Sunday, June 15, 2014

kemal amin kasem - inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un

The voice of Robin on the Super-friends, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers in the Scooby-Doo franchise, and most famously the long-time host of American Top 40 and related/similar shows. (see Wikipedia)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

wow, another syrian happy video

From the video: "Back in March 2014, Maiko went to Iraq as a Volunteer to help Syrian refugees. She thought it would be wonderful and powerful if she could make a Happy song with syrian refugees living in the camp. The life in the camp is of course, not easy, everyone has lots of burdens and have lost many things back home in Syria But they are not only grieving They celebrate their birthdays, or new born babies, or someone's wedding in the community They always try to have something to have fun with. they are really living their lives. She told them about this idea of a Happy clip, They were so thrilled that they made one.. ;o) I helped them remotely by doing the editing. You can see that they are happy even though they are living a tough situation. Thanks Maiko for your volunteering and your great help. Good luck to all those Syrian refugees !!!! Stay happy, whatever the circumstances."

Friday, June 06, 2014

"somos sur" - ana tijoux (featuring shadia mansour)

Third world solidarity by sisters rapping in Spanish and Arabic.

maps for language and religion

There have been some interesting maps circulating on the internet recently.

and here is another: 

In the first link I was surprised at the appearance of Hmong, Vietnamese and Navajo on the map. While on the second I was surprised by the number of states where the second largest religion was either Islam or Buddhism (I suppose I just expected Jews to appear as the number two religion in more states... I mean, even in Florida, the second largest religion was Islam) I was also surprised that the Bahai Faith was actually the second largest religion in any of the states (they got South Carolina).

aamer rahman on reverse racism

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

yasiin gaye: the return (official teaser)

happy (at least until they go to jail) in tehran

NYT: ‘Happy in Tehran’ Video Spurs Harsher Censorship

muslims give most to charity

Muslims 'Give Most To Charity', Ahead Of Christians, Jews And Atheists, Poll Finds in the UK

syria (restore) happy?

Published on May 26, 2014 Despite the heavy toll of the ongoing Syrian conflict on the lives of Syria's most vulnerable population, its children remain resilient. (RESTORE)Happy contains footage from Zaatari refugee camp and a Syrian refugee school inside Jordan. We traveled to Jordan in April of 2014 equipped with coloring books, crayons, soccer balls, hula hops, jump ropes, and toys and "Happy" by Pharrell Williams blaring on portable speakers... We made this video with hopes to encourage people to support Education and Mental Health programs that work with Syrian refugees and internally displaced Syrian children. Please visit: to find an organization to support. Produced by: Hazami Barmada Omar Al-Chaar Rameen Aminzadeh A project of: Beats, Rhymes & Relief: Join us in the Fall of 2014 One World Syria, A Celebrity Benefit Concert for Syria. Learn more:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

happier without women?

This is the "halal" version of the British Muslim "Happy" video (without instrumental music or "provocative" images of women dancing). I like the fact that they did an acapella cover, but it is somewhat disturbing that apparently some people seem unable to distinguish between smiling hijabi girls walking happily down the street and porn.

fbi uncovers plot to just sit back and enjoy collapse of united states

Given the last entry, this story is more sad than funny... The Onion: FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States

it's official: the us is no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy

From Slashdot

"Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance,' 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'"

happy (#gazaversion)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

happy british muslims

From: The Honesty Policy

List of participants (Rough order of appearance): Laith, Adam Deen, Safiah, Alia, Ghalia, Julie Siddiqui, Salma Yaqoob, Fuad Nahdi, Khalid Ahmed & Ruqaiya, Myriam Cerrah, Hannah Habibi Hopkins, Tanya Muneera Williams, Faisal, Izzi Hassan, Asiyah Juma, Abdul-Hakim Murad, Rukea, Nadir Nahdi, Mizan, Yaz, Sadiya Chaudhory, Kübra Gümüsay and Ali Gümüsay, Fareena Alam, Rahim Jung, Waqaas Ahmed, Saleha Islam, Mo Ansar, Rabie, Edris Khamissa, HP Team, LSE ISOC, Kifah Shah, Aisha and Tahiya, Rumi’s Cave, Thawab and Basma, Omar, Mecca2Medinah, Marwan, Bentley Wood, Remona Aly, Majid Khan, Na’eem Raza, Shama, Zainab and Nuri, Abdul-Rehman Malik, Malaysian family, Asim Siddiqi and kids, Asiyah and Juveid, HP, Omareeto, Rizwan, Bilal Hassam, Nuri, Humera and Khalida Khan, Anwar, Nazli and Jayde, HP team.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"america: number one warmonger" - president carter

