One of my mottoes is that the important thing about tech isn't what it does, it's who it does it to, and who it does it for; this is especially important in discussions of "smart city" tech, which can easily be turned to systems of population-scale surveillance, control and oppression.
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Sinead O'Connor, the troubled Irish singer of such fantastic songs as "Nothing Compares 2 U" (penned by Prince), "Mandinka," and "The Emperor's New Clothes," announced that she has converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada' Davitt. Her Twitter icon shows the Nike logo with the words "Wear a Hijab / Just Do It."
"This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim," she Tweeted. "This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian's journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant."
Earlier this year, she had changed her name to Magda Davitt to be “free of the patriarchal slave names. Free of the parental curses.”
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In a new comic series for BuzzFeed, writer Zain Alam and artist Jason Adam Katzenstein share some basic tips on how not to be an asshole to your friends, classmates, or colleagues who are observing Ramadan this month (the Muslim month of fasting lasts from May 26 to June 24 this year). You can see a few panels below and check out the full series over on BuzzFeed.
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In honor of both LGBTQ Pride Month and Ramadan, video maker Dylan Marron has launched a new weekly web series called “Extreme(ly Queer) Muslims.” Every Monday in June, Marron will sit down with a guest to explore issues that relate to the queer Muslim community. In this first episode, he chats with Muneer Panjwani about intersecting forms of oppression and why chewy cookies are better than crunchy ones. Here’s the trailer for the rest of the series:
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A stunning new ad campaign from Nike “pays homage to Middle Eastern athletes and explores the challenges young Arab women aspiring to a professional sporting career may face,” per Vogue. Read the rest
Donald Trump has appointed Gen. Michael "fear of Muslims is RATIONAL" Flynn as his National Security Advisor and Jeff "be careful what you say to white folks" Sessions as his Attorney General. Along with white nationalist hero Steve Bannon's job as Strategic Advisor, that's three strikes for the "give him a chance" crowd from the first three pitches. Japanese-Americans old enough to remember the prison camps know where this is going. Read the rest
When Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) first witnessed a Gorgeous George match, he saw the path to stardom. The provocative professional wrestler walked down the aisle to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” while dressed in a formfitting red velvet gown and a lush white satin robe. With his nose held high, George surveyed his domain and addressed the crowd: “Peasants!” He relished the insults, screams, and foot stomping. “Oh, everybody just booed him,” Clay recalled. “I looked around and I saw everybody was mad. I was mad! I saw 15,000 people coming to see this man get beat, and his talking did it. And I said, ‘This is a gooood idea.’”
Magnanimous president-to-be Donald Trump says that despite his proposed ban on muslims entering the U.S., London's new mayor, Sadiq Khan, may be an exception.
“There will always be exceptions,” Mr. Trump said when asked in an interview on Monday how his proposed ban would affect London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. “I was happy to see that,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Khan’s election. “I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good.”
Asked why, Mr. Trump said, “Because I think if he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.”
Khan's having none of it.
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He rejected Trump's suggestion that he could be an exception to the proposed Muslim travel ban, saying: "This isn't just about me -- it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world."
The statement continued: "Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam -- London has proved him wrong."
“The beauty of women can hurt her and attract evil,” it reads.
From Ibn Tufail's 12th century Hayy Ibn Yaqzan to Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain's 1905 feminist masterpiece Sultana's Dream, the Islamic world produced some of the earliest proto-sf, which IO9's Charlie Jane Anders rounds up in an excellent post. Read the rest
A newly disclosed Snowden leak reveals that the NSA targeted at least five prominent Muslim American leaders, including a former Republican Congressional nominee who served in GW Bush's Department of Homeland Security. Read the rest
Muslims aren't permitted to take a one-way trip to Mars, at least according to a Khaleej Times report about a fatwa they say was issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the United Arab Emirates. “Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam... there is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.” From the Khaleej Times:
Whoever opts for this “hazardous trip”, the committee said, is likely to perish for no “righteous reason”, and thus will be liable to a “punishment similar to that of suicide in the Hereafter”.
The committee, presided by Professor Dr Farooq Hamada, said: “Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.”
One-way trip to Mars prohibited in Islam Read the rest
Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad sez, "I am the editor of Islam and Science Fiction which has been previously featured on Boing Boing. Back in 2007 I co-edited "A Mosque Among the Stars, an anthology of muslims in sci-fi. We are now releasing it for free under a Creative Commons license." Read the rest
Bassam Tariq of 30 Days Ramadan points us to a series of images making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and the like today. The snapshots are ostensibly reactions to the recent violence related to a weird, anti-Islam YouTube trailer for a film produced by a mysterious character with a shady past.
The whole story behind that video and the attacks linked to it is perplexing, and the more that comes to light, the more it feels like a strange disinfo job. But I have no idea by whom, and to what end.
More images here. I don't know who shot them, and am unable to verify that they are what they appear to be as I post.
More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims." Read the rest
Update: The whole thing sounds like a weird disinfo job. But, by whom and to what end? The AP has outed "Sam Bacile" as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian who claims the film supports the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims. On The Media notes that there's something fishy about the film dialogue. And Gawker has spoken to one of the actresses in the film, who says she had no idea what the film was really about.
The Associated Press identifies Sam Bacile as an Israeli filmmaker based in California who made an independently produced and financed anti-Muslim movie that's sort of "Birth of a Nation" meets "Bed Intruder." The YouTube trailer is embedded above, and it unapologetically attacks Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Bacile has no known prior history as a filmmaker.
His D-grade web trailer inspired (or, alternately, was used as cover for) attacks by ultra-conservative Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. J Christopher Stevens, America's ambassador to Libya, and three American members of his staff were killed today in resulting violence.
From the Associated Press:
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Speaking by phone Tuesday from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion. Protesters angered over Bacile’s film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Libyan officials said Wednesday that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob firing machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.
[Video Link] Aman Ali, one of the guys behind "30 Mosques," tells Boing Boing, "Instead of doing a roadtrip this year, we're releasing short films."
I love this one. In it, a Muslim nerd "is excited for the new Dark Knight movie," but it releases on the first night of Ramadan.
The short film stars Aman Ali, is directed by Musa Syeed, and was shot by Omar Mullick. Subscribe to their YouTube channel for more.
"30 Mosques in 30 Days" returns for Ramadan 2012
The "30 Mosques" guys visit "The Ground Zero Mosque"
Letters to a friend: Convicted terrorist's former friends asked, "what ...
30 days through Muslim America, a photo essay
Two Muslim guys photo-blog 30 NYC mosques in 30 days. Read the rest
Photo: Ranoush (cc) Illo: Rob Beschizza
Recent trends in Hijab fashion modernize a form of modest dress once defined by local traditions. In seeking self-expression, however, Muslim women find themselves targeted by a media industry with its own taste for female objectification. Read the rest