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.