The Carnival of Islam in the West (11)

July 13, 2007 § 3 Comments

Hello everyone, this is the eleventh edition of the Carnival of Islam in the West. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to last this long. I thought it would have lost support long ago, especially after getting a few criticisms early on. Although the criticism I received were not of consequence they did hold fast in my mind for a period, mainly because they were from Muslims.Essentially, they complained that the carnival itself did not stand on a specific platform – such as a sunni platform – nor did the carnival cater to any particular school of thought – such as al-madhhab al-malikiyyah – in fact it was free from all of these identifiers and intently concentrated on all who called themselves Muslim and had something to say. And essentially, this is what I wanted. I was not trying to include or exclude any particular group, which was a standard that did not rest alone with Muslims. The carnival is in fact open to non-Muslim thought about Islam and Muslims as well.

I thought that this premise would overall give a more accurate scope of our reality as Muslims in the West. This is because living in the West we are thrown into a world that is overlapping with variety, variety of beliefs, ideas, interests and habits. Therefore, it makes sense to me that this carnival’s purpose should be to capture the quintessential Muslim of the Western World, but in order to accomplish this it too must include the various and sometimes dichotomous realities that we face daily. For example, in the West you may find two Muslims on the same block who are differernt in everyway except the name that they call, “Lord of the Worlds”, “allah subhana wa ta ‘ala”.

Now that I have taken so much time in this introduction I would like to present to you this month’s carnies:


Irshaad. “Paradox for a Modern Age: A God-Eat-God World. Islam From Inside. 03 May 2007

Here Irshaad highlights a verse (06:001) from the Qur’an and then asks the logical question,

“But how can those who disbelieve in God set up rivals to their God?”

Khan, Fahad. Jihad: The Struggle to Become a Muslim. Personal Qur’an. 02 July 2007

In this article Fahad opines what the Qur’an says of the Arabic word jihad. He translates various forms of jahada into the word “struggle” and gives an explanation on the meaning of the verse as it relates to his translation.

Lawrence of Arabia. “Looking in the Mirror: Orientalism in Music”. Revolt in the Desert. 20 June 2007

Lawrence once again pin points Orientalist innuendos within the music and videos from singers Sarah Brightman, Sting and Cheb Mami. He poingnantly identifies the underlying association of eroticism with Arabia while noting that much of these visual designs are more fantasy than reality with a mix of ethnic articles on the set mistakenly meant to represent one single idea and place in their artistic storyline.

Naeem. “Sexual Education”. Naeem’s Blog. 28 June 2007

Brother Naeem, points us to an article written by Amad of muslimmatters.org and inclines us to contemplate our “hypersexualized society”. He then places on us one of the most worrisome elements of our adult Muslim condition here in the West, that is, protecting our children from exposure and overexposure of sex in our society. Naeem goes on to give us an astute analysis of discussing sex in this society with our Muslim children.

Naeem. “Only in Mecca”. Naeem’s Blog. 07 June 2007

This is the comedic post of this group, Naeem recounts him and his family on umrah in Mecca. This is a very funny article, don’t believe me? Here is an excerpt that I though was hilarious,

“Where are the outrageous colors worn by the African pilgrims? Umrah visas likely haven’t been issued for Nigeria and its neighbors I suppose. Fear not, for they have been duly replaced by the equally brazen shades of shalwar kameez donned by the Indo-Pakistani women.”

Naeem. “The Hell with god”. Naeem’s Blog. 29 May 2007

This post is deals with the debate over using Allah or God. And the author makes reference to an article written by one of my first inspirations as a blogger, our sister Danya of the Sufistication blog (formerly known as Salika Sufisticate).

Naeem. “The Bandits and the Lizards”. Naeem’s Blog. 20 June 2007

Another blog post from our brother Naeem, on the BBC report of Prince Bandar’s scandal. As a side we should note that this is the Carnival of Islam in the West and Naeem, who lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is the leading poster on this blog. That tells us a few things either this carnival is loosing the enthusiasm it once had, generally speaking Muslims in the West have had a busy June or brother Naeem is just really on his din! jazaka’allah kheir akhi… wa allah!

Omyma. Muslim women: “Behind the Cartoon”. ThinkBridge. 09 June 2007

The article is a keen look into self-absorbed people and what happens when their own self-interests are mingled with philanthropy and social causes. Addressing the Muslim woman as one of these causes our author tears into those would be activists and their assumptions attempting to isolate their connotations as simply a well funded reaction to stereotypes. Omyma, hinges the intellectual proofs of this article’s claims in American sociologist Janet Abu-Lughod’s – ex-wife of Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Palestinian-American scholar, (d. 2001) – work.

Strong, Dal Nun. “The Ageing of Our Inter-Generational Strife”. A Muslim Think-tank. 22 June 2007

This is another strong – no pun intended – piece from D. N. which refers to an article about Mohammad Siddique Khan, the 7/7 Suicide Bomber, written by author Shiv Malik. Dal Nun notes – while admittedly doubting his qualifications to do so – that perhaps these acts of desperation are in some way related to parents of these young people placing “high expectations” on their children for the sake of their own reputation.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in this effort and I would also like to pay special attention to the loyal readers of this carnival. And as a certain, spiritually confused but highly celebrated, Hip-hop mogul would say,

“Thank you for coming God bless and good night.”

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§ 3 Responses to The Carnival of Islam in the West (11)

  • Fahad says:

    Salaam Hakim.
    Good stuff! Thanks for including me 🙂 .

    Essentially, they complained that the carnival itself did not stand on a specific platform – such as a sunni platform – nor did the carnival cater to any particular school of thought – such as the al-madhhab al-malikiyyah – in fact it was free from all of these identifiers and intently concentrated on all who called themselves Muslim and had something to say. And essentially, this is what I wanted. I was not trying to include or exclude any particular group, which was a standard that did not rest alone with Muslims. The carnival is in fact open to non-Muslim thought about Islam and Muslims as well.

    I thought that this premise would overall give a more accurate scope of our reality as Muslims in the West. This is because living in the West we are thrown into a world that is overlapping with variety, variety of beliefs, ideas, interests and habits. Therefore, it makes sense to me that this carnival’s purpose should be to capture the quintessential Muslim of the Western World, but in order to accomplish this it too must include the various and sometimes dichotomous realities that we face daily…

    This is a very good and open-minded approach, and will hopefully bring thought-provoking content to our attention.

  • Hakim says:

    Salaam Fahad,

    “This is a very good and open-minded approach, and will hopefully bring thought-provoking content to our attention.”

    Doesn’t the Qur’an instruct us to be an open minded community. I have always found that the legitimate scholars of Islam are in fact proponents of open communications with all walks of life. Our Prophet, was not a closed minded person, he was a liberal visionary – in terms of liberation, and not Western political terminology – when the rest of the world was trying to protect themselves from “the others”. So I would just like to keep this tradition alive.

  • Fahad says:

    Very true.

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