Salon: “America as the No. 1 warmonger”: President Jimmy Carter talks to Salon about race, cable news, “slut-shaming” and more

yasiin bey (mos def) + marvin gaye

 Amerigo Gazaway's *Soul Mates* series continues the theme of his previous work in creating collaborations that never were. On the series' latest installment, Amerigo unites Brooklyn rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and soul legend Marvin Gaye for a dream collaboration aptly titled "Yasiin Gaye". Building the album's foundation from deconstructed samples of Gaye's Motown classics, Gazaway re-purposes the instrumentation into new productions within a similar framework. Carefully weaving Bey's tangled raps and Gaye's soulful vocals over his new arrangements, the producer delivers a quality much closer to an authentic collaboration than a lukewarm "mashup" album.

Monday, March 03, 2014

a new generation of afro-latinos tackles race and identity

Fox News Latino: New Generation Of Afro-Latinos Tackles Race And Identity

rebel music by hisham aidi

 I haven't read this yet but it will probably find its way to my booklist:

 From Amazon:
This fascinating, timely, and important book on the connection between music and political activism among Muslim youth around the world looks at how hip-hop, jazz, and reggae, along with Andalusian and Gnawa music, have become a means of building community and expressing protest in the face of the West’s policies in the War on Terror. Hisham Aidi interviews musicians and activists, and reports from music festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe, North Africa, and South America, to give us an up-close sense of the identities and art forms of urban Muslim youth. 

 We see how the current cultural and political turmoil in Europe’s urban periphery echoes that moment in the 1910s when Islamic movements began appearing among African-Americans in northern American cities, and how the Black Freedom Movement and the words of Malcolm X have inspired the increasing racialization and radicalization of young Muslims today. More unexpected is how the United States and some of its allies have used hip-hop and Sufi music to try to deradicalize Muslim youth abroad. 

Aidi’s interviews with jazz musicians who embraced Islam in the post–World War II years and took their music to Europe and Africa recall the 1920s, when jazz inspired cultural ferment in Europe and North Africa. And his conversations with the last of the great Algerian Andalusi musicians, who migrated to Paris’s Latin Quarter after the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954, speak for the musical symbiosis between Muslims and Jews in the kasbah that attracted the attention of the great anticolonial thinker Frantz Fanon. Illuminating and groundbreaking, Rebel Music takes the pulse of the phenomenon of this new youth culture and reveals not only the rich historical context from which it is drawn but also how it can foretell future social and political change.


One muggy afternoon in July 2003, I headed up to the South Bronx for the Crotona Park Jams, a small festival that is little-known locally, but manages to draw hip-hop fans from around the world. The annual event is organized by Tools of War, a grassroots arts organization that invites artists from across the country and Europe to perform in the Bronx, hip-hop’s putative birthplace, and to meet some of the genre’s pioneers, figures like Afrika Bambaataa and Kurtis Blow. I arrived at the park and asked around for Christie Z, a local promoter and activist. Christie, who has blue eyes and a ruddy complexion and wears a white head scarf, is the founder of Tools of War and a smaller group called Muslims in Hip Hop. She is married to Jorge Pabón (aka Fabel), a well-known dancer and master of ceremonies (MC), who appeared in the classic 1980s hip-hop film Beat Street and currently teaches “poppin’ ” and “lockin’ ” dance styles at NYU. The two—Christie Z & Fabel, as they’re known—are a power couple on the East Coast’s hip-hop scene, but they’ve become significant players internationally as well, organizing shows in Europe and bringing artists from overseas to perform in America.

Christie’s story is unusual. “People always ask me,” she says with a laugh, “how did a white girl from central Pennsylvania become a Muslim named Aziza who organizes turntable battles in the Bronx? I say the lyrics brought me here. I was in high school when I heard ‘The Message,’ ” she says, referring to the 1982 breakout song by Grandmaster Flash, which vividly described life in the ghetto during the Reagan era, and was one of hip-hop’s earliest mainstream hits. “I heard that track and I followed the sound to New York.”

I had arrived early hoping for a pre-show interview with the French rap crew 3ème Œil (Third Eye), who had flown in from Marseille to perform that evening. The rap trio is known in France for its socially conscious lyrics. Since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the group had become even more political, rapping about what they call the West’s “stranglehold” on the East. I stood around the stage waiting. A circle had formed with a group of boys clapping and dancing, as the DJ on duty that evening—another pioneer, DJ Tony Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers—spun rap and Latin soul classics. Soon Third Eye’s manager, Claudine, a brown-haired woman in her early twenties, appeared and led me backstage. I explained that I was a researcher at Columbia writing about global hip-hop. Her face lit up. “We’ve been wanting to talk to you for a while,” she said, as she walked me through a backstage tent and out into the open. Later I found out Claudine had thought I was a representative of Columbia Records, about to offer her group a contract.

