Andrew Tate and the Ethics of Sincerity in Digital Engagement

There is an obvious question for consideration here: why do some people come out in support of Tate while others come out against him? Why do some people seemingly materialize out of thin air to say we must have a good opinion of him, while other more progressive-leaning individuals come out to say Tate deserves the worst human punishment possible? Continue reading Andrew Tate and the Ethics of Sincerity in Digital Engagement

Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part III: It Starts and Ends With Tawḥīd

The theocentricity of Islam is distinguished from other faith traditions through the principle of tawḥīd (absolute monotheism). Faruqi argues that tawḥīd is not merely a tenet of creed, but also a philosophical foundation. All matters of a Muslim’s life, his belief, spiritual and social obligations, are all in service of tawḥīd. When taking Islam as an entire system of thought rather than a set of customs and superstitions, tawḥīd is the philosophical foundation upon which it stands. All endeavors, be they personal, social, political, intellectual, scientific or artistic, must be in service of this sublime divinity.  Continue reading Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part III: It Starts and Ends With Tawḥīd

Vampires, Witches and the Walking Dead in Ottoman Lands

“’On the Night of Karakoncolos, the obur would awaken to feast on human blood. Relatives of the victim would urgently seek out a village elder with expertise in finding the creatures. They then would go to the grave from whence the obur had emerged and exhume the body…’ [reported] Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi, on one of his expeditions around the empire in the 17th century.” Continue reading Vampires, Witches and the Walking Dead in Ottoman Lands

Muslim Scholars in Japan: Contemplating Islam in a Non-Muslim Society

I suspect most people are not familiar with Islamic history in East Asia, despite the region being home to one of the world’s oldest masjids, built in 7th or 8th century China. More recently, in 20th century Japan, the Kobe Masjid was built and mostly supported by foreign Tatar, Turkish, and South Asian Muslims. (You can see a South Asian influence in its architecture.) Japan has one of the youngest Muslim communities in history, making East Asia home to both the oldest Islamic traditions established by a non-Arab and the youngest. Continue reading Muslim Scholars in Japan: Contemplating Islam in a Non-Muslim Society

Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part II: On Islamicates and Third Ways

The modern history of the Balkans region presents a great analogy for the West’s anxieties towards the Islamic world, an uncanny image of an Islamic heritage which the heirs of Christendom wished to forget. From the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s, through to the rise and fall of Yugoslavia such an image would remain. During the Bosnian civil war of the 1990s, Serbian nationalist propaganda would evoke this Islamic past in order to alienate the Bosnian Muslim population, pejoratively referred to as “Turks,” to illustrate their supposed foreignness and therefore lack of belonging to the region. [5] In this light, Bosnia finds itself in geographical and cultural limbo. Such was the world which Alija Izetbegovic (1925-2003) was born into, and such was the world molded him. Continue reading Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part II: On Islamicates and Third Ways

Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part I: On Culture & The West

While the term “cultural studies” would not emerge as a distinguished academic discipline until the 1960s (with the establishment of the Centre for Cultural Studies in Birmingham), culture as an aspect of social life was first given serious consideration in the nineteenth century. During this period, many of the thinkers occupying the academic sphere of Europe — and by extension America — observed what they believed to be distinct and radical shifts in the social and intellectual currents of their respective societies. By the early twentieth century, these observations of “culture” were explained as symptoms of a new historical era. Continue reading Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part I: On Culture & The West

The Male-Only Panel Fallacy

The issue of male-only panels is a new one. Outrage often seems manufactured: Muslim women are not “represented” in conferences, scholarly circles, panels, public events, speaking engagements, etc. This is considered a big problem, as it clearly serves as evidence of systematic misogyny, and Muslims will never progress unless it is resolved via a quota system of integrated avenues — or so goes traditional wisdom. Continue reading The Male-Only Panel Fallacy

Forgotten History: The Hamidiye Hijaz Railway – A Trans-Ottoman Railway

We always learn lessons from history; it acts as a guiding light whereby we make decisions based on our past mistakes and success. Therefore, it is important to learn history — especially one’s own. The collective amnesia of Islamic history has lead us to a stage where we are looking for answers on social media, lured in by orientalists and academics and believing in false … Continue reading Forgotten History: The Hamidiye Hijaz Railway – A Trans-Ottoman Railway