Maybe it was a “love” crime

This past Friday, members of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio, were forced to evacuate their mosque during maghrib prayers. Someone – no one is sure who – allegedly released a “chemical irritant” through the windows of the mosque. Two people were hospitalized, and several were treated at the scene for troubled breathing and burning eyes.  This incident occurred just days after DVDs of “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” were distributed free-of-charge in the city’s newspapers, alongside a paid advertising campaign about the film, which is being distributed in more than 70 papers nationwide. (To learn about the film, click here).

Further investigation hasn’t turned up anything conclusive just yet. While emergency personnel reported a suspicious odor in the basement of the building, they also said that there was no indication of this being a hate crime. You know – despite it targeting a specific religious group, in a building designated for the gathering of that group, during a major religious holiday.

* See Aziz Poonawalla’s take on the incident here.

* NPR reports on the organization responsible for distributing DVDs of “Obsession”.

Ramadan kareem (to the extreme)

Dear readers:

I hope this latest post finds you well. I apologize for my silence over the past few weeks – with Ramadan’s arrival came some personal challenges, and your girl’s in a tough spot! In the coming days and weeks, however, I will do my best to keep this blog properly updated inshallah. If you’ve emailed me, though – it will be a while before I’m able to respond adequately. My apologies and please bear with me.

I hope that all who are observing have had a blessed Ramadan. To those who have emailed me this question – yes, I fast during Ramadan. Curious about Ramadan? Read here for more information.

Also, a blessed Rosh Hashanah to our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Devastation in one of Cairo’s poorest neighborhoods

Shawn Baldwin for the New York Times)
(photo: Shawn Baldwin for the New York Times)

This morning, a large portion of a stone cliff fell and toppled apartment buildings in one of Cairo’s poorest neighborhoods. At least 24 people are dead, and it is feared that hundreds of people, including entire families, are still trapped beneath the rubble. Officials have been slow in responding to the disaster – which has struck mainly working class families living in substandard conditions to begin with.

Read more here and here. Above all, please take a moment to keep Cairo in your thoughts and prayers this Ramadan.