The film Papicha is based on a binary vision of the Civil War in Algeria, the Black Decade, which followed a military coup rejecting the 1991 Islamist electoral victory. The opening scene shows Nedjma, an aspiring fashion designer, and her friend Wassila getting ready inside a taxi for a night out at the club. They apply their makeup, put on their heels, and plug in … Continue reading Papicha: The Muslim Damsel in Distress
Has there ever been a film as influential and provocative as Taxi Driver? It may seem a strange choice at first. Even among director Martin Scorcese’s filmography, it is hardly the most acclaimed (Raging Bull, GoodFellas), nor the most controversial (The Last Temptation of Christ, The Wolf of Wall Street). And yet it is Taxi Driver, above all the others, that has struck a nerve … Continue reading God’s Lonely Man: Taxi Driver and the Onslaught of Modernity
In the spring of 2013, a debate on the legal status of the Shari’ah (Islamic law) in England and Wales took place in the British House of Commons (1). Several issues were brought into question, seemingly in need of further clarity from the then-Conservative party and Liberal Democrat coalition government. Firstly, it was demanded that the government state whether there was only one law in … Continue reading The Modern Presence of Shari’ah in English Civil Law
Diagnosing Modern Moral Debate Incommensurability, the idea that there is no rational method to weigh claims between two conceptual frameworks, is a core feature of morality today and the source for moral confusion (1). Even though moral positions take the form of logical validity, two competing valid arguments result in an interminability which denies a rational closure to the debate. But why is this so? … Continue reading Scientific Naturalism and the Abortion Debate
“Through all his technical inventions and celebrated innovations, man has made himself useless. In recent years technological progress has been explosive: humanity has been successful in obliterating the roles of producer, refiner, transporter, distributor and serviceman. When we manage to also rid ourselves of the role of the consumer, everything will be over. A clanking of robots for some time; then, only deep silence.” Pentti … Continue reading Technology as a Mode of Secular-Liberal Theology
Sick men flock here from many lands, And go back home in health; But my own men, racked with hunger and disease, Lie dying on my roads … If Mahjoor, compelled by love, Lays bare some bitter truths, The lovers of my beloved land Should not take it to heart! “Naalay Kashmir,” Mahjoor One of Kashmir’s most beloved poets, Mahjoor began his life as a … Continue reading Remade in the Vernacular: The BJP’s Right to Dominate Kashmir
A Book Review of Prohibitions of the Tongue by Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud Normative ethics across the political and religious spectrum today often relies on rigid application of absolutes. The one who opposes oppression must fight to eradicate every oppressor and never be kind to one. The one who loves must love everyone as they are, revealing not a smidgen of intolerance. The one who cares … Continue reading What’s Missing From Today’s Ethical Mindset?
Revolution, often affected through battered souls ambushed by endless hardship, has taken on a romantic flavor in history classes. The possibility and promises of change through democracy dominates contemporary thinking. We are often taught that affecting upheaval in today’s world requires ideological commitment and hardy political maneuvering. But need revolution be so grand? Maybe change is seeded in the acts so familiar to us in … Continue reading Can a Nonhumanitarian Ethics Address Economic Inequality?
A Book Review of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought by Allama Muhammad Iqbal Known as the spiritual father of the “idea of Pakistan” and “Hakeem-ul-Ummat (sage of Ummah),” Allama Sir Muhammed Iqbal commands a profound impact on the Muslim intellectual tradition. Bang-e-Dara, The Secrets of the Self, Message from the East, and Javid Nama persist as great poetry collections. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A.) in 1906, and … Continue reading Deconstructing the Reconstruction: Analyzing Iqbalian Discourse
At the heart of how much of the Muslim-majority world regulates its financial and banking laws, Islamic contract and commercial law extends globally. In 2008, Islamic banks globally held about $250 million dollars (1). Less than half a decade later, Islamic banks held over $1.50 trillion. Indonesia, Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey made up 78% of the international Islamic banking assets within commercial banks … Continue reading Legal Pluralism Within International Commercial Law