2011 | Foreign Policy

Postcards from Hell, 2011 | Foreign Policy

  Postcards from Hell, 2011 | Foreign Policy. This photo essay from Foreign Policy magazine uses the Failed State Index (FSI)  to provide a glimpse at the world’s most fragile — and often most dangerous — states: Hear the words “failed state,” and a certain unshakable set of images likely floods your vision. There is […]


The Egyptian Revolution Won’t be Fooled

The Egyptian Revolution Won’t be Fooled

In an essay by Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi, she writes: We have only to follow what is being published today in the Egyptian government newspapers (what they call “the major national newspapers”) to discover how the scattered remnants of the previous fallen regime are discrediting the force of the Egyptian revolution with aborting the […]

Does Islam Stand Against Science?

Does Islam Stand Against Science?

    From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Science in Muslim societies already lags far behind the scientific achievements of the West, but what adds a fair amount of contemporary angst is that Islamic civilization was once the unrivaled center of science and philosophy. What’s more, Islam’s “golden age” flourished while Europe was mired in […]

The Death of a Terrorist: A Turning Point?

The Death of a Terrorist: A Turning Point?

Here is an interesting interactive graphic from the New York Times. The newspaper “asked readers the following questions: Was his death significant in our war against terror? And do you have a negative or positive view of this event? Readers — 13,864 of them — answered by plotting a response on the graph and adding a […]


Professor Dave Griffith on Collective Violence

Professor Dave Griffith on Collective Violence

SBC Creative Writing Professor Dave Griffith, who will co-teach the y:1 seminar 9/11 and the ‘New Normal’ Decade, is a regular contributor to the blog for the journal Image, a literary and arts quarterly that features writing and artwork that is informed by—or grapples with—religious faith. Professor Griffith’s most recent blog post focuses on the death of […]

Masha Hamilton

Masha Hamilton

      MASHA HAMILTON at SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE NOV. 2-8, 2011 Journalist, novelist, and humanitarian activist Masha Hamilton is a compelling role model for young women in today’s global world. Founder of two non-profit organizations and author of several award-winning novels and works of journalism, Hamilton was named the 2010 winner of the Women’s National Book […]

Bin Laden's Gone. Can My Son Come Home?

Bin Laden’s Gone. Can My Son Come Home?

Here is an op-ed in the New York Times by Frank R. Lindh, a lawyer and the father of the young American man who was convicted of aiding the Taliban in Afghnistan. He begins: ON the evening of May 1, we learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed. The following dawn, I left my […]


Exit Wounds

Exit Wounds

In England’s Guardian newspaper, poet Carol Ann Duffy presents poems by fellow poets in response to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. “War, it seems, makes poets of soldiers and not the other way round,” she writes. “Today, as most of us do, poets largely experience war – wherever it rages – through emails or […]

A scholar asks: Have We Gotten the Headscarf All Wrong?

A scholar asks: Have We Gotten the Headscarf All Wrong?

In an essay entitled “Veil of Ignorance, ” Harvard Divinity School professor Leila Ahmed writes in Foreign Policy magazine that while “in the late 1960s hardly anyone in such cities as Cairo and Alexandria wore hijab…by the 1990s that had all changed.” She discusses her own evolving attitude about Muslim women wearing “the veil”: Until […]

The New Yorker on the Death of Osama bin Laden

The New Yorker on the Death of Osama bin Laden

This week’s New Yorker contains a comment by editor David Remnick on the killing of Osama bin Laden. Remnick writes: This serious and necessary act has led to serious and necessary questions: Was bin Laden under the control of Pakistan, our putative ally, and its intelligence agency, the I.S.I., or was he really able to […]


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