iyad_elbaghdadi RT @GissiSim: Hey @Indiegogo, check out our campaign to help a Syrian Refugee start a new life. Feature? http://t.co/oAdxQInxqZ http://t.c…
iyad_elbaghdadi RT @voxdotcom: This cringe-inducing Larry King story shows what polite Islamophobia looks like http://t.co/wkforuaqaU http://t.co/WTjY4mwgZ4
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 15:37

Speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2014

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 Read a plain-text transcript of the speech here or a great transcript+screenshots version put together by Julia Reinhart here.

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Thursday, 31 October 2013 02:17

Philosophical libertarianism and Islam

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In my search in early Islamic intellectual history I noticed that early interpretations about free will were philosophically libertarian. In a free will context, "Libertarian" means the position that human beings have true free will, and a rejection of determinism. Pre-Islamic Quraysh, on the other hand, were hard determinists. They even commonly blamed their own immorality and excesses on fate. The Umayyads (direct as well as cultural descendants of Quraysh) would later seek to promote hard determinism under various guises. Umayyads (especially in their middle period) referred to fatalism in order to justify their own tyranny and to discourage rebellion.

Friday, 18 October 2013 19:30

Islamic Intellectual History

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I have been immersed in the study of Islamic intellectual history for over 2 years now. It has been rewarding and transformative, but also alienating. It's clear to me that Islamic brilliance peaked in the 3rd century AH, then slipped (with occasional bright flashes and sharp catastrophes). I won't comment on the reasons of decline because that was never the purpose of my study. I find most debates on this boring now. My main concern was (and still is) the ideas that led to brilliance, whose loss lead to decline.

 In Islamic jurisprudence there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled for a marriage to be legal. The main/minimum conditions are (a) consent of the man, woman, and woman's guardian; (b) two witnesses. On top of these minimum conditions there are certain obligations such as the mehr, wedding ceremony, making the marriage public. Some Muslim scholars and schools take the position that a woman can be her own guardian, especially if financially independent.

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