Ladies, thinking of traveling to Pakistan or Egypt any time soon? Here’s a handy little infographic, from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, telling you how the public in several Muslim-majority nations expects its women to dress in public.
People in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan appear to be the most conservative, with a solid majority of Saudis preferring everything but the eyes to be covered.
The Turkish and Lebanese public are far more liberal — half of the Lebanese people surveyed and a third of Turkey think it’s okay for a woman to not cover her head at all in public.
But there are some nuances here: in Tunisia, which prefers its women to cover their hair, 56% of the public says women should be free to decide for themselves.
More at Pew Research Center.

Ladies, thinking of traveling to Pakistan or Egypt any time soon? Here’s a handy little infographic, from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, telling you how the public in several Muslim-majority nations expects its women to dress in public.

People in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan appear to be the most conservative, with a solid majority of Saudis preferring everything but the eyes to be covered.

The Turkish and Lebanese public are far more liberal — half of the Lebanese people surveyed and a third of Turkey think it’s okay for a woman to not cover her head at all in public.

But there are some nuances here: in Tunisia, which prefers its women to cover their hair, 56% of the public says women should be free to decide for themselves.

More at Pew Research Center.

After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders — even un-American — Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they’re set to have power.
This comes from a confluence of factors: the demographic advantage of being the fastest-growing religious group in the city; the creation of a political infrastructure including groups like the Muslim Democratic Club of New York; and a popular (and liberal) mayoral candidate in Bill De Blasio who openly embraces them and their causes, like ending the blanket surveillance of mosques by the NYPD.
Remember the international furor over Park51, aka the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE? That was just 3 years ago, but pollster John Zogby says a lot has changed since then.
"And so essentially those who were against the mosque and overtly anti-Muslim really went the way of most nativist movements in our history, and hence that’s why I call it the death rattle of that movement."
Listen to the full report, “In Politics, Muslims Say It’s Finally Their Moment.”

After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders — even un-American — Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they’re set to have power.

This comes from a confluence of factors: the demographic advantage of being the fastest-growing religious group in the city; the creation of a political infrastructure including groups like the Muslim Democratic Club of New York; and a popular (and liberal) mayoral candidate in Bill De Blasio who openly embraces them and their causes, like ending the blanket surveillance of mosques by the NYPD.

Remember the international furor over Park51, aka the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE? That was just 3 years ago, but pollster John Zogby says a lot has changed since then.

"And so essentially those who were against the mosque and overtly anti-Muslim really went the way of most nativist movements in our history, and hence that’s why I call it the death rattle of that movement."

Listen to the full report, “In Politics, Muslims Say It’s Finally Their Moment.”

"Two teens beat a 70-year-old Queens man after asking him if he was Hindu or Muslim, police said Friday." [NYDN]

This happened in Corona, Queens. The cops are searching for two Hispanic males. On one hand, it’s a savage act, plain and simple. On the other hand, there’s an element of sophistication within this savagery. The stereotypical American bigot, you imagine, doesn’t stop to consider such fine nuances as Hindu vs. Muslim before initiating an all-out assault — it’s all just a whole bunch ‘o’ brown, right?

But of course, it’s not, as is made clear by the suspect profiles — “dark haired” Hispanics going after someone who’s presumably South Asian, and just as dark.

This question, "Are you Hindu or Muslim?" is so strange to encounter in a New York crime story, especially for an Indian guy like me. For anyone who has roots in South Asia, it’s the question seemingly repeated, ad nauseum, throughout all spasms of Hindu-Muslim violence.

After all, many Hindus and Muslims in India or Pakistan are ethnically identical, distinguished only by their religiously-ascribed clothing or something just as superficial. During any episode of inter-religious butchering, the question is presumably thrust at anyone who doesn’t fit into a clear category. But even rampaging mobs can be savvy, and know very well that the person being asked is willing to answer with whatever identity is most practical at that moment.

From this cynicism was born a test of sorts: if the mob doubts the veracity of the answer — suspects that the person is in fact Hindu when he said Muslim, or vice-versa — it forces him to drop his pants, and reveal whether he is circumcised (Muslim) or not (Hindu).

