Ramadan: An Inside Islam recap

Ramadan Kareem to all our readers! Photo: desertpeace.wordpress.com

Ramadan starts tomorrow, and for the next month, Muslims around the world will be fastingfeasting, and celebrating. Ramadan is also a deeply reflective time as Muslims worldwide count their blessings and develop spiritually.

We have covered Ramadan from various perspectives over the years, and as Inside Islam heads towards a close, it’s a good time to recap some of what we’ve discussed. In fact, Inside Islam is historically linked to Ramadan, as our first very radio show was held during Ramadan, on September 19, 2008.

So here’s a rundown of our coverage of Ramadan over the years. Continue reading

Is Islam compatible with [blank]?

Here’s a quick exercise: go to Google and start typing the following: “Is Islam compatible with.” What are some of the predictions Google gives you for the end of that sentence? I get: Is Islam compatible with democracy? Is Islam compatible with modernity? Is Islam compatible with secular pluralistic societies? Is Islam compatible with evolution?

Google search predictions for the phrase "Is Islam compatible with..."

In comparison, when I type, “Is Christianity compatible with,” I get evolution, capitalism, yoga, and free masonry. Hinduism gets only one prediction: Christianity. Buddhism gets science, Christianity, atheism, and Judaism. Incidentally, there are no predictions for “Is Judaism compatible with.”

When Google predicts the end of your search, they’re looking for results based on what others before have searched for frequently. So although the exercise is admittedly trite, the message could not be clearer. People (or at least people who use Google) question Islam’s compatibility with fundamental political ideologies (democracy, modernity, secularism) much more regularly than they do other religions. Continue reading

Inside Islam Is Back

Charminar from the Old City, Hyderadad, India Photo: Maha Guru

After a summer hiatus (or winter, for those reading from south of the equator), Inside Islam is back online. I spent the summer in Hyderabad, India, making a film on microfinance and studying Islamic finance, and Reem was here in Wisconsin teaching Arabic. We’ve got plenty of fresh ideas for new content, but we’d also love to hear ideas from you.

What do you want to hear more about? Are there topics that we cover too frequently, or not enough? Are there any specific authors, scholars, or anyone else that you’d like to hear from?

While our blog slowed down over the summer, our radio side continued to produce interesting shows regularly. If you missed any of these, we invite you to check them out. A new Inside Islam staff member, Naya Mukherji, has joined our radio production team. You’ll definitely hear from her here on the blog as well.

Thank you to those of you who have been writing with suggestions. Please keep them coming. You can write to blogislam@insideislam.webhosting.cals.wisc.edu or tweet us @InsideIslam. And, as always, feel free to comment here on anything that piques your interest. Our readers and listeners are an integral part of Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates.