The Psychedelic Nature of Islamic Art and Architecture

Islamic art and architecture are often called psychedelic in nature – and rightly so. Both the art and architecture from the Islamic world feature vibrant colours and intricate, geometric patterns; much like the kaleidoscopic patterns one can see during a psychedelic experience, either with eyes opened or closed. During psychedelic experiences, people may report seeing…View Post

Religious Freedom Does Not Justify Male Circumcision

The Icelandic government has proposed a law that would ban male circumcision for non-medical reasons and this has, understandably, sparked outrage and opposition from the Jewish and Muslim communities that traditionally carry out the practice. Anti-male circumcision groups, such as Men Do Complain, are calling for a ban on ‘ritual’ male circumcision in the UK. The…View Post

Criticism of Islam is Not ‘Islamophobia’

There is some debate as to whether Islamophobia is a valid term. Strictly speaking, it means an irrational fear or unfounded prejudice against Islam, but in its more widely used context, it means an irrational fear or hatred towards Muslims. In 1997, the British Runnymede Trust first defined Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of…View Post

Atheist Bloggers Arrested in Bangladesh

Police in Bangladesh recently arrested a number of “atheist bloggers” and subsequently shut down their websites. One of the more popular bloggers, Asif Mohiuddin, had been viciously attacked in January, almost resulting in his death. Islamists have given the Bangladeshi government a list of 84 “atheist bloggers” who demand that they repent or face blasphemy…View Post

Sufism: Islamic Mysticism

Sufism is the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. Its focus tends to be on the mystical, first-hand, direct experience of God called dhawq or “tasting”, rather than on doctrine or authority. Sufism began as an ascetic discipline. An ascetic person is characterised by their rigorous self-discipline and self-control; they will abstain from all forms of indulgence – money,…View Post