The body, it figured, couldn’t lie.

"Every conscious person is concerned. Every single mother is concerned. Every single father is concerned, no matter whether he’s from Pakistan, or from Bangladesh, or from India…"
—Jackson Heights businessman Agha Saleh on the Taliban attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, in Pakistan
I spoke to a number of Pakistani New Yorkers in Queens, and heard a variety of responses on the attack against Malala [listen to my WNYC story here]. Some want to do something, anything to show their solidarity with her, others fear what their homeland has become, and others think this will be the last straw, and that a backlash against extremists is set to unfold.
For a better understanding of what this is all about, check out this incredibly moving video at The New York Times, from 2009.

"Every conscious person is concerned. Every single mother is concerned. Every single father is concerned, no matter whether he’s from Pakistan, or from Bangladesh, or from India…"

—Jackson Heights businessman Agha Saleh on the Taliban attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, in Pakistan

I spoke to a number of Pakistani New Yorkers in Queens, and heard a variety of responses on the attack against Malala [listen to my WNYC story here]. Some want to do something, anything to show their solidarity with her, others fear what their homeland has become, and others think this will be the last straw, and that a backlash against extremists is set to unfold.

For a better understanding of what this is all about, check out this incredibly moving video at The New York Times, from 2009.

Last night’s iftar meal, at my friend Parvez’s place on Riverside Drive.

Chicken curry, cholay (chick peas), peas pulao, keema, tomato-onion-cucumber salad.

It was an excellent meal — but it was actually my backup Ramadan feast, after my planned dinner, with a Malian family in Harlem, kind of imploded. I’ve repeatedly dropped by the home of Fatima, who lives in Harlem, and who has somehow convinced me to keep dropping by for food. But each time, I end up leaving without my story — or my meal. And yet, I persevere.

By the way, if you’re in the mood to share a meal, don’t be a stranger.

Ramadan cocktails at Travers Park, in Jackson Heights. I came across a group of Bangladeshi families about to break their fast with Rooh Afza, a classic thirst-quencher (non-alcoholic, of course) for South Asian Muslims in the days leading to Eid. The hodgepodge of ingredients include more than a dozen fruit (orange, loganberry, watermelon), rose petals and vetiver root, and apparently, spinach. 

Ramadan cocktails at Travers Park, in Jackson Heights. I came across a group of Bangladeshi families about to break their fast with Rooh Afza, a classic thirst-quencher (non-alcoholic, of course) for South Asian Muslims in the days leading to Eid. The hodgepodge of ingredients include more than a dozen fruit (orange, loganberry, watermelon), rose petals and vetiver root, and apparently, spinach. 

Here’s our very first Ramadan food shot — spotlighting all the great grub that Muslim New Yorkers break their daily fast with.
Seen here: Ayam Gulai, aka Indonesian Chicken Curry, at the Masjid Al-Falah, in Corona, Queens. According to Irvan Kusuma (thanks!), who sent this photo in, “The secret to the curry is the ‘rempah’ or wet paste made from a multitude of fresh herbs and spices. Use this as a base recipe and then add extra chillies if you want it hotter.”

Also served: Dagin Semur (stewed beef), seafood noodles, beef curry, green anchovy hot sauce and red hot sauce, rice, and raw veggies.
People, send us your own shots!

Here’s our very first Ramadan food shot — spotlighting all the great grub that Muslim New Yorkers break their daily fast with.

Seen here: Ayam Gulai, aka Indonesian Chicken Curry, at the Masjid Al-Falah, in Corona, Queens. According to Irvan Kusuma (thanks!), who sent this photo in, “The secret to the curry is the ‘rempah’ or wet paste made from a multitude of fresh herbs and spices. Use this as a base recipe and then add extra chillies if you want it hotter.”

Also served: Dagin Semur (stewed beef), seafood noodles, beef curry, green anchovy hot sauce and red hot sauce, rice, and raw veggies.

People, send us your own shots!