Archive for March, 2009

Ha, it’s never smart to decide that just because someone looks weird, you won’t serve him or her. Insta-trouble, just add water.

For those of you who don’t know what a niqab is, it’s very simple. You know what a hijab and jilbab are, right? Robe and head scarf? Well, when you add a niqab to the mix, we Muslim women look like ninjas. šŸ™‚ 

Here’s a better illustration.

Credit (Moroccan woman denied French cit. b/c of niqab)



So, for the record, something is still rotten in the land of Denmark…


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Last batch. I swear I’ll get off The Simpsons Movie site after this. Seriously.

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Just a fun little post. These are my professors from first semester.

And the most fearsome one of all…

Ha ha ha ha.

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@annaivey recently posted a conversation she had with a prospective law student. He was sitting in on a class at one of the best law schools in the country where he’d been waitlisted. And he found himself wondering, why can’t law school classes be like the Fox drama, House, M.D.?

Image Credit

The student’s post is as follows:

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Warning: Language/Content

This is kind of crude, but funny. Obviously written from a man’s point of view.

**Ā The embedding code makes the whole thing screwy, so just CLICK.

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There has been much news internationally lately about various restrictions placed on those seeking to build masjids(Austria’s restrictive zoning laws doing everything but banning construction of minarets) as well as flat out bans on masjid construction (like in Bulgaria). IĀ understand that Islamophobia is a powerful force, but it’s truly pitiful that there are enough ignorant bigots, particularly in Europe, to give the force so much strength and disruptive, destructive, demonizing power.

So here’s a positive story for the file folder, made all the more positive in this time of economic crisis.

Masjids in the Netherlands are actually saving the city MILLIONSĀ of dollars.

Image Credit

(Seriously, how cute is this masjid?
And you can tell it’s in the Netherlands, too. Love it!)

Masjids in the Netherlands actually end up saving Dutch communities 150 million euros annually. It is common for masjids to serve a variety of different purposes for Muslims in the area. Masjids often provide child care services for working Muslim mothers, provide afterschool programs and homework support sessions for school age children, offer community programs for all ages, sponsor and provide space for various sporting activities, serve as teaching institutions (in this case, providing Dutch lessons to Muslim families whose first language is not Dutch), counseling services, as well as forms of welfare support for the needy.

All of these activities would normally be sponsored by the city and community centers at considerable cost. 16 masjids were studied and together, they saved 5.2 million euros for the city. The 457 masjids bring that total to 150 million euros annually. The same research methods were used to decide the social return of Protestant churches in the Netherlands as well. These results, hopefully, can be used to inform policy discussions and decisions about possible subsidies of religious institutions by local authorities, and foster a better relationship between government and religious organizations throughout the Netherlands and Europe.

The study will be presented in Utrecht on Friday to representatives of the Contact Organ Muslims and Christians.


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Well, thank goodness that this doesn’t happen in America. Oh, who am I kidding, it totally does. There are plenty of ways to discourage the building of Islamic masaajid and only one of those ways is zoning laws.

I think it was in 2007 that Chicago suburb Palos Heights’s city council offered a group of Muslims $200,000 to NOT build a masjid there. Four days after the group accepted the offer, the mayor vetoed the deal as "insulting." Disgusting behavior on both sides, in my opinion, though I admit to not having all the facts. Religious prejudice and greed. Fabulous.

Really, what’s so insulting/offensive/icky about this building? If anything, it’s a pretty addition to any American city and a testament to global multiplicity, tolerance, and harmony.

(Full entry after pic!spam)

See? What did I tell you? Absolutely gorgeous! And look at how well the D.C. masjid (FYI – masjid is a generally preferable term to mosque, since it’s the original Arabic instead of the clunky Anglicized version) fits into the surrounding architecture of the city. If not for the minaret (and perhaps the arched doors) you’d think it was some sort of library or office building. It’s an excellent example of how masjids across the country (take a look at the ones in LA, Houston, Arizona, and NYC) take on the looks of the cities they’re built in.

And why not? Obviously, masjids built in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, like Masjid An-Nabi in Madinah, or the Haram al Sharif in Makkah, are going to be different in construction and orientation than those built in NYC. One is an impressive, sprawling construction erected between the sand dunes and the mountains; the other is a sleek metallic construction erected in the middle of a thriving metropolis. And where space isn’t available, masjids take on the look of normal office or apartment buildings, like the masjid I’ve occasionally stepped into on Wabash by the corner on Jackson in Chicago. From the outside, it’s nothing more than an office building.

Masjids built in traditionally non-Muslim countries don’t have to be some other-worldy, medieval constructions where people rub their foreheads on the ground five times a day and according to the consummate genius that is Pat Robertson,worship the Moon God. Yes, there are masjids in this country that preach radical and militant Islamic thinking (as a possible reason why masjid construction might be discouraged) but then again, it’s equally true that there are a number of churches and other religious headquarters, for lack of a better term, that do the same and preach ideologies not necessarily in line with the normative social, political, and cultural values of the country at the time.

Austria, one of many European nations with a rapidly growing Muslim population, is taking a different, more subtle tack in terms of discouraging the construction of masjids than, say, throwing a couple hundred grand around like Palos Heights, IL.

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