Ramadan mubarak!

Wake me when it's maghrib! A young Indonesian boy waits to break his fast. (Reuters / Yusuf Ahmad)
Wake me when it's maghrib! A young Indonesian boy waits to break his fast. (Reuters / Yusuf Ahmad)

While this blog has been quiet lately, I wanted to wish everyone a blessed Ramadan!

(For more wonderful photos like the one above, click here.)

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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”.

China’s nu ahong – female imams

Anne Miller Darling for Saudi Aramco World
Photo: Anne Miller Darling for Saudi Aramco World

Talk about Islam and the secular state: see this interesting story and photo essay about China’s nu ahong, or female imams.  What a testament to the diversity of Muslims worldwide – not to mention that these women seem fierce! The photo above is one of my favorites – I love her formidable spirit. This woman cooks for her community when they break the fast during the month of Ramadan.

“China’s Hui Muslim women inhabit religious communities, homes and social spheres shaped not only by Islam but also by China’s Confucian culture and its Communist secular state. The photographs indicate how they have come up with unique strategies to help themselves flourish in these circumstances.”

Special thanks to Islamfemina for sharing this story.