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January 07 2014


Bloody Iraq: Syrian Spillover, Regional Fear

Iraq in trouble again. Al Qaeda spillover from Syria, now in Fallujah, Ramadi, Anbar Province. We’ll look at Iraq’s return to turmoil and the threat of regional upheaval.

An empty street shows burned vehicles as buildings including a provincial government building, center in the background, are seen damaged in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi said Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen are pressing their campaign to rout al-Qaida from Fallujah and Ramadi, two main cities in the western Anbar province. (AP)

An empty street shows burned vehicles as buildings including a provincial government building, center in the background, are seen damaged in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi said Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen are pressing their campaign to rout al-Qaida from Fallujah and Ramadi, two main cities in the western Anbar province. (AP)


Suadad Alsalhy, Baghdad correspondent for Reuters. (@suadadalsalhy)

Ned Parker, independent foreign affairs reporter. Former Baghdad bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times. (@nedmparker1)

Roger Cohen, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. (@NYTimesCohen)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Scores Dead in Iraqi Battle With Al Qaeda-Linked Fighters – “The three days of fighting have left at least 21 people dead in Fallujah, including women and children, and an additional 11 dead in Ramadi, according to the Anbar Health Directorate. Many more have been injured. The assault on Fallujah, using helicopters, tanks and mortars, marks the government’s fourth attempt to retake the city since Thursday evening, when fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, seized most of the town, according to the security official.”

New York Times: Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants — “The bloodshed that has engulfed Iraq, Lebanon and Syria in the past two weeks exposes something new and destabilizing: the emergence of a post-American Middle East in which no broker has the power, or the will, to contain the region’s sectarian hatreds. Amid this vacuum, fanatical Islamists have flourished in both Iraq and Syria under the banner of Al Qaeda, as the two countries’ conflicts amplify each other and foster ever-deeper radicalism. Behind much of it is the bitter rivalry of two great oil powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, whose rulers — claiming to represent Shiite and Sunni Islam, respectively — cynically deploy a sectarian agenda that makes almost any sort of accommodation a heresy.”

Foreign Affairs: The Iraq We Left Behind — “Both Maliki and his rivals are responsible for the slow slide toward chaos, prisoners of their own history under Saddam. Iraq today is divided between once-persecuted Shiite religious parties, such as Maliki’s Dawa Party, still hungry for revenge, and secular and Sunni parties that long for a less bloody version of Saddam’s Baath Party, with its nationalist ideology and intolerance of religious and ethnic politics. Meanwhile, the Kurds maneuver gingerly around the divisions in Baghdad. Their priority is to preserve their near autonomy in northern Iraq and ward off the resurrection of a powerful central government that could one day besiege their cities and bombard their villages, as Baghdad did throughout the twentieth century.”

December 09 2013


‘Jefferson’s Qu’ran’ And Islam In America

How a founding father, Thomas Jefferson, came to understand Islam.

Back in the founding days of this nation, ideas were big.  The rights of Man.  Democracy, and citizenship.  And of course, freedom of religion.  But the religious debates were mostly among Protestants.  Catholics and Jews were the outliers.  Muslims?  Well they were beyond the pale.  The Ottoman, the Barbary pirate.  And, lest we forget, the American slave.  But a new book says Thomas Jefferson thought about Islam and could see a day when Muslims would be a part of the fabric of American democracy.  This hour On Point:  Thomas Jefferson, his Koran and Islam in American history.


Denise Spellberg, professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Author of “Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam And The Founders.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota’s Fifth District. First Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress. (@KeithEllison)

From The Reading List

San Francisco Chronicle: ’Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an,’ by Denise Spellberg — “One of the strangest symptoms of our diseased political culture is the stubborn belief of some, despite all the contrary evidence, that President Obama is a Muslim. Slander and calumny are hardly new features of American politics. Usually it takes the form of an accusation that so-and-so is a socialist, or even a ‘commie’ – another fervid charge frequently leveled at our current president. But as it turns out, the accusation that he is a Muslim is a quality that Obama shares with one of his most illustrious predecessors, Thomas Jefferson.”

