Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?

The Charter of Principles of French Islam declares the religion to be compatible with France’s particular brand of secularism, laïcité, and its attendant values; in other words, it represents the subjugated and heavily privatised form of the religion that President Macron wishes to see. In January, a close advisor to Macron warned that Muslim organizations which refused to sign the charter would “see their operations inspected very, very closely by our services.”[1] The French Republic cannot tolerate Muslim difference: it aims only to homogenize and assimilate. Continue reading Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?

British Muslims and the Challenge of Multiculturalism

Over the last 20 years, the Muslim community in the United Kingdom has grown to over 2 million people. According to significant studies, the increasing population of British Muslims is one of the main reasons for British success on the political and economic levels, as well as the continued development of British society. However, British Muslims are still viewed by many as an unfriendly or hostile minority causing trouble and creating schisms within British society. This article will examine the favourable and unfavourable perspectives towards British Muslims in the United Kingdom and will shed light on the efforts and willingness of the Muslim community to integrate within British society. Continue reading British Muslims and the Challenge of Multiculturalism

The GameStop Short Squeeze: An Islamic Perspective

Why did a seemingly ungainly retail video games shop cause such a tumult in the haughty egotistical world of Big Finance? . . . As the saga unfolded . . . more searching questions were raised about the volatile and often vacuous nature of the stock market in a capitalist system. The global capitalist financial structure often gets a free pass, as the alternatives . . . are simply ignored as being too coarse and impracticable. Continue reading The GameStop Short Squeeze: An Islamic Perspective

Islamophobic Narratives: Meccan and Medinan Resistance

The Kunta federation played an important political and economic role in Maghribi history. Shaykh Bāy al-Kuntī founded a great number of zawiyas (religious schools) and sent missionaries to preach Islam in the Middle Niger and Western Saharan regions. Bāy al-Kuntī called people to jihad against the carnal soul, which the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ designated the greater jihad, as well as the return to the fundamental sources of Islamic jurisprudence. He believed he was the mujaddid (one who brings renewal) of the thirteenth century whom Allah called upon to restore the umma to its glorious past not only in West Africa but throughout the whole Muslim world. [1] The wide range of territories that encompassed his influence is said to be the largest area ever to come under the wing of an African Muslim without military conquest.  Continue reading Islamophobic Narratives: Meccan and Medinan Resistance

Paranoia of Islam in Literary Orientalism

As Islamophobia pervades the world, invading minds and infecting intellect, Muslims have arisen as a target for collective crucifixion and condemnation. It’s a tradition of hate with a hoary past, the complexities of which can be navigated through a sustained investment in critical thinking. Amidst the tumult of the Lebanese Civil War and the Iranian Revolution, the Islamist uprising in Syria, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, emerged Edward Said’s groundbreaking work: Orientalism. The book unmasks how Western literature and scholarship have created a civilizational binary through the presentation of the Orient (the East) as the cultural antonym of the glorious West. Continue reading Paranoia of Islam in Literary Orientalism

Horoscopes, Manifestation and Secular Religion

Manifestation ignores the will of God and reducing the human spirit to “energies” tells us enough about the extent to which we can reconcile these concepts with Islam. Some Muslims have tried to co-opt the essence of manifestation by adding in sha Allah to their self-affirmations. It is argued that, by adopting this oral practice, the remembrance of Allah as the ultimate bearer of fate is simply underlined with an extra source of motivation. In other words, “speaking things into existence” is a virtue that can be embodied with the help of God. The issue here is that God becomes secondary. Continue reading Horoscopes, Manifestation and Secular Religion

Reflections on Dualism in Blade Runner 2049

Is it possible to know what it is like to want to be desired or loved, without a soul? This thought-provoking question is grappled with throughout the film Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017). The protagonist Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a Nexus-9 replicant who works for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and secretly yearns for real humanity, at least within his programmed limits. His love interest (Ana de Armas as Joi) is but a hologram, yet in her final moments, she attempts to utter the words “I love you.” Before she can finish, her virtual presence is wiped from existence, her data permanently destroyed. Continue reading Reflections on Dualism in Blade Runner 2049

Reclaiming Empathy: A Film Review of “Grave of the Fireflies”

One of the blessings in art – one that appears to be lost in the spirit of the Western Muslim – is that it allows us to find new ways to question and reflect upon our personal states. With respect to cinema, despite the countless films and genres that appear to celebrate all manners of excess including senseless violence and gore, there are those that utilize these motifs to invite reflection from the audience. One such film is the Japanese animation Grave of the Fireflies. Continue reading Reclaiming Empathy: A Film Review of “Grave of the Fireflies”

Mukbangs and a Culture of Gluttony

Watching someone succumb to their food cravings in grotesque fashion has provoked different reactions; some are hypnotized by the concept, some are repulsed, and some are simply confused. But overall, eating shows have become more or less normalized. What does this say about a new global culture, where a trend in one part of the world can be catapulted worldwide by the strength of American content creation? What are the consequences? What does our Islamic tradition have to say about eating shows? Continue reading Mukbangs and a Culture of Gluttony

The Fine Line: A Film Critique of Doucouré’s “Cuties”

Even before Maïmouna Doucouré’s Cuties, or Mignonnes in French, was released on Netflix, it ignited international debate. The trailer alone provoked huge controversy for the film’s questionable use of minors, representation of minorities, and framing of Islam. Although raw emotion and knee-jerk reactions can be impulsively misleading and hinge on mob mentality, they may also be incredibly revealing. The instinctual response to a film says a lot about how well it conveys its message appropriately. Continue reading The Fine Line: A Film Critique of Doucouré’s “Cuties”