Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism

by Rashmee

Posted on September 7, 2020


The tendency towards aniconism and the erasure of the secular-religious distinction is a bit of a conundrum. Some scholars posit that it was part of a trend from before the rise of Islam. Indeed, even in the 6th century, before the coming of Islam, there was already starting to be a drift away from representational … Continue reading “Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism”

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Muslim opinion gradually hardened towards aniconism

by Rashmee

Posted on September 6, 2020


There are many examples of the gradual hardening of Muslim opinion towards aniconism. Aniconism, not iconoclasm. It’s important to note the distinction. Aniconism refers to cults where there is no iconic representation of the deity [anthropomorphic or theriomorphic, which is to say in animal form] to serve as the dominant or central cultic symbol. As … Continue reading “Muslim opinion gradually hardened towards aniconism”

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‘Re-educating’ Chinese Muslims and all of Denmark

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


There is no discernible attempt by Denmark to force Muslims in the country to cease to be Muslim. The “re-education” of Muslims in two different parts of the world — China and Denmark — has come sharply into focus. China’s ambassador to Britain dismissed a BBC report that Muslim children in Xinjiang region are systematically … Continue reading “‘Re-educating’ Chinese Muslims and all of Denmark”

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Jihadist terrorism is falling in the US. The right-wing threat is rising. And fear remains high

by Rashmee

Posted on June 17, 2019


“America saw only one death from jihadi-linked terrorism in 2018”. That was the first sentence of Daniel L. Byman’s piece on terrorism in The New York Times. The article featured on the Brookings website too, perhaps because Mr Byman researches terrorism, Iran and Middle East security issues at the Brookings Institution. That piece should have run … Continue reading “Jihadist terrorism is falling in the US. The right-wing threat is rising. And fear remains high”

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The Catholic Pope’s visit to the Arabian Peninsula reprised Abbasid times

by Rashmee

Posted on March 6, 2019


Weeks after Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates, the implications remain profound. For the Middle East, birthplace and cradle of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is considerable resonance in the document signed by the Pope and  Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque and university. The ‘Document on Human Fraternity’, as it’s called, … Continue reading “The Catholic Pope’s visit to the Arabian Peninsula reprised Abbasid times”

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What’s Boris burqa row about? The man argues against banning it

by Rashmee

Posted on August 9, 2018


The Boris Johnson “row” over the burqa confirms one thing alone – that most people don’t read, they just babble. Having heard everyone getting all worked up about Mr Johnson’s alleged denigration of Muslim women, I’m wondering if they actually read what he wrote. I’m no fan of Mr Johnson, his opportunistic politics and self-serving … Continue reading “What’s Boris burqa row about? The man argues against banning it”

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Trump lit slow-burning cultural fuse setting the tone for Jerusalem speech

by Rashmee

Posted on December 10, 2017


Some political events are volcanic; others are like a slow-burning fuse. US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a political volcano but days earlier he lit an interfaith cultural fuse by retweeting three anti-Muslim videos originally posted by a fringe far-right British group. One of the three videos merits particular … Continue reading “Trump lit slow-burning cultural fuse setting the tone for Jerusalem speech”

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Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2017


It’s been nearly three weeks since the prime minister of Greece announced his government was going to do away with an extraordinary bit of imperial baggage – sharia law – that governs Western Thrace on the land border with Turkey. This state of affairs is a hangover from the Ottoman empire, as The Economist recently … Continue reading “Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire”

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Sufism’s tragedy is how imperfectly it is understood today

by Rashmee

Posted on December 3, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Before Egypt, it was Pakistan. In South Asia’s most populous Muslim country, for more than a decade, militants have been picking off worshippers at shrines dedicated to Sufi poets and pirs or spiritual guides. They have killed dozens at a time, leaving a bloody gash along paths normally strewn with red rose petals. In February, … Continue reading “Sufism’s tragedy is how imperfectly it is understood today”

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Vikings writing Allah? Read Michael Crichton’s 41-year-old novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’

by Rashmee

Posted on October 14, 2017


Those who wonder about the recent report on “Allah” embroidered onto Viking funeral clothes should read Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’. The book’s title has a strapline ‘The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in AD 922 ‘. Later, Crichton’s novel was republished as The 13th Warrior to correspond with the film adaptation. … Continue reading “Vikings writing Allah? Read Michael Crichton’s 41-year-old novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK