Saturday, April 25, 2009

the art of war

Speaking of warriors, I recently started to work on "the greater jihad: a muslim art of war". The initial steps have been deceptively easy. With very little legwork and a halfway decent search engine one can find passages from the Quran and hadith on struggle, conflict, etc. Some more keyword searches have yielded some passages from Nahjul Balagha but eventually I'll read it the old-fashioned way as well. In time I'll add in selections from Malcolm X (many of his speeches are obviously available online too). When that's mostly done I'll have to start making trips to the library to slowly add in more obscure sources. We'll see how it goes.

water warriors

Continuing with the Earth Day/ water scarcity theme I thought I would share information/inspiration about an issue affecting poor people in Highland, MI. Basically water is being privitized more and more to the point that poor people living in the community sometimes can't afford it. In response, local activists are trying to assert and defend the people's right-to-water.

First is a brief documentary on the issue:

And secondly, a spoken word performance by Will Copeland (aka Namaste Brown aka the Ill Wizard). (I should also mention that Will is a member of Longhairz Collective and the author of the song 1nce in a Lifetime which I mentioned a while back in "i've seen ethiopians knocking out rome".

Both the documentary and the poem are entitled "Water Warriors"

happy belated earth day! (water wars and warriors)

Even though I ]missed Earth Day (It was the 22nd of April) I thought it would be good to take the opportunity to post something about the ecology. First there is an independently made video for Mos Def's "New World Water". For me, the song is a reminder of the fact that, water scarcity is becoming a bigger issue and that according to some futurists it won't be too long before governments will fight wars over water the way they fight over oil today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

kings (part one)

when I first saw teasers for the new NBC show Kings they made it seem as if the show would be a contemporary girlie fairy tale a la The Princess Diaries Instead it turns out that the show is a modern retelling of the Biblical story of Saul/ Talut and David/ Dawood (as) (Mostly found in the book of 1 Samuel).

The Quran's version of the story (found at 2: 246- 252) is considerably more concise and less soap opera-ish. Samuel (the unnamed prophet) isn't even identified and the drama, violence, lust and jealousy of the Biblical account is gone.

Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa, when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah.

He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you?

They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children.

But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust.

And their prophet said to them: Surely Allah has raised Talut to be a king over you.

They said: How can he hold kingship over us while we have a greater right to kingship than he, and he has not been granted an abundance of wealth?

He said: Surely Allah has chosen him in preference to you, and He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and physique, and Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases, and Allah is Amplegiving, Knowing.

And the prophet said to them: Surely the sign of His kingdom is, that there shall come to you the chest in which there is tranquillity from your Lord and residue of the relics of what the children of Musa and the children of Haroun have left, the angels bearing it; most surely there is a sign in this for those who believe.

So when Talut departed with the forces, he said: Surely Allah will try you with a river; whoever then drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste of it, he is surely of me, except he who takes with his hand as much of it as fills the hand; but with the exception of a few of them they drank from it.

So when he had crossed it, he and those who believed with him, they said: We have today no power against Jalut and his forces. Those who were sure that they would meet their Lord said: How often has a small party vanquished a numerous host by Allah's permission, and Allah is with the patient.

And when they went out against Jalut and his forces they said: Our Lord, pour down upon us patience, and make our steps firm and assist us against the unbelieving people. So they put them to flight by Allah's permission. And Dawood slew Jalut, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He pleased. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men with others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder; but Allah is Gracious to the creatures.

These are the communications of Allah: We recite them to you with truth; and most surely you are (one) of the apostles.

Friday, April 10, 2009

obama, religion and the daily show

Faith the Nation
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Faith the Nation
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

It is intriguing to see some of the positive overtures that Obama is making towards the Muslim world. At the same time, it is also not surprising to hear that President Obama hasn't been to church in 11 Sundays. Given the amount of controversy which surrounded Obama's earlier choice of a church home it is understandable he would keep his own devotions private and under the radar.

Monday, April 06, 2009

fulana: lupe & juandi from the block

Fulana is a New York-based Latina artist video collective with a number of products under their belt. The project linked to above was inspired by La Virgen de Guadalupe, San Juan Diego, and Nuestra Señora de J-Lo. This music video was created to answer burning questions, such as: What's up with these designer Virgen de Guadalupe jeans?, How come El Indio Juan Diego became a white man for his saintly Vatican image?, Is the Pope concerned about losing the Latino market?, and Are we fooled by the props G-Loop's got? Is she, is she, Lupe from the Block?

see also: return to guadalupe

sufi rap

The Naqshbandi-Haqqani media library gives this clip the title of African Salawat / Rap / Hadrah I've been to the Burton masjid before for other activities (Eid prayer, dhikr) but apparently I missed hip-hop night.

See also sufi breakdancing.