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The Sun Magazine

Religion and Philosophy

Islam

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

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, honest self-expression carries a heavy price. Over the last six years, as many as a hundred print publications, including forty-one daily newspapers, have been closed by Iran’s hard-line judiciary. In April 2003 the Islamic Republic became the first government to take direct action against bloggers. Many more bloggers and online journalists have been arrested or intimidated since.

The Sun Interview

In God’s Name

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

In the past Muslims understood that the message of Islam is contained in very specific teachings, and that other teachings in the Koran are very Arabian in character. Unfortunately, some present-day Muslims — and they are properly called “fundamentalists” — do not look at the historical context of the Koran’s teachings, and so they want to transplant those Arabian teachings exactly as they are into twenty-first-century society.

Quotations

Sunbeams

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

On one level mystics and pluralists from different faiths have more in common with each other than they do with fundamentalists of their own religion. Sometimes I feel like I belong to two peoples: the Jewish people and a pluralistic people drawn from all faiths.