[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya.]
France's Macron says Islam 'in crisis all over the world today' (02 October 2020)
President Emmanuel Macron described Islam on Friday as "a religion that is in crisis all over the world today," as he made a high-profile address on battling Islamic "radicalism" in France.
Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Islamic State leader (23 September 2020)
Eastern Libyan forces said on Wednesday they killed the leader of the Islamic State group in North Africa during a raid in the southern desert city of Sebha earlier this month.
Turkey Announces Arrest of a Major Islamic State Militant (01 September 2020)
The country’s interior minister said Mahmut Ozden, described as a top Islamic State figure in Turkey, had been planning attacks and kidnappings.
Taliban to seek Islam-based national governance (13 September 2020)
A senior Taliban official has told NHK that the organization will seek national governance based on Islamic principles during ongoing peace negotiations with the Afghan government.
Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar review – courageous and timely (13 September 2020)
This novel incorporates elements of memoir, essay and history to explore post-September 11 America through the eyes of a Muslim and his father.
Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world (30 August 2020)
By one measure, just three percent of Muslims live in countries that are freer than the world average.
Uncertain future for Egypt's Salafists (27 September 2020)
The failure of Egypt’s largest Salafi party to win any seats in recent senate elections is an additional indication of the collapse of the Salafists' popularity.
Three points of the Triangle: Islamic State, Britain, Indian subcontinent (03 October 2020)
If the IS becomes once more a spectre haunting the world, it is territories such as Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan that will be of critical importance.
Why Muslims in France fear a bill on Islamic ‘separatism’ (23 September 2020)
Macron has pushed for a “French Islam” for years, and his latest proposed bill may give him the unbridled powers to see it happen. French politics has been whipped into a frenzy on both sides of the aisles, raising public concern that crime and radicalism will spiral out of control.
Art & Popular Culture
Six African heritage sites under threat from climate change (22 September 2020)
This list includes Djenne, Mali, which used to be one of the centres for the propagation of Islam across West Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and Lamu Old Town, Kenya, which has become a significant centre for learning Islamic and Swahili cultures.
Indian museum celebrating Muslim dynasty renamed after Hindu king (17 September 2020)
Indian state officials have renamed a planned museum in the northern city of Agra that will explore the history of the Mughal Empire—a Muslim dynasty which ruled a vast portion of the subcontinent between 1526-1857—to that of a Hindu king.
A Brief Visual History of the Zodiac in Islam (17 September 2020)
Astrology and the Zodiac are often associated with flowery magazine columns and teenager obsessions, however, unbeknownst to many, they are said to have roots in Islamic heritage.
Cultural Desert: Inside the Arabian art boom (28 September 2020)
The late IM Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art in Doha has done more to put Qatar on the global map than any other institution. Nouvel’s National Museum has just opened across the Corniche from the Museum of Islamic Art.
Diaspo #162 : Moroccan academic Hisham Aidi... between art and politics (03 October 2020)
Moroccan academic Hisham Aidi, a professor at Columbia University in the United States, won many prizes for his books, in which he discussed the relationship between art and politics, and created projects exploring Islam and politics.
Ottomans in Texas: MFA Houston shows Islamic arts (07 September 2020)
For one of its online exhibitions, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has curated a selection of historical works from its stunningly diverse trove of Islamic art, including many works of Ottoman Turkish origin.
Toronto International Film Festival 2020: Where Art Meets Politics (10 September 2020)
As the 2020 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicks off, one of its most anticipated entries is actor Regina King’s directorial debut. Based on Kemp Powers’ award-winning play, One Night In Miami is a fictionalised account of a momentous night in 1964 when four Black icons—boxer Cassius Clay Jr. (who changed his name to Muhammad Ali later that year).
‘The Princess and the Prophet’ Review: An American Bridge to Islam (29 September 2020)
How a Kentucky-born vaudevillian reinvented himself as a “Moorish” prophet and sparked the Black Muslim movement.
Trump’s travel ban motivated Muslims to participate in politics. Now, they’re eyeing local office (08 September 2020)
In few places is that spike in engagement, particularly among younger people, as clear as in this southeastern corner of Michigan, home to one of the oldest and largest Arab American and Muslim communities in the country.
Somalinimo: Filmmaker tells of barriers she faced making documentary about British-Somali women at Cambridge (03 October 2020)
A filmmaker has opened up about the barriers she faced making a documentary about British-Somali women at Cambridge University, which included being turned down by a production company for being “too political.”
