Category Archives: Islam

Islam and globanalisation

Hamid Dabashi

Until late last month, when Salman Rushdie added his name to those of a few other like-minded souls and signed a statement attacking Muslims for having been outraged by a set of Danish cartoons depicting their prophet with satirical ridicule, something seemed amiss in that whole global uproar, writes Hamid Dabashi*


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The Partisans of Ali

The Partisans of Ali
A History of Shia Faith and Politics

The United States is immersed more deeply than ever in the Muslim world’s sectarian divide. A five-part series explores the split between Shia and Sunnis, from its origins shortly after the death of Muhammed in the seventh century to the modern-day upheaval in Iraq.

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The Origins of the Shia-Sunni Split

From NPR [link]

Morning Edition, February 12, 2007 · It’s not known precisely how many of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are Shia. The Shia are a minority, comprising between 10 percent and 15 percent of the Muslim population — certainly fewer than 200 million, all told.

The Shia are concentrated in Iran, southern Iraq and southern Lebanon. But there are significant Shiite communities in Saudi Arabia and Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as well.

Although the origins of the Sunni-Shia split were violent, over the centuries Shia and Sunnis lived peacefully together for long periods of time.

But that appears to be giving way to a new period of spreading conflict in the Middle East between Shia and Sunni.

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Tending to Muslim Hearts and Islam’s Future – Part III

Part III of “An Imam in America” series by the NY Times.

Part I can be found here.
Part II can be found here.


PART III

March 7, 2006
An Imam in America
Tending to Muslim Hearts and Islam’s Future
By Andrea Elliott

The young Egyptian professional could pass for any New York bachelor.

Dressed in a crisp polo shirt and swathed in cologne, he races his Nissan Maxima through the rain-slicked streets of Manhattan, late for a date with a tall brunette. At red lights, he fusses with his hair.

What sets the bachelor apart from other young men on the make is the chaperon sitting next to him — a tall, bearded man in a white robe and stiff embroidered hat.

“I pray that Allah will bring this couple together,” the man, Sheik Reda Shata, says, clutching his seat belt and urging the bachelor to slow down.

Christian singles have coffee hour. Young Jews have JDate. But many Muslims believe that it is forbidden for an unmarried man and woman to meet in private. In predominantly Muslim countries, the job of making introductions and even arranging marriages typically falls to a vast network of family and friends.

In Brooklyn, there is Mr. Shata.

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Filed under Islam, Islam & Modernity, Islamic Scholarship, Muslims, U.S.

To Lead the Faithful in a Faith Under Fire – Part II

Part II of “An Imam in America” series by the NY Times.
Part I can be found here.
Part III can be found here.


PART II

James Estrin/The New York Times
Sheik Reda Shata begins a seminar in cultural sensitivity at the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Through these kinds of efforts, the imam hopes to foster better understanding between law enforcement and his fellow Muslims.

March 6, 2006
An Imam in America
To Lead the Faithful in a Faith Under Fire
By Andrea Elliott

The F.B.I. agent and the imam sat across a long wooden table at a Brooklyn youth center last August.

Would the imam, the agent asked, report anyone who seemed prone to terrorism?

Sheik Reda Shata leaned back in his chair and studied the agent. Nearly a year had passed since the authorities had charged two young men, one of whom prayed at Mr. Shata’s mosque, with plotting to blow up the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan.

The mosque had come under siege. Television news trucks circled the block. Threats were made. The imam’s congregants became angry themselves after learning that a police informer had spent months in their midst.

At the meeting, the imam chose his words carefully. It is not only the F.B.I. that wants to stop terrorism, he answered; Muslims also care about keeping the country safe.

“I would turn him in to you,” Mr. Shata finally said, pointing his finger at the agent, Mark J. Mershon, the top F.B.I. official in New York City. “But not because I am afraid of you.”

The moment captured one of the enduring challenges for an imam in America: living at the center of a religion under watch.

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Filed under Islam, Islam & Modernity, Islamic Scholarship, Muslims, U.S.

A Muslim Leader in Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds – Part I

The NY Times has recently come out with a 3-part series on Reda Shata, an Imam at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York. The following 3 posts will contain each part of the series. The links to the NYT articles contain interactive media, video, and photographs.

 


Part II can be found here.
Part III can be found here.


PART I

James Estrin/The New York Times

March 5, 2006
An Imam in America
A Muslim Leader In Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds
By Andrea Elliott

The imam begins his trek before dawn, his long robe billowing like a ghost through empty streets. In this dark, quiet hour, his thoughts sometimes drift back to the Egyptian farming village where he was born.

But as the sun rises over Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Sheik Reda Shata’s new world comes to life. The R train rattles beneath a littered stretch of sidewalk, where Mexican workers huddle in the cold. An electric Santa dances in a doughnut shop window. Neon signs beckon. Gypsy cabs blare their horns.

The imam slips into a plain brick building, nothing like the golden-domed mosque of his youth. He stops to pray, and then climbs the cracked linoleum steps to his cluttered office. The answering machine blinks frantically, a portent of the endless questions to come.

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Filed under Islam, Islam & Modernity, Islamic Scholarship, Muslims, U.S.

Supplication for Travelling

The supplication (dua) for travelling.
Travel.gif

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