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Coming to Terms With Islam's Contradictions

Ken Chitwood | Posted 11.16.2015 | Religion
Ken Chitwood

The uncomfortable truth is that essentialized conceptualizations that say "Islam = violence" or "Islam = peace" are insensitive to the alterations and negotiations that characterizes lived Islam in interaction with myriad Muslim constituencies and non-Muslim actors.

Erdogan, Sisi and Western Hypocrisy

Soumaya Ghannoushi | Posted 11.05.2015 | Politics
Soumaya Ghannoushi

A funereal atmosphere descended over western capitals with the announcement of Turkey's parliamentary elections' results, widely described in European and American media as a "shock" and a "black day for Turkey." The picture painted appeared very bleak, as a stream of reports, editorials and op-eds by opposition figures warned of a "return to autocracy and despotism" and declared the outcome as a threat to the "survival of democracy" in the country.

Museum's 'Kimono Wednesdays' Cancelled After Claims Of Racism

The Huffington Post | Priscilla Frank | Posted 07.09.2015 | Arts

"Kimono Wednesdays" sounds more like an ill-advised sorority ritual than sanctioned museum programming. And yet, this month, at the MFA Boston, museum...

Understanding Sufi Spirituality

Liaquat Ali Khan | Posted 06.01.2015 | Religion
Liaquat Ali Khan

In 2012, a militant group wielding crude shovels and pickaxes damaged the ancient Sufi shrines in Timbuktu, Mali. The militant group, known as Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), attacked the city's ancient mosques and mausoleums associated with local Sufis, arguing that shrine worshipping is offensive to Shariah.

Why We Need Persistent Questioning About Civilian Deaths By Drones

Priya Satia | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Priya Satia

Before Nepal and Baltimore seized headlines, news that a CIA drone strike mistakenly killed an innocent American hostage in January momentarily energized our meager debate on drones. It is time for us, as Americans, to exercise our responsibility as citizens and take control of the debate.

These 21st Century Harem Portraits Break All The Rules

The Huffington Post | Mallika Rao | Posted 02.11.2015 | Arts

In his landmark book, Orientalism, the late scholar Edward Said wrote of "exteriority," a disconnect between the traveler's fantasies and reality. Rea...

American Sniper and the Muslim 'Savage'

Todd Green, Ph.D. | Posted 04.11.2015 | Religion
Todd Green, Ph.D.

Does American Sniper deserve special condemnation for its portrayals of Muslims? No, not special condemnation, particularly when you consider Hollywood's history. But the film's troubling depiction of Muslims deserves far more critical scrutiny than many journalists and film reviewers have been willing to give it.

First World Ignorance

Rebecca Tinsley | Posted 04.11.2015 | Impact
Rebecca Tinsley

Perhaps we should also ask a simple question about the rights of a woman in any given society: can she determine when she has children, and how many of them she will have? If she cannot, then what use are her supposed positions of honor or status? But come to think of it, shouldn't that right extend to women in the so-called developed first world, too?

'The Interview': No Laughing Matter

Grace Ji-Sun Kim | Posted 03.10.2015 | Entertainment
Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Why did Sony decide to produce such a satirical, comedy about North Korea and its leader? That will be my perpetual question as stereotyping continues within the western world against Asians. This Orientalism and the concept that the East is weak, feminine, and seeking domination need to be eliminated from western mindset.

Halloween: The Season for Culturally-Insensitive Fashion

Nadia Dawisha | Posted 12.30.2014 | Impact
Nadia Dawisha

Halloween: the season of candy corn, pumpkins and culturally-insensitive costumes. Over the last few years, images of these costumes have spread through social media, sparking heated debates about cultural appropriation and how seemingly innocuous "fashion statements" can indeed hurt.

The Bitter Tea of General Yen Inaugurates Stanwyck Retrospective at Film Forum

Francis Levy | Posted 02.08.2014 | Entertainment
Francis Levy

Is all romance a Shavian phenomenon? It's interesting that Shaw never consummated his marriage since he seems to know so much about the mysterious co...