Saudi Arabia to re-allow umrah pilgrimage from October 4 - SPA (22 September 2020)
Saudi Arabia will allow pilgrims residing inside the country to undertake the umrah pilgrimage beginning on 4 October after a seven-month pause due to coronavirus concerns.
Women, Gender, & Sexuality
In conservative Kandahar, new gym creates safe space for Afghan women (24 September 2020)
In Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, rights activist Maryam Durani has found a fresh outlet for her decades of advocacy—a new fitness centre for women
In the name of the mother: Afghan woman wins recognition, sparks Taliban opposition (23 September 2020)
Laleh Osmany’s “Where Is My Name?” campaign, which finally brought a change in the law last week, has stirred heated debate in the conservative Muslim country where for some, speaking a woman’s name in public is taboo.
Saudi Arabia to host first Ladies European Tour golf week with back-to-back tournaments (28 September 2020)
Saudi Arabia is to host its first professional tournaments for women in November, with two Ladies European Tour events scheduled to take place. The Saudi Ladies International will be held from 12-15 November, with the Saudi Ladies Team International from 17-19 November.
Egypt police ‘using dating apps’ to find and imprison LGBT+ people (01 October 2020)
In an effort to “clear the streets” of the LGBT+ community, security forces are allegedly targeting Egyptians using dating apps, throwing them into jail, and “subjecting them to torture and abuse.”
Life as a female Qur’an reciter (25 September 2020)
How Muslim women are using their platforms to raise awareness about female Qur’an reciters
Religious Thought & Practice
Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law (02 October 2020)
Sentences against a thirteen-year-old boy and a twenty-two-year-old man for blasphemy have caused an international outcry and sparked a broader debate in Nigeria about the role of Islamic law in a country roughly evenly split between a predominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south.
Pakistan court sentences Christian to death on blasphemy charges (8 September 2020)
A Pakistani court on Tuesday sentenced a Christian man to death on blasphemy charges.
Will the UK’s sharia councils struggle to meet the challenge of Covid divorces? (16 September 2020)
Shari‘a councils across the United Kingdom could be facing a potentially significant rise in their workload as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and many do not have the resources to cope.
Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs (10 September 2020)
Over the years, research and waves of protests and crackdowns indicated massive disappointment among Iranians with their political system. This steadily turned into a deeply felt disillusionment with institutional religion.
Muslims win call to prayer court battle in German town (23 September 2020)
A German court on Wednesday rejected an application to silence the muezzin’s call from a mosque in a small town after a legal dispute lasting five years
Explained: Pakistan’s emotive blasphemy laws (21 September 2020)
In recent years, a record number of cases have been filed under blasphemy law introduced during British colonial rule.
Canada: Murder raises fresh concerns about far-right violence (03 October 2020)
Experts say the killing of a Toronto-area mosque caretaker points to rise of far-right groups in Canada.
Why the Indian state is now scared of the Kashmiri Shia (20 September 2020)
Kashmiri Shia youth are negotiating their own space within the Kashmiri struggle.
Islamophobia in the US presidential election (14 September 2020)
Biden is not an anti-Islamophobia candidate. Just take a look at Obama’s legacy.
Opinion: Reprinting the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is not about free speech (10 September 2020)
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is at it, again: it has chosen to republish the derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad which provoked a violent attack against it in 2015. Asma Barlas says “it is about using speech to reaffirm domination.”
Fifth of white non-Muslims believe that British culture is ‘under threat from invasion’, poll shows (12 September 2020)
Research shows “Islamist and far-right ideas are resonating with young people in the UK.”
Geert Wilders: Dutch far-right leader cleared of inciting hatred (04 September 2020)
A Dutch court has cleared far-right “anti-Islam” politician Geert Wilders of inciting hatred and discrimination, but upheld his conviction for insulting a racial group.
Half of Tories say Islam clashes with British life (30 September 2020)
Anti-racism campaigners have reported more than twenty Conservative Party councillors to the party’s Islamophobia inquiry as polling suggests nearly half of all members think Islam is “incompatible” with British life.
Modern Day Islamophobia Starts with the US and Israeli Right-Wing but Ends with Saudi Arabia and the UAE (28 September 2020)
CJ Werleman traces the evolution of a plan to equate Islam with terrorism to an ideology deployed by Arab Guld leaders and autocrats everywhere.