Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heaven's Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance by Harris Irfan

Ziauddin Sardar, editor at The Critical Muslim, wrote a review of Heaven's Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance by Harris Irfan. The Independent (UK) published it on July 17, 2014. The book has a companion website.
Things changed when the "rocket scientists of Deutsche Bank", Goldman Sachs, HSBC and other big boys arrived on the scene. They saw Islamic finance as an opportunity for quick profit. Muftis and Mullahs were hired at footballers' salaries to make some of their product "Sharia compliant", and bankers such as Irfan to sell them to an unsuspected Muslim public. Soon we had products such as sukuk (the equivalent of interest on bonds), hilah contracts (which substituted bank charges for interest) and Islamic finance became embroiled in hedge funds, derivatives and other dubious instruments justified in the name of Islam. read more ...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Perils of American Muslim Politics

Abdullah Al-Arian and Hafsah Kanjwal wrote The Perils of American Muslim Politics, which Jadaliyya published on July 10, 2014.
These broader shifts across the United States political establishment showcase an increasing tendency within American Muslim activism—particularly since 9/11—to reorient its engagement with policy-making circles (including government, think tanks, private institutions, and media) in a way that risks becoming reappropriated and rearticulated for a new political reality. Read more ...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Worldly ambition inhibits true learning." - Andrew Bacevich, "Washington Rules"

Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Broadcast of "An American Mosque" on USA Public TV

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Central Park 5 Available Online for Limited Time

I can think of no crime that the "Law and Order" reactionaries in the United States exploited more than the 1989 attack on a white female jogger in Central Park in New York, for which five black and Hispanic youth were convicted based on circumstantial evidence and coerced confessions. Later evidence emerged which exonerated them and revealed the identity of the assailant. Recently, New York City settled with the five men. The Ken Burns PBS Documentary Central Park Five has been made available to U.S. internet users to mark this milestone in the case.