Random Observations on Some Recent Developments

A Scene from Dr. Strangelove.
A Scene from Dr. Strangelove.

Iran

Iran will never give up its nuclear program. To them, having nuclear capabilities and a few warheads and missiles on the side is meant tom inoculate them against foreign dabbling. Iranian officials believe that, unlike Saudi Arabia whose breakup will come largely due to mismanagement on part of the ruling establishment, the only way the Iranian establishment they could face serious domestic troubles will come as a result of clandestine activities supported by Western governments. Having nuclear weapons will prevent that possibility, so they think, even as American drones and intelligence operations are busy destabilizing Pakistan, which has long been a nuclear power.

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Notes on the Paris Attacks

Charlie Hebdo's new cover image.
Charlie Hebdo’s new cover image.
  • All so-called Abrahamic religions have an embedded element of disdain towards all other faith systems, one that has been clearly and unambiguously articulated in their various holy books as well as by a huge assortment of their favorite scholars and clerics, one that colors popular attitudes and feeds popular stereotypes, even among the self-declared secular segments, and inspires rejection, condescension and downright hate among a select few.

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The Modernist Reformation & the Price of Heresy in Muslim Societies

Syrian philosopher and intellectual, Sadiq J. Al-Azm, (left) is seen here giving a lecture at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities, July 3, 2012.
Syrian philosopher and intellectual, Sadiq J. Al-Azm, (left) is seen here giving a lecture at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities, July 3, 2012.

Why only a handful of Muslims seem willing to speak out in a clear and unapologetic manner against extremism, for reform of their faith, and in defense of the right to free speech and expression of figures deemed controversial on account of some of their intellectual output or public views?

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The Islamic Reformation & the role of Muslim communities in the West

Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan
Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan

Indeed, no modern reformation can be said to be the real thing unless it tackled the thorny issue of holy texts and infallible figures, and came to terms at one point with their historicity and fallibility. Presently, there are only few works by Muslim authors that have gone down that road, which is why we need to examine the Islamic Reformation as a phenomenon that is still in its preliminary phase.

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