Ramadan Traditions in Constantine

We should take note of Constantinian heritage not only because it is worth basking in its splendor, but because it serves a sentimental purpose. With Christmas being completely commodified, many of us may feel pressured to compete by curating a Ramadan ambiance through the same capitalist means. One cannot stress enough the importance of aesthetics in Islam, but we should not forget that we can create beauty out of time spent cooking traditional foods with our families, listening to melodies in praise of God and His beloved Messenger, and giving charity. Continue reading Ramadan Traditions in Constantine

Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

The list of dead, white British men who lorded over the Subcontinent is long, but Thomas Macauley holds a special place among them. The archetypal British colonial administrator, Macauley was best known for his instrumental role in entrenching English into the cultural and epistemic life of the Subcontinent. In decreeing the supremacy of English as the language of power, and the displacement of traditional sciences and knowledges, Macaulay famously said: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, — a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”  Continue reading Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

 Islamophobia is a long standing, deeply entrenched, global issue. Growing bodies of research point to the proliferation of Islamophobia cases across the globe in recent years. It disrupts civil society at many levels, from anti-Muslim policies to heightened tensions and hate crimes, including the increased bullying of Muslim children. One of the core causes of Islamophobia is ignorance, which is often fueled by stereotyped and negative portrayals of Muslims in media and popular culture.   Continue reading Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

‘Trojan Horse’ or a British Tradition?

Birmingham, Britain, 2014 — a scandal hit the headlines. A letter was leaked to the press which had been sent to the City Council detailing “Operation Trojan Horse,” a plot by a cabal of Muslim teachers and governors to take over and Islamicize state schools in Birmingham. A national outcry followed, and the government swept into action: the former head of Counter Terrorism Command led an investigation, and several people were banned from teaching. Continue reading ‘Trojan Horse’ or a British Tradition?

Religious Symbols, Liberalism, and Laïcité in Quebec

In December 2021, a Muslim woman in Quebec, Canada lost her teaching position because she refused to remove her hijab in the classroom. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, despite his personal disagreement with the law that cost her a job, would not intervene in this “touchy subject,” as the bill under discussion was voted in democratically. This is the latest from a multi-year saga of the formation of the law aptly titled, An Act respecting the laicity of the State. [1] It is important to challenge the very premise that laïcité is a force for a just and plural society.  Continue reading Religious Symbols, Liberalism, and Laïcité in Quebec

Castles of Delusion – Reflections of Power in “Throne of Blood” (1957)

We pan out only to see the ruins swallowed by the mist before vanishing altogether. So begins and so concludes Akira Kurosawa’s eerie period drama “Throne of Blood”. Throne of Blood is the late director’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, trading the warring Scottish Highlands for feudal Japan. It wasn’t one of the famed Japanese auteur’s most lucrative works when it was released, neither domestically nor internationally, but in the decades since the film has garnered significant praise among his oeuvre of works. Continue reading Castles of Delusion – Reflections of Power in “Throne of Blood” (1957)

Al-Quran – Stories of Prophets and Emotional Intelligence

In our daily lives, we regularly encounter challenges affecting our emotions: We feel sad and happy, we may express ourselves by crying or laughing, or we may hide our true feelings behind a smile. Our emotions sometimes bring us to tears, yet we find ourselves comforted and serene in their aftermath. Memories of the past that bring joy to one person may bring heartache to … Continue reading Al-Quran – Stories of Prophets and Emotional Intelligence

Colonialism and Gender Discourse: A Case Study on the Unique Case of the Ulema

The respectful attentiveness that has ever characterized the traditional attitudes of Muslims students before their teachers, male or female, is derived from the example of women as from the men who attended and served him [the Prophet ﷺ]. Shahr ibn Hawshab has narrated from Asma’ bint Yazid that she said: “I was holding the rein of ‘Adba, the she-camel of the Prophet ﷺ when [verses of the] surat al-Ma’idah [were] to him. Because of the heaviness of the revelation the camel’s leg (‘adud) was on the point of buckling (daqqa)”. [3] Continue reading Colonialism and Gender Discourse: A Case Study on the Unique Case of the Ulema

The Activist Economy

A number of celebrities, including Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, were recently invited onto a new TV series named “The Activist” where six individuals compete against one another to promote a particular cause. These include health, education and the environment. Online engagement was one of the metrics by which the impact of different causes was to be measured; however, after backlash, CBS announced changes to the format. Despite this, the existence of such a show raises questions about the way celebrities and major brands use social media activism to boost their profile. Continue reading The Activist Economy