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The Sun Magazine

Religion and Philosophy


Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Accidental Jihad

For the next month, nothing will touch my husband’s mouth between sunup and sundown: Not food. Not water. Not my lips. A chart posted on our refrigerator tells him the precise minute when his fast must begin and end each day. I will find him in front of this chart again this evening, staring at his watch, waiting for it to tell him he may eat.

The Sun Interview

Walking Around In The Heart

Coleman Barks On Rumi, Sensuality, And The Path With No Name

I’ve always loved that moment when I feel the language coming. Nobody knows what the source of the flow of language is, that inspiring eloquence, but we know it when we feel it. Artists of any kind get addicted to that: “Why can’t I be this way all the time?” We destroy ourselves with ways of faking it, of manufacturing inspiration. Writers are so impatient.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Two Worlds

Walking into the temple compound, we walked into another world: quiet, serene, holy. Irregular stepping stones led us through a mossy garden to a steadily dripping little waterfall. Off to one side was a standing figure of Kwan Yin, bodhisattva of compassion, standing on a lotus pedestal.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

I Was A Guantánamo Prisoner

I walked slowly up Mill Hill Road in Woodstock, New York. A rope tied my feet together; another bound my hands. A third rope, around my waist, was attached to the woman in front of me. A black hood covered my face. The rest of my wardrobe was an orange jumpsuit, like the ones worn by prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

The Sun Interview

The War Within Islam

Reza Aslan On How The U.S. Fails To Understand The Muslim World

We’ve made it easier for jihadist propagandists to convince the Muslim world that this is a war against Islamic values. . . . You want to know why we’re losing the war on terror? Because they have the better marketing campaign.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

We Are Iran:
The Persian Blogs

Over the Internet, voices are emerging from Iran. A woman writes about what types of clothing attract men. A mother debates whether to let her daughter get her nose pierced. A young man loses faith because the mosques are filled with “hypocrites, thugs, and oppressors.” This is not the Iran we read about in newspaper headlines, but the everyday Iran experienced by its citizens and chronicled in the new book We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs (Soft Skull Press), by Nasrin Alavi.

The Sun Interview

In God’s Name

Muslim Scholar Ebrahim Moosa On Freedom, Fundamentalism, And The Spirit Of Islam

Many Westerners mistakenly believe that all observant Muslims are fundamentalists. . . Most Christians think one day a week is enough to pray, and Muslims pray five times a day. They must be fundamentalists!



If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow the teachings of the New, he would be insane.

Robert G. Ingersoll

The Sun Interview

Leap Of Faith

Yossi Klein Halevi’s Quest For Reconciliation In the Holy Land

What I learned from Muslim devotion was the power of total immersion of the physical and emotional self in surrender to God. There is little I’ve experienced that can compare to the power of Muslim surrender.