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Islam

How Western Muslims Fare May Foretell the Future

Canary in the Coal Mine

Honest historians see two different impulses in the chronicles of the West. In one, the West respects what it considers to be “the Other.” But we also know of another side of the West, like the “Reconquista” of Al-Andalus, resulting in a Jewish- and Muslim-free Iberian peninsula.

Two 19th-Century Tales of Muslims and American Slavery

A Tale of Two Omars

Western scholarly approaches tend to approach African and Islamic studies in separate lenses: “too Islamic” to be a legitimate subject of study for most anthropologists and Africanists, and “too African” to be of interest to Islamicists, thereby causing African-Muslim scholarly voices to fall through the cracks.

Frank Herbert, the Republican Salafist

Frank Herbert, the Republican Salafist

Taking Frank Herbert’s ideology seriously offers a more precise, if uncomfortable, explanation of how he leaned conservative. It also exposes the American Right’s troublesome alignments with Islamic thought.

Ashure: A Sometimes Rich Pudding with an Always Rich History

Ashure: A Sometimes Rich Pudding with an Always Rich History

As a kid who grew up in a mixed Alevi and Sunni neighborhood in Malatya, I listened to all the stories related to the meaning of the ashure pudding. Before then, I just assumed that the pudding was an Alevi-specific dessert.

The Eva Perón of Afghanistan

The Eva Perón of Afghanistan

Standing next to the king was his wife, Queen Soraya Tarzi, who was to Amanullah what Khadijah was to the prophet. As her husband finished his speech, the queen smiled and looked at the king with pride and affection as she gently tore off her veil, sending shockwaves throughout Afghan society.

Women Warriors of the Early Muslim World

Women Warriors of the Early Muslim World

Hind marched with Quraysh to battle, then stormed the field with other women to mutilate the corpses of the Muslims, slashing off noses and ears and fashioning them into necklaces. It’s said that she gouged out the liver of Muhammad’s uncle Hamza and bit into it.

The Rich History of China’s Islam

The Rich History of China’s Islam

Han Kitab authors drew vocabulary and concepts from key writings in Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. This conscious blending of Islamic and Chinese literary traditions is one of the quintessential features of the genre.