Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sanad Collective: Letters to the Beloved Writing Competition

Letters to the Beloved ﷺ

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa raḥmātullahi wa barakatūh
Sanad Collective is inviting you to express your feelings for the Prophet ﷺ by composing a letter, from you to him ﷺ. ... read more ... 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anti-Terrorism Messages Lack Substance


This morning, I heard a segment on USA National Public Radio entitled Building Ties to Counter Religious Extremism in LA. The segment features two law enforcement types extensively, and two Muslims, Amina Mirza Qazi and Salam al-Maryati, who present different points of view. I've written on this blog extensively on the Global War on Terror, so I'd encourage you to review those posts.

Friday, January 16, 2015

ATL Discusses "Mornings in Jenin" by Susan Abulhawa, Jan 31, 2015, 6pm

This book has also been translated into Arabic. This blog entry is an adaptation of an e-mail I received from Ingrid Torsay through a mailing list. See if this is going on in a city near you.
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Atlanta is participating in the One Book, Many Communities project, organized by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine. We will discuss Mornings in Jenin by Palestinian-American author Susan Abulhawa. Please join us for a lively discussion and a pot luck supper:

31 January, Saturday, 6:00 PM
Our Lady of Lourdes (cafeteria)
25 Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA  30312

The 'One Book, Many Communities' project by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine aims to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination."

Communities throughout the world will be reading and discussing Mornings in Jenin. Just a few of the places are Rome, Venice, Bologna, Trieste, Naples, and 3 or 4 more in Italy; Dèvillac, France; Tel Aviv, Israel; Malmö and Stockholm in Sweden; Ramallah, Palestine; Quebec and Toronto in Canada; and several cities in the U.S.

Everyone is welcome. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library has four copies available. Come even if you have not finished reading. Contact information: Ingrid Torsay (404) 438-6598 or by e-mail

Update: Jan 16, 2015 23:15: The author Susan Abulhawa is excited about the worldwide response to this project.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Review: In God's Path: Arab Conquests and The Creation of an Islamic Empire by Robert Hoyland

Stuart Kelly reviewed In God’s Path: Arab Conquests and The Creation of an Islamic Empire by Robert Hoyland in The Scotsman of January 7, 2015.
This kind of book always eschews its embedded nature in contemporary discourse: it’s the facts, man, not a comment on the contemporary cradled in archaism. That is true, but it would be beneficial to everyone if both Muslims and non-Muslims read it, realised their shared history, understood their differences, and appreciated that the stories can always be retold, reinterpreted, revised and reimagined. A Norman knight and a Korean monk can give us insights into Islam; Islamic writing, thinking and behaving can hold up a mirror to the West as well. Read more
I have not read the book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

David McRaney on the Stereotype Threat - Another Way in Which We Are Not So Smart

David McRaney's book You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself presents phenomena which, in our modern view of the supremacy of reason and free will, should not impact humans' behavior. One is the stereotype threat (Chapter 42, pp. 232-3):

"Psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson conducted a study in 1995 where they had white and black Americans take the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE is a standardized test usd by many colleges to determine whether or not to accept graduate students. ... Steel and Aronson told half of their subjects they were testing for intelligence, which they hypothesized would add an extra level of stress the other half wouldn't feel. When they got back the results, the white students performed about the same whether or not they were told it was a test of how smart they were. The black students, though, primed by the strereotype threat, performed worse in the group who believed the test would reveal their true intelligence. According to Steel and Aronson, the social stigma of being an African-American messed with their minds. Attempting to fight the stereotype, they had unwelcome thoughts walking around and making noise in their brains while they solved word problems and figured fractions. The white students, free from those fears, had more mind space in which to work. This same sort of experiment has been repeated with gender, nationality, and all sorts of conditions. Psychologists call it the stereotype threat. When you fear you will confirm a negative stereotype, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy not because the stereotype is true, but because you can't stop worrying that you could become an example proving it."


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Play Dramatizes Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies of Atrocities of Occupation

"It's What We Do" attempts to bring reality of Israeli soldiers' testimonies to US audiences.
Josh Ruebner of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation recommended this project. Please consider supporting it.
Pam Nice is involved in the project.