The Daily Beast: How Islam Shaped the Founders — “Thomas Jefferson, a central figure in Spellberg’s book, had a strong, lifelong commitment to religious liberty. Jefferson rejected toleration, the alternative perspective and one embraced by John Locke and John Adams, as grounded on the idea that a religious majority has a right to impose its will on a religious minority, but chooses to be tolerant for reasons of benevolence. Religious liberty, Jefferson argued, denies the majority any right to coerce a dissenting minority, even one hostile to religion. Jefferson rejected using government power to coerce religious belief and practice because it would create a nation of tyrants and hypocrites, as it is impossible to force someone to believe against the promptings of his conscience.”

New York Times: People Of the Book – “Jefferson, studying law at the College of William and Mary, acquired an English translation of Islam’s sacred text. He never claimed that the Quran shaped his political orientation. Yet Spellberg, an associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin, makes a persuasive case for its centrality. To oversimplify: What began as an academic interest in Islamic law and religion yielded a fascination with Islamic culture, which disposed him to include Muslims in his expansive vision of American citizenship.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam And The Founders” by Denise Spellberg

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October 08 2013


Abdal Hakim Murad – Islam, Gender, Marriage & Sexuality | Halal Tube

August 06 2013


God, Science & the 'New Atheism'

It's a bit off our usual posting, but this is a very interesting and thought-provoking lecture given in Cambridge last month. In the last few years, the works of the 'New Atheists' such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have gained wide media and popular attention. In this lecture, Prof. Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and author among many other things of Why There Almost Certainly Is A God, deconstructs the reasoning behind this trend and analyses the limits of scientific knowledge, presenting the philosophical case for the rational belief in a power beyond time and space. Great stuff for dealing with any tedious religion-bashers among your friends, colleagues or acquaintances. The Faraday Institute has lots of other good resources on related topics. At one point, Prof. Ward refers to Bernard d'Espagnat's highly suggestive phrase 'veiled reality', to describe the point beyond which reality is not scientifically knowable. May God make us grateful for the profound gift of revelation that has given us another path to understand Him who is truly Real. http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.com/2009/02/god-science-new-atheism.html
Tags: lecture islam ahm

August 04 2013


Aug 3, 2013 — Robert Wright & Reza Aslan

March 19 2012


Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah - Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani’s (RAA) Love of The Poor & The Needy EDITED

–Please find below the lecture given in The Gambia on January 28th, 2012 by Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia, founder of Darul Qasim (darulqasim.org) in http://qadriyya.org/multimedia/audio/4th-annual-conference-2012
Tags: islam

September 13 2011


Fear of religious militancy fuels governments' policies, says U of C prof | WBEZ

June 27 2011



Tags: lectures islam

June 04 2011


May 09 2011


Wird Al Latif Commentarry

Tags: lectures islam hy

April 26 2011


part 2

Tags: islam ahm

March 05 2011


February 12 2011


Lenders, Leopards, and Lions: The Violence of Avarice - Muslim Musings from Dante’s Six, Seventh, and Eighth Circles of Hell

Hamza Yusuf
Tags: lecture islam hy

January 19 2011


Heartsoul: William Quilliam - Britain's First Islamist

Tim Winter goes in search of the truth behind Abdullah Quilliam, the solicitor who built Britain's first mosque.

January 17 2011


SeekersGuidance - Khatm of Imam Nawawi’s 40 hadith | Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi - Blog

Tags: lecture islam

December 19 2010


BBC - Podcasts - A History of the World in 100 Objects

099 Credit card 21 Oct 2010 Thu, 21 Oct 10 Duration: 14 mins A plastic credit card. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, explores the changing role of money in the modern world by looking at a Shari'a compliant credit card. How is modern banking adapting for new markets and what are the moral issues confronting global finance? With contributions from Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, and Razi Fakih of HSBC bank.

October 19 2010


islam and the environment

Tags: lecture islam

October 13 2010


Tariq Ramadan: Islam & the West

Top Muslim scholar and lightning rod Tariq Ramadan says the West and Islam can get along. We hear him out.

September 29 2010


Recordings of Dealing with In-Laws: A CourseLens of The Successful Islamic Marriage

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