Category Archives: Links to love

Keep on rocking in the free world

I Voted - Election2008
Originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

It is the eve of Election Day 2016. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will battle it out at the polls tomorrow, and, like much of the world, I am flabbergasted: How did we get to this point?? I want to remember how many of us felt during this season 8 years ago, as we waited to see if we were successful in electing Barack Obama as President of the United States, and even 6 years ago, as we evaluated Obama halfway into his first term as President. I don’t foresee I’ll feel any of the same unbridled excitement tomorrow — just relief or horror, depending on the results. But I want to share the post below, long-buried in my Drafts folder, so that we could remember what hope & happiness felt like.

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So in the morning when I’m waitin’/for the sun to rise

Tangier, Morocco, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Those of you who don’t follow my Rockstar Links & Things over at tumblr (and why do you not?, is the question) are missing out on some lovely reminiscing going on today, so I thought I’d cross-post for you here.

If you click here, you can hear the Adhan [Islamic call to prayer] as recited by Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens. Someone named aberjona posted it to tumblr with the following comment:

Awoke to this this morning. If I lived closer to the mosque I might feel differently at 5 am, but echoing over the wet rooftops, this sounds divine. Especially when I consider what other sounds Brooklyn manages to produce—anywhere, anytime.

bagcoffee responded with:

Atlantic Ave is one of the strangest and most amazing places in Brooklyn, if not just in downtown Brooklyn. It’s not just the ever-present Muslim community who populate the shops, sidewalks, and mosque. It’s the mix of everything and the ‘if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss it’ environments of city. When the mosque broadcasts the call to prayer, everything just stops and you remember your in a city that’s not just full of your expectations and experiences. There is something here that’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than your selfish desire.

I don’t think you can say you’ve lived in Brooklyn (or at least visited) and not heard the call to prayer at least once. It’s something stirring and more moving than anything else you can conceive of in this city.

And lawful:

Living in Egypt this becomes almost background noise, but sitting at the Pyramids at sunset and listening to it spread across Cairo and Giza was amazing. Same effect sitting on the walls of old Jerusalem on a Friday as the western part of the city starts to go silent and the Azhan starts to rouse the eastern.

Okay, now I’m homesick.

And I chimed in:

you all made me smile so much with your comments/reflections on the adhan. thank you. =)

even my little village in pakistan, where i lived for 18 months as a teenager, was filled with a dozen different mosques, and 5 times a day the call to prayer would come at you from all the corners of the village and reverberate throughout the neighborhoods. it was beautiful. when i visited morocco a few months ago, it was the same way, and i felt homesick all over again, too.

And writinggirl2writingwoman:

when i first converted, i lived in a city with a decent Muslim population and the adhan was called and could be heard in the houses. it was so beautiful and wonderful to me. i miss being surrounded by Muslims, not only for the loss of hearing the adhan (well, okay, i have it on my computer but that’s just not the same) but for so many reasons. the adhan exemplifies that brother/sisterhood to me, calling everyone to the prayer where we are all equal and stand & bow together before our Lord. i think of the story of Bilal, the first one to hold the job of making the call to prayer, and i can imagine what it must have been like in Medina as the “new” Muslims gathered together.

Fes, Morocco
Fes, Morocco, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Whisper codes under the hush sky

What a mess (ii), originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

Things I Have Wikipediaed in the Last Couple of Weeks (in No Particular Order):

-Amadou et Mariam
-Dera Ismail Khan
-inside baseball
-Ashleigh Brilliant

-Amanda Plummer
-Hasan Abdal
-Girl in a Coma

-Amel Larrieux
-Whatever, Martha

-Ganga Jamuna
-Amir Khusro
-electric slide
-The Hold Steady

-Sandra Day O’Connor
-Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye

-Serenity (Firefly episode)
-technocultural studies
-Ahmed Faraz
-Michael Ignatieff

-Regina v. Dudley and Stephens
-August: Osage County
-public ivy
-Jai Ho
-Kunal Kapoor

-Nirvana (Elbosco song)
-Rub el Hizb


What about you? Is your list as strange and scattered and amusing (to me, at least)?

Brass Crescent Awards 2008

I’m a bit out of the loop with Blogistan these days, which is why I was surprised to realize today is the deadline for submitting nominations for the fifth annual Brass Crescent Awards.



