Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The British Mosque: An Architectural and Social History by Shahed Saleem

A mosque is more about process, argues Saleem, than it is about the finished product. It is about the often slow, “iterative” business by which a community defines its needs, finds a site, raises money and commissions a building. 
Mosques, he says, are “vehicles for the dynamic reconstruction of tradition” and their conservatism can be explained as a reaction to both racism and homesickness for countries of origin. 
His own preferences do, however, become clear, in a non-traditional mosque that he has himself designed in Bethnal Green, London. He also likes the abstractly Islamic Cambridge mosque, now being built to the designs of Marks Barfield, architects of the London Eye. And, surely, the future of mosque design should indeed be about finding a British Islamic way of building to stand alongside – rather than copy – those of the Mahgreb, or Turkey, or the subcontinent. Just don’t expect this transformation to happen quickly.
I have not read the book. Find it in a library near you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Walking Dead S8E09 "Honor" Portrayed Two Muslim Religious Texts #TWD

[Spoiler Alert] On AMC's The Walking Dead, in Season 8, Episode 9 "Honor," as Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is burying his son Carl (Chandler Riggs), he repeats the mantra "My mercy prevails over my wrath."

This is a translation of a passage in Sahih al-Bukhari, an important collection of narrations about the deeds and words attributed to the Messenger Muhammad ﷺ:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لما قضى الله الخلق كتب في كتابه فهو عنده فوق العرش إن رحمتي غلبت غضبي

Allah's Messenger ﷺ said, "When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, "My Mercy overpowers My Anger."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hey Creative People! Is it the right time for a remake of "The Prisoners of Quai Dong" by Victor Kolpacoff?

My local public library regularly removes books from its shelves for a variety of reasons. I purchased about 15 boxes of books through the Friends of the Library, a volunteer organization which sells these books to fund efforts to support the public libraries in my city. I've sold, exchanged and given away most of the books in those 15 boxes. Recently, I received an order through my Amazon store for The Prisoners of Quai Dong by Victor Kolpacoff. Before fulfilling the order, I read the book. I can't do a proper review of it, but I wanted to give you creative people out there a heads up that this book may be a productive basis for a play or movie or a graphic novel.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Favorite Quote: Oscar Wilde: The Rich & Idle Preach the Values of Thrift & Labor

From Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray:
[Lord Henry Wotton] pictured to himself with silent amusement the tedious luncheon that he had missed by staying so long with Basil Hallward. Had he gone to his aunt's, he would have been sure to have met Lord Goodbody there, and the whole conversation would have been about the feeding of the poor and the necessity for model lodging-houses. Each class would have preached the importance of those virtues, for whose exercise there was no necessity in their own lives. The rich would have spoken on the value of thrift, and the idle grown eloquent over the dignity of labour. It was charming to have escaped all that!
The full text is available online.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Access Free Arabic Texts from Library of Arabic Literature

Point your browser to to http://www.libraryofarabicliterature.org/books/. The books with free, full-Arabic text will have an icon and a message underneath the ISBN number. Click the image below to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Review: How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom by Jacques Berlinerblau

How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom by Jacques Berlinerblau
Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780544105164, 306pp. Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Professor Berlinerblau's book is a "how-to" manual for activists concerned with preserving secularism in the United States. The key to the defense of secularism is building up a large coalition of people. Some will be committed to separationism, one of secularism's variants which "maintains that [order, freedom of religion and freedom from religion] will be achieved in spades if there is, in effect, no relation between government and religion." [p. 125, emphasis in original] Others will be content with accomodationism, which allows government to establish religion, provided it does not privilege one over another. Some will be atheists who promote the abandonment of religion. Some will be believers who interpret their religion to call for distance from the state. Others will be members of religious minorities who fear persecution by the majority. Astute activists will try to gather all of these under the rubric of disestablishmentarianism.