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September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

i often miss the prairies. As i have told some friends while declaiming these lines, i am quite sure this has as much to do with living in the city as it does with living out east, but i sometimes feel like all my pores are clogging up by not ever being able to see the horizon (unless we walk down to the water, and that is a different kind of horizon). It’s not a sour feeling, in itself – we love where we live, the balcony garden with the tomato jungle and pots of potatoes and the fields of mint and basil, the family we live with, the routines we have built and the people who visit, and U of T itself is really great…but i miss leaving the city, leaving the city lights behind. The way northern lights fill the sky, that the midnight bark of a doe cracks the silence, that traffic noise stops.

These days: am reading Cormac Mccarthy, listening to Jeffrey Foucault, doing editing work, writing thesis, and taking a class on religion in liberal law and sitting in on a tafsir class. Fall in Alberta is always a two-week affair, rushing to get the leaves off the trees before the first snowfall, but here it’s long enough that you can settle into it, watch the colours change and the air turn crisp.¬†ketiva ve-chatima tova

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September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

In his recent interview with Peter Mansbridge, Stephen Harper says “Islamicism” is the biggest security threat facing Canada. “Islamicist”, of course, is the older term for the subcategory of Orientalists studying Islam (as in the title of Nasr’s “In Commemoration of Louis Massignon: Catholic, Scholar, Islamicist, and Mystic”). There is something perversely hilarious in the idea of cells of radical Islamicists gathering and plotting to attack Canada. Revisionists and grand masters, together! In the difference between Goldziher’s Muslim Studies (1890) and the more recent edited collections¬†Approaches to Islam in Religious Studies (1985) and Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism (2010) lies nothing less than the doom of this great country. Allahu akbar.

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