The Brass Crescent Awards, a joint project of altmuslim and City of Brass, is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners.

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? They are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a new synthesis of Islam and modernity, and is the intellectual heir to the traditions of philosophy and learning that was once the hallmark of Islamic civilization – a heritage scarcely recognizable today in the Islamic world after a century’s ravages of colonialism, tyrants, and religious fundamentalism. We believe that Islam transcends history, and we are forging history anew for tomorrow’s Islam. These awards are a means to honor ourselves and celebrate our nascent community, and promote its growth.


Nominations close today, so go get some links in!
My favorite part of the Brass Crescent Awards every year is discovering new weblogs. More links to add to my ever-burgeoning GoogleReader list! (Dude, so much for trying to be productive.)

“Things that will get me disinherited in short order”

I posted the following link/letter to tumblr a few days ago, via Anjum and Preeti. You should be adding our tumblr feeds to your RSS reader of choice (because we are awesome, clearly), but, in case you neglect to do so, here is the awesomest email ever, in its rocking entirety, written by Karion. All my Rockstar Links & Things are posted over to tumblr these days, but I feel this deserves to be shared here, too – and totally merits a smashing HIGHFIVE.


preetalina: And I say it as a simple American. :)

anjum: That email? Thank you. I say that as an American, & as a Muslim.

robot-heart: cvxn:karion:

Some context: my mother forwarded an email that had the “Obama is a secret Muslim, look at all his Mulsim friends, also a terrorist in his spare time” type of crap. I kind of lost my shit and sent the following – as a reply all (everyone in her address book).

Maybe this is difficult to see from your perspective. Let me give it to you from your kids.

This email is bullshit – all of the claims are demonstrably false and all are just a thinly veiled racist slur against Obama. Fifteen minutes of independent research will tell you that. The argument that “this is the other side” is downright pathetic, for if this is what ‘the other side’ has to offer, it is nothing more than racist, hateful, fear-mongering bullshit.

But from our family’s perspective, it is much worse that you are passing this shit around. You and Dad have lived in Muslim countries for almost all of your 30 years abroad. In that time, you have not been persecuted, harassed, harmed or otherwise molested for being American or being Christian. To the contrary, you have prospered. You have been able to worship in countries that DON’T have a free exercise of religion clause, and you have been able to do that without any harassment. Do you not realize that you have been a foreigner in these countries and been permitted to live as Americans do? With little regard to the local culture and customs and laws?

So when you pass along these utterly bullshit, racist, fear-mongering emails, you are kind of thumbing your nose at all of that and playing into the worst part of our country. You are spreading the “fear the Muslim” thing, even though Obama isn’t Muslim and even if he was, you both know better. You have lived it. You have lived with Muslims for nearly three decades. You haven’t been burned at the stake for being Christian. Dad hasn’t lost his job because of an infidel. Your house wasn’t burned down for Christmas lights. You have been privileged to live a Christian life in some of the most Muslim countries in the world and no one has harassed you for it.

Why on earth you cannot take your “Christian” message of tolerance and your 30 years of experience and not call bullshit on this type of political rumor is completely beyond me. It is, quite frankly, horrifying. How did your four kids learn this and you didn’t? How did we all learn to independently research and inform ourselves while our parents forward these junk, bullshit emails? How is it that we can all see this for the ignorance that it is, and yet our parents, who are supposed to know better, don’t?

Look, I can understand Dad’s support for McCain, given the Naval Academy thing, although I suspect if Dad actually read about McCain’s time at the Naval Academy, he would be pretty disgusted. I see no similarities between McCain and Dad whatsoever, and I am really proud of that. I doubt you’ll read this, as it is longer than a People think piece, but you should read this article in Rolling Stone. It is remarkably well-sourced, but it is also ten pages. That is longer than the attention span of most people who forward these kinds of emails:

Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty”

Mostly, I just wish the two of you would actually use some of your experiences over the past 30 years and speak up. I am not saying support Obama, but just think critically, and denounce the kind of bullshit that you are forwarding. Write an email denouncing Obama using objective facts if you are so inclined. But don’t be part of the ignorant class. Your kids expect so much more of you.