How We View The Middle East, From YouTube Clips To 19th Century Orientalist Paintings

The Huffington Post | Priscilla Frank | Posted 11.21.2013 | Arts

How do westerners view the Middle East? Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari explores the complexity of the question in his exhibition "Fake ...

Verdi's Egypt

Mena Mark Hanna | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Mena Mark Hanna

Today, Egypt is troubled. As my country becomes more politically polarized, sectarian violence continues to rock its society.

The Wolverines' Burden: Orientalism and the Superhero

Susan J. Napier | Posted 10.20.2013 | Arts
Susan J. Napier

In a sense the movie is trying to solve a problem -- the destabilization of American masculine identity, a destabilization that was signaled by 9/11 and the Middle East mire but is also deeply tied to the rise of the Asian economies.

Reza Aslan: Speaking Truth to Power

Rachel Newcomb | Posted 09.29.2013 | Media
Rachel Newcomb

Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that Fox News does not have a history of questioning Christian scholars on their own bias in studying other faiths. What interests me is how our culture decides who gets to discuss and write about the Other.

Food Truck Operation Denies Racism Charge (UPDATED)

The Huffington Post | Arin Greenwood | Posted 05.23.2012 | DC

WASHINGTON -- The letter starts "Dear Idiots." That's the friendliest part. On Friday, disgruntled D.C. area resident Drew Franklin, posted an "Ope...

Historicizing 9/11

Jim Downs | Posted 07.02.2012 | College
Jim Downs

In the course, aptly titled, "Historicizing 9/11," students at Connecticut College, a small liberal arts college in New London, have put forth their own history of 9/11 by making a documentary based on oral histories that they conducted of New London residents.

The U.S. and Iran Are Talking. Why Is the New York Times Peddling Iran Islamophobia?

Robert Naiman | Posted 06.19.2012 | Media
Robert Naiman

Last Saturday -- the same day the United States and Iran were having "constructive and useful" discussions on Iran's nuclear program in Istanbul -- the New York Times published a piece titled, "Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah's Utterances."

Review: Rimbaud in Java, The Lost Voyage

Jan McGirk | Posted 11.29.2011 | Books
Jan McGirk

Equal parts lit crit, biography, linguistic anthropology and social history, Rimbaud in Java: The Lost Voyage examines the remaining mysteries about Arthur Rimbaud as a fugitive from justice.

The Orientalist Narrative Distorting the Egyptian Struggle for Freedom

Abdulrahman El-Sayed | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Abdulrahman El-Sayed

Just as my well-meaning acquaintances pigeonhole me, orientalists attempt to fit the history and politics of Muslims or Arabs into a greater arc that is dominated by cultural or religious stereotypes.

The Dark Side of Beauty: The Mosque As "Terror Cell"

G. Roger Denson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
G. Roger Denson

The relationships of cultures are not so very different from the relationships of individuals.

Part 5: Colonizing the Mosque (Slideshow)

G. Roger Denson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
G. Roger Denson

With mosques functioning as the local centers of Islamic faith and the object of renewed Western suspicion, it is undeniable that mosques also help keep alive the memory of the divide of civilizations that once rent the world irreparably in two.

The Beauty We Fear Part 4: From Mark Twain to Malcom X (Slideshow)

G. Roger Denson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Travel
G. Roger Denson

Even when Americans began to travel to Muslim lands, from the start they displayed a more diverse response to Islam and its mosques, which over the course of a century graduated from the crude to the reverent.

The Beauty We Fear Part 3: The Mosques of Secular Muslim Writers (Slideshow)

G. Roger Denson | Posted 04.10.2013 | Arts
G. Roger Denson

Compared to the European writers discovering the great mosques of Islam for the first time, the mention of mosques is more muted and void of romance to the Muslim secularists inured to them from birth.

The Beauty We Fear Part 2: The Great Mosques of European Novelists and Poets (Slideshow)

G. Roger Denson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
G. Roger Denson

2010-10-25-jdfdf.jpgBy the end of the 19th century, mosques became lyrical, escapist, and hallucinogenic motifs for writers who had never even set sight on them.