The sun was setting, a blue glow had enveloped the park, and I walked up to the four young men lounging on a bench facing the spectacular Indian Lake, which sits at the park’s center. Soon I was chatting with the rappers—Boss One (Mohammed) and Jo Popo (Mohammed), both born in the Comoros Islands off the coast of East Africa, but raised in Marseille—and their DJ, Rebel (Moustapha). They were dressed similarly in sagging denim Bermudas, eighties-style Nike high-tops, and baseball caps. Jo Popo gave me a copy of their new hit single, “Si Triste” (So Sad). I told him I’d already seen bootlegged copies at African music stands in Harlem. He nodded and gave me a fist bump. The song, popular among West African youth in New York, offers social commentary over a looping bass line, decrying police brutality and mass incarceration (with a special shout-out to the American death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal). I asked them how the French press responded to their lyrics, and about the anti-immigrant National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen’s claim that hip-hop was a dangerous musical genre that originated in the casbahs of Algeria.

Boss One shook his head, “For Le Pen, everything bad—rap, crime, AIDS—comes from Algeria or Islam.” This was mid-2003; the War on Terror was in its early years. “The more Bush and Chirac attack Islam and say it’s bad,” said Boss One, “the more young people will think it’s good, and the more the oppressed will go to Islam and radical preachers.” His tone became a little defensive when talking about the banlieues, the poor suburbs that ring France’s major cities, stating that life in France’s cités was better than in the American ghettos. “Life is hard in France, but we have a social safety net. Here there is no such thing”—he stood up to emphasize the point—“and it will get worse with Bush, the cowboy, le rancheur!

Their bluster disappeared when I asked what they thought of the Bronx. They grew wistful talking about the Mecca of hip-hop. Jo Popo smiled describing their meeting the day before with hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa. “C’était incroyable!” Bam, as he is known, is particularly loved in France, where he was instrumental in introducing hip-hop in the early 1980s. The group’s music mixer, DJ Rebel, who previously hadn’t said a word, suddenly spoke up. “I have dreamed of visiting the Bronx for all thirty-six years of my life. This is where hip-hop started, this music which has liberated us, which has saved us,” he said with apparent seriousness. “Yesterday we met Bambaataa and Kool Herc. I thanked them personally for what they have done for us blacks and Muslims in France—they gave us a language, a culture, a community.” His voice broke a little.

I was struck by the emotion and sincerity of their words, and I had a few academic questions to ask: Why was the Bronx so central to the “moral geography” of working-class kids in Marseille? Where did this romantic view of the American ghetto come from? Why were they more fascinated by Bronx and Harlem folklore than by the culture of their parents’ countries of origin? Claudine suddenly reappeared and asked them to return to the tent. Grandmaster Flash, the legendary DJ and another iconic figure of global hip-hop, had arrived, and they were scheduled to meet him. “Flash invented scratching—I get paid to teach scratching in France,” said DJ Rebel getting up to leave. “A bientôt,” and the rap trio and their thoughtful DJ walked off. Half an hour later they were on the stage, waving their arms: “Sautez! Sautez! Sautez!” Boss One translated: “That means, ‘Jump! Jump! Jump!’ ”

Sunday, January 05, 2014

aishah, rebeccah and young marriage

From time to time I've been caught up into highly-polemical religious discussions on the internet. At times I've found such discussions personally useful as a way to clarify for myself what I believe. Other times, the discussions are a source of aggravation and a waste of time. One of the more hot-button issues in the context of such discussions is the fact that Muhammad (saaws) married Aishah (ra) when she was relatively young. Alot of the time, my main response would be to point people to  The Young Marriage of Aishah by Abû Imân cAbd ar-Rahmân Robert Squires, which provides a fairly well reasoned discussion of the subject.

Recently my mind has been blown after reading the article: Child Marriage in Ancient Israelite times which, among other things, cites the "respected" rabbinic opinion that Rebecca was only three years old when she got married to Isaac, and that in general, child marriage was INCREDIBLY widespread in the ancient Jewish world

Also see: Our Mother A'isha's Age At The Time Of Her Marriage to The Prophet which presents a fairly detailed argument for Aishah being older than is usually stated, while at the same time making it clear that young marriages were not at all atypical for the time (for example, Aisha herself was almost engaged to someone else).

someone is wrong on the internet