Why Do They Hate Us? The Causes of Extremism

The title is taken from Mona Eltahawy, although this post has nothing to do with her. This article reflects my personal understanding of terrorism as of 6/8/2017. Disclaimer: Some material is quoted directly from ISIS propaganda, so don't read if it's too disturbing. When discussions on extremism take place, one of several possible reasons is usually cited... Continue Reading →

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Notes on 4:34

When traditional reports and secondary source biases are projected onto the Quran, much of its meaning becomes tragically lost in translation. This is what has happened with verse 4:34. What amazed me when I studied this verse was that it's really not that difficult to understand. It doesn't warrant an exegesis of the length that... Continue Reading →

Ramadan 1438

The weather is lovely in Southern California this month. The oceans are clear, and I can see Catalina Island from my window. The Sierra Nevadas stretch out behind it. Peacocks are strutting outside my front door. Two of them, Simone and Simona, have had four children--baby peacocks. We have named them Fluff, Puff, Floof, and... Continue Reading →

If Women Interpreted the Qur’an (Satire)

Commonly circulated (mis)translations of the Quran are not only inaccurate; they are also sometimes comically absurd. It must be understood that mistranslating sacred texts can go both ways. The Quran can be misinterpreted to deprive men of their rights the same way it can be misused to deprive women of theirs. If women took Quranic... Continue Reading →

Blasphemy, Apostasy and the Death Penalty

"They thought their god was offended and so volunteered to do his work for him" -Ahmed on execution for blasphemy Much outrage has been sparked by recent events regarding blasphemy laws, including the Satanic Verses controversy and the subsequent fatwa from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. The definition of blasphemy is notably variable, ranging from "insulting the Prophet Muhammad (sws)" to making... Continue Reading →

To Muslim Women

This was written in order to convey the hypocritical attitude towards women that pervades today's Muslim communities. It is not intended as an all-encompassing description of the experiences of all Muslim women worldwide. It is also not meant to provide fuel for Islamophobes and proponents of racist, exoticizing, Orientalist "Save the Muslim/Arab Women" initiatives. It... Continue Reading →

Religious Education

This is a true story, so (some) names have been changed. I have an exceptional memory for everything I don't need to remember, and everything I want to forget. I notice and memorize facial expressions--I read people, the spark in their eyes, the curve of their lips--to the degree that it exhausts me. I despise... Continue Reading →


"And if all the trees on Earth were pens and the ocean was ink, with seven oceans behind it to add to it, the words of God would not be exhausted. For God is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom" -Quran 31:27 "Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind" -Ralph... Continue Reading →


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