Various writings on various religions

Bin Laden's Sept 11 2007 message has a leftist/Islamic mix


Ossama Bin Laden, head of Al-Qaeda, appeared in a video posted on some sympathetic web sites. This is the first time in 3 years he has done so.

Noting that he looks more youthful, Western media has noticed his shorter trimmed bird, and less grey hair compared to before.

Moreover, Radio Free Europe analyses certain aspects of the video message, including:

Muslim veil, Elections Canada and Stephen Harper: why the issue?


I am not a supporter of the Muslim veil (Niqab or Burka, among other names), as I think it is more cultural than religious. But I certainly do not mind someone wearing it for whatever reasons she may think.

Elections Canada said that veiled women will not have to uncover their faces to have their identity verified for the upcoming elections.

CBC reports:

Religious freedom: Tajikistan forbids hijab, Azerbaijan burns beards


While Tajikistan universities ban hijab for women, Azerbaijan police burns the beards of men growing them.

Sometimes, the focus on religious freedom issues of Muslims is on Western countries, where there are indeed issues, but let us not forget that despotic regimes in Muslim countries do the same too.

Burqini: an Islamic swimsuit for Muslims and non-Muslims alike?


A new phenomenon in dress, dubbed the Burkini (Burqa + Bikini) is making headlines around the world.

Australia, to Turkey to the USA, women (Muslim and non-Muslim alike)
are wearing the new swimsuit that covers most of the body.

One Mecca Laa Laa in Sydney, Australia is in a lifesaving beach patrol, wearning this new swimsuit. Ronza Othman swims in the ocean because of it.

Splashgear sells the outfits online.

Mixed views on Muslims in the USA


Yet another poll about Muslims in the USA, with some postive and other disturbing results.

(32% believe American Muslims are less loyal to the U.S.) But close to half (46%) of Americans say this country allows too many immigrants to come here from Muslim countries.

A solid majority of Americans (63%) believe most Muslims in this country do not condone violence, and 40% tend to believe the Qur'an itself does not condone violence (28% feel it does). But 41% of Americans feel Muslim culture glorifies suicide.

Historical Islamic Cooking: Andalusian and Baghdadi Recipes


When studying history, we often look for literature, archeology, events, and the like. Seldom do we consider food and recipes to be a topic of history.

However, there are several sites that have recipes from olden days. Some of them have a nice collection of recipes from Islamic countries, most notably Iraq and Andalusia.

These recipes go back all the way to the 10th century, when Baghdad was the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, in the Golden Age of Islam in the East. The Andalusian recipes go further into the 15th century, just before the fall of Granada.

Ex-CIA spy Graham Fuller: The West is wrong about Islam, and insider's view


Graham Fuller is an ex-CIA spy, and a Rand Corp. researcher who lived and worked in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, North Yemen and Afghanistan. He now lives in Squamish north of Vancouver.He is the author of six books and many articles on Islam. His writing focused on Asian Islamic politics, religion and ethnicity. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals and everything from The New York Times to the Christian Science Monitor.

Jewish architect "arrested" by fellow passenger on flight because of "Arab" looking tan


Seth Stein is a New York born Jewish architect from London. He designs interiors for vacation homes of wealthy clients, and hence travels a lot.On his way back from a vacation at Turk and Caicos, he was on an American Airlines flight to New York. After using the bathroom at the start of the flight, he settled with an iPod. A man claiming to be an NYPD police officer pounced on him, holding him in a headlock. He was told that he was acting suspiciously and to stay calm. The man went through his pockets and took his passport and the iPod.He was told that his holiday tan made him "look Arab".

Spanish university professor beard cause him to be forced off a plane by German passengers


Pablo Gutierrez Vega is a 35 year old law professor at the University of Seville.He was on an Air Berlin flight when three German passengers approached him and asked to search his luggage. When he realized that they are not undercover police he refused.Why did this happen? Because Vega had a dark complex and (horror or horrors) a beard!Vega says that "they treated me like an Islamic terrorist because of my appearance". Moreover, he says that the pilot told him "the passengers believed I was a Muslim". How shocking!Read the detailed from the AP and CBS.


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