The role of religious minorities in combating Islamophobia: The Sikh case

A channel to counter Islamophobia On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are supposed to have discussed the idea of setting up of a television channel to counter ‘Islamophobia’. In a tweet, the Pakistan PM said that … Continue reading The role of religious minorities in combating Islamophobia: The Sikh case

Islamophobia!

Thousands of Islamists have pressured the Pakistani government to keep in jail a woman who was just acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court. Two European countries have offered to take her in. Her lawyer has fled the country in fear for his life. She was acquitted of blasphemy. Yes, speaking ill of the Prophet… or … Continue reading Islamophobia!

*The Islamic Enlightenment* | A critical review

De Bellaigue, Christopher. (2017) The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright Publishing Corporation (Norton & Company) New York, London. In 1798, in view of the Pyramids, a French expeditionary force defeated the strange caste of slave-soldiers, the Mamlukes, who had been ruling Egypt for several centuries. The Mamlukes … Continue reading *The Islamic Enlightenment* | A critical review

Mohammad Iqbal’s writings on Islam and on the partition of India

That is the topic of a paper of mine that has just been published in the Journal of Punjab Studies. Here is the abstract: Iqbal was a poet, religious philosopher, political activists, and supporter of autonomy to Muslim majority provinces in British India, but cannot be regarded as the ‘main’ architect of Pakistan. His basic … Continue reading Mohammad Iqbal’s writings on Islam and on the partition of India

What’s the difference between Saudi Arabia and Islamic State?

One has captured the rent associated with being a state in the post-World War II world order. This means that one of these polities gets to build embassies in other states. It gets to participate in congresses. It gets to fly its flag at the United Nations and has access to the World Bank, military … Continue reading What’s the difference between Saudi Arabia and Islamic State?

From the Comments: Debunking Myths About Islam and Violence

Jacques, a retired sociologist and university professor, has been repeating himself over and over again for the past fifteen years or so. His gripe? The imminent danger of Islam. Or Islamism. It depends on when you began reading him. Until recently, until the time that Delacroix decided to try and pick on me, Jacques’ venom … Continue reading From the Comments: Debunking Myths About Islam and Violence

A Short Note on Islam and Violence: Russian Edition

Many notable, and many more unnotable, commentators will swear by Islam’s “violent penchant.” They don’t care for nuance. They don’t care for facts. Instead, they adhere to the old principle of repeating something often enough until it becomes true. I think there is an issue with Sunni Arabs and cultural chauvinism (the Qur’an is supposed to … Continue reading A Short Note on Islam and Violence: Russian Edition

From the Footnotes: Ignorance of Islam and of the Decentralization of Power

There are widespread calls for an Islamic reformation such as Christianity experienced in the sixteenth century, but the Reformation cleaved Christianity into two major traditions and many splintered sects; each grew independently of the others, eroding any hope of a Christian center that could rein in extremes. After its early division into Sunni and Shi’a, … Continue reading From the Footnotes: Ignorance of Islam and of the Decentralization of Power

From the Comments: Islam and Islamism

Matthew riffs off of my recent post on imperialism: I am far too lazy at present to read the links you embedded in this article, so I will shoulder the lazy man’s burden, and provide some simple anecdotes. A very common reaction is to blame Islam itself for the problems Islamists cause in the West, … Continue reading From the Comments: Islam and Islamism

Myths about Islam’s founder (Mohammed, Muhammad, tomato, tomato)

I’ve been slowly reading through Albert Hourani’s A History of the Arab Peoples and one of the things that has stood out to me is the fact that Muhammad was not a “war chief.” The War Chief Thesis is nothing more than a vulgar urban myth perpetuated by the ignorant or the nefarious. Muhammad was … Continue reading Myths about Islam’s founder (Mohammed, Muhammad, tomato, tomato)

The New Caliphate in the Middle East: When Islamists experiment with libertarianism (and why the West should do the same)

Richard Epstein, the legal scholar and libertarian Republican known for his erudite wisdom in the fields of law and economics and tort law, has recently joined in the chorus of Right-wing critics attacking Senator Rand Paul (and President Obama) for arguing that the US government does not have enough information to carry out an attack … Continue reading The New Caliphate in the Middle East: When Islamists experiment with libertarianism (and why the West should do the same)

Separation of Church and State (More Islamophobia!)

…Malaysia’s appeal court ruled Monday [10/14/13 – JD] that a Roman Catholic publication can’t use the term ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God, despite its widespread use among Malay-speaking Christians. … The dispute dates back to 2007. After Syed Hamid Albar, then the home minister, prohibited the church’s Herald newspaper from using the word … Continue reading Separation of Church and State (More Islamophobia!)

The Intricacies of Political Life in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Is Islam Prominent?

Riffing off of Dr Delacroix’s piece on Afghanistan, and reading through the comments, I thought it’d be a good idea to “go with the flow” (as they say in Santa Cruz). Anatol Lieven has a must-read piece in the National Interest on the US government’s failures in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Among the gems: I have … Continue reading The Intricacies of Political Life in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Is Islam Prominent?

From the Comments: Islam’s “Violent Penchant”; Shooting Rampages and Stonings

Dr. Delacroix takes me to task over my dismissal of Islam’s inherently violent penchant. I think violence on grand scales, including war and terrorism, are always and everywhere a product of politics and institutions. Dr. Delacroix argues that Islam itself provokes violence. He writes: A French citizen with a Muslim name goes on vacation to … Continue reading From the Comments: Islam’s “Violent Penchant”; Shooting Rampages and Stonings