As a student of international relations, I'm trying to acquire a broad understanding of Islam and Middle-Eastern culture. I'm looking for a few books to read in my spare time that touch on these subjects. [more inside]
posted by aheckler
on Apr 2, 2008 -
The Rowan Williams fiasco brought to mind a book that I read within the last year, but I cannot retrieve it now. In it, a Republican presidential candidate surprises everyone by calling for the adoption of sharia law in the United States. Can anyone help to identify it?
posted by yclipse
on Feb 19, 2008 -
How would a typical Iraqi's activities on Friday differ from their activities on other days of the week? I understand that mosque attendance will be higher on Fridays, but would trips to markets, restaurants, or other places be more or less common on Friday? Are there major differences between Sunnis and Shiites in this regard? [more inside]
posted by thrako
on Jan 31, 2008 -
Can you refer me to sophisticated discussions of violence that is driven by hybrid forms of capitalism and religion? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 16, 2007 -
In Islamic discourse, how harsh a pejorative is the term "kafir"? Is it necessarily a pejorative at all?
posted by stammer
on Aug 28, 2007 -
Do the majority of Muslim women in the world wear the hijab (head covering)? What percent do wear hijab?
posted by airguitar2
on Apr 10, 2007 -
How do they tell if you're a Muslim if you want to go on the hajj or umra to Mecca and Medina? [more inside]
posted by champthom
on Apr 5, 2007 -
The Burquini thread got me to thinking about fetishes among Muslims. There is [more inside]
posted by Ynoxas
on Jan 12, 2007 -
Is there a Mac program that converts Christian dates to Hijri dates? An editor in my office said he uses a program called "CALH" on his PC - is there a Mac equivalent?
posted by anonymous78
on Oct 10, 2006 -
Genuine question: Given that Mohammed was a succesful military leader who led armies to kill many thousands, at what point did he switch approach and promote peace? [more inside]
posted by pettins
on Sep 16, 2006 -
Why are my Indonesian bottled water and donut labeled "halal" when there don't seem to be any questionably non-halal/haram processes or ingredients involved in the making of either product? [more inside]
posted by mdonley
on Aug 11, 2006 -
showed up in my inbox today. My links to the evangelical subculture have provided me with many icky moments but none more so than this. An acquaintance forwarded me (and 20 others) a cut and pasted article about a speech
she made at Duke University almost two years ago outlining Muslim atrocities in Lebanon during the 70s and I'm curious about the woman. Obviously someone like this is a great spokesperson for those who think Islam is bent on world domination and the destruction of all infidels. And apparently she gets quite a few speaking engagements at universities as an "expert" on the Middle East. But who is she?
After a little googling, I see the same "speech" cut and pasted into dozens of conservative blogs. And her page on Wikipedia
dates from just two weeks ago, with a bit of a revert war starting already. What's going on here?
posted by jmcnally
on Aug 2, 2006 -
My girlfriend's parents (future inlaws?) forward me a lot of those awful right-wing emails. The latest one is an anti-Islam rant (inside). [more inside]
posted by neuron
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Is it considered a breach of protocol or courtesy to wear a thobe if you're not an Arab?
posted by arimathea
on Jul 18, 2006 -
What is the significance of the number 9 in Islamic culture?
or perhaps, what is the significance of said number with relevance to "Radical Extremism" (dude! Extreme and
This is in reference to 9 a.m. on 9-11 and 9 p.m., 11-9 and so on. . . [more inside]
posted by punkbitch
on Nov 11, 2005 -
When, specifically, and under what circumstances were non-Muslims first barred from Mecca? Is there a scriptural theological basis for this? When was the last time an interloper was caught, and what happened to him (or was it her)? What is the current offical penalty for non-compliance? Foot notes appreciated.
posted by IndigoJones
on Oct 5, 2005 -
I once saw an alleged V.S. Naipaul quote to the effect that India owed much of its latter day poverty to Islam's incursions. Any notions where this comment might be found? Also, any other books on the history of Islam's spread into India (old, new, passionate, dispassionate, biased, unbiased- the more points of view the better) would be most welcome. Many thanks for your help in this matter
posted by IndigoJones
on Apr 14, 2005 -
The Christmas holiday is fast approaching as we all know. My fiancee is Muslim, and we have always celebrated religious holidays separately. This year, I would like him to be a part of the family celebration. For my family it is more of a family bonding time (and become more of an American Tradition) than a religious event. If I'm correct, the celebration of Christmas is for the birth of Jesus. From what my fiancee has told me of Muslims, they believe in Jesus as a prophet, but have many differences in beliefs from Christians overall about who he was.
So would there be a debate between the two religions over the actual birth of Jesus (how he was conceived, is he the son of God....etc.) that would be conflicting for him to join us for dinner and this particular holiday itself? I want to be well informed when talking to him about it, and try to find a way to celebrate the holiday.
posted by Gooney
on Dec 8, 2004 -
When Muslims pray, why do they hold their hands out before their faces like a book?
posted by zadcat
on Nov 23, 2004 -
The Koran. I read it long ago. I found it confusing, odd, hard to understand, in dire need of unpacking. I'd like to try reading it again. Can anyone recommend a superlative translation, or perhaps even better, a great paraphrase. Or at the very least one with decent annotations. I'm not averse to a version that does intelligent re-arranging of the sequence, as I recall chapters on cows following stuff on love. There are a number of current translations so pointers to informed reviews of them would be welcomed too.
posted by kk
on Nov 15, 2004 -