From the news desk

Cell-phone Psychosis and the Marlboro Man

The other day I was chatting in a shopping mall when my cell-phone rang. “Aren’t you going to answer it?” asked the person. “No,” I replied, “the caller can leave a message.” “But, I don’t mind, you can answer your phone,” he insisted, surprised that I was just letting it[…]

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Shark! Shark!

When the news broke that a Great White shark had fatally attacked a human (for the second time in five years) in False Bay at Fish Hoek, I shuddered. But not from the shock. I was more concerned that the subsequent media frenzy would bloody the water. Lloyd Skinner, a[…]

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Coming up

Usually when I go on leave, a huge story breaks. Last year it was Gaza, a few years ago it was the Asian tsunami – so it was quite a relief to see things so relatively calm. But no sooner was I back behind my desk than there was a[…]

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Imam Abu Hanifah, the liberal Imam

IMAM Abu Hanifah, born Nu’man ibn Thabit ibn Nu’man, came into the world a mere eighty years after the Prophet Muhammad’s (s) death. His grandfather was a Persian revert to Islam. His father was a wealthy silk merchant who died during his childhood. By the time Abu Hanifah had passed[…]

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Ghosts of Christmas past

I can remember octogenarian Arabs telling me in my travels to the Middle-East how in their distant childhoods mosques in Syria, Jordan and Palestine would be decorated for Christmas.

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Told not to bury my father

The other day I tuned into a Q & A, a popular programme on all our South African Muslim radio stations. This is where a titled cleric tackles listeners’ religious questions. Generally speaking, I would say that these programmes serve a useful purpose. A wide range of issues are usually[…]

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Animal Farm and Xenophobia

Animal Farm, the feted novel by George Orwell (the nom-de-plume of Eric Arthur Blair) has been studied by generations of learners. Written by a struggling left-wing journalist, it employs the allegory of a farm to tell a tightly-woven tale of how social revolution can turn on itself. First published in[…]

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Shaikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem is dying

Terry Crawford-Browne, who is currently observing the Palestinian situation for the World Council of Churches, reports that the Shaikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem is very tense due to house demolitions and evictions by belligerent settlers. The Israelis have been trying to ethnically cleanse this historical Arab part of the[…]

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