Many Scientists Convert to Islam by Nomi Stone

Conversations with a Muslim friend


So, if you don’t believe in full it means you don’t
believe. Words tumble onto the rock. A book

Okay then tell me about heaven’s beautiful
food and women. Who are these women?

My friend says, “This life is like a twenty-minute train ride.”
He says, “I live inside my
faith more fully every day.”

I am standing on soaked pavement outside
that majestic hotel in the center of town. Just before
dark, the birds come in a furious swoop like
hornets, stinging the sky to let in

what is on the other side.


Then the next life is equally
about the body, denied in the first?

“Do you know the Prophet knew the exact number of bones in the human
body? And why do you ask so many questions? You ask
more questions than you take in breaths of air.”

The birds beat. They crumple in
rivers of sky. At the same time every day. Kierkegaard said that

every instant a man in despair is contracting it. My friend is not
in despair; I am not in despair.


Kierkegaard says there are three kinds of despair: despair
at not being conscious of having a self, despair at not being
willing to be oneself, and despair at willingness to be

oneself. Listen, the train. Why complain about
the seat, the air conditioner? Just do
your best until you arrive.

During Ramadan, I fasted a week. I went to the mosque.

My friend’s uncle said:
“So you are becoming Muslim?” I said: “No.” He said: “Shame
on you.”

In the cold November current, there is a whirring of wings. Sometimes
they cloud into petals, sometimes they don’t.


When the forehead presses to the earth, the blood moves
down. In the joining, the self lightens. You must count the three perfect
joints of each finger to keep time. Make no mistake, you leave the body only

through the body. The train ride. This quiet voice that is borrowed or my own.



1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim

I don’t usually post about the same person twice in a row, but Anida Yoeu Ali is kind-of my hero.

I had tears in my eyes by the end of this video - so beautifully made and Anida is Yoeu Ali is powerful.

Mosquito mistaken for Muslim… Sikh mistaken for Muslim… Spanish mistaken for Muslim… America mistaken for white people…


The Taqwacores Movie Trailer - Official (HD) (via taqwacoresmovie)

Sundance Film Festival Description:

Oh, to be young, beautiful, Muslim—and punk rockers! Heres one story of disaffected American youth we havent seen before.

Yusef, a straitlaced Pakistani American college student, moves into a house with an unlikely group of Muslim misfits—skaters, skinheads, queers, and a riot grrrl in a burqa—all of whom embrace Taqwacore, the hardcore Muslim punk-rock scene. They may read the Koran and attend the mosque, but they also welcome an anarchic blend of sex, booze, and partying. As Yusef becomes more involved in Taqwacore, he finds his faith and ideology challenged by both this new subculture and his charismatic new friends, who represent different ideas of the Islamic tradition.

Adapted from the influential novel by Michael Muhammad Knight (cowriter of the film), The Taqwacores marks the energetic directorial debut of Eyad Zahra, who creates a wholly original spin on the identity narrative and invests the filth and fury of Islamic punk with humor and humanity.

Really hope I get the chance to see this. I’ve been interested in the taqwacore scene for a while now, so I’m glad this is getting released.

I also recommend listening to Issue Oriented podcast Episode 48 (iTunes link) with Taqwacore band The Kominas. Thanks to vivzilla for telling me to listen to it. The Kominas are really inspiring and through their interview I reaffirmed my faith in punk rock.

The history of the relationship between America and the Muslim World is deeper and more complex than the common perception might suggest. Thomas Jefferson taught himself Arabic using his own Quran kept in his personal library, and had the first known presidential Iftaar by breaking fast with the Tunisian Ambassador at sunset. President Dwight Eisenhower attended the dedication ceremony of the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 1957. President Bill Clinton issued the first presidential greeting for Ramadan, appointed the first Muslim American ambassador, M. Osman Siddique, to Fiji, and sent the first presidential Eid al-Adha greeting to Muslims. And one year after President George W. Bush placed the Holy Quran in the White House library in 2005, Representative Keith Ellison took the oath of office on the same Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson two hundred years before.