“The Domestic Crusaders” Video from The Kennedy Center

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FIRST ACT: ?id=M4453

Here’s the entire first act [nearly one hour performance] of “The Domestic Crusaders,” one of the first major plays about Muslim Americans living in post 9-11, as recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in front of a packed, 350+ audience.

The play is now available for purchase at Amazon and McSweeney’s.

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Probed By The TSA: A Love Letter

From ANONYMOUS [An actual letter sent by a middle aged White male to TSA and given exclusively to Goatmilk]

Dear Mr. Pistole,

I am writing to complain about the inadequate hand job I recently received at the Miami airport.

I am a frequent flyer with two artificial hips so I always am sent for secondary screening.  As a married middle aged man, I had thought my life of sexual adventure was over.  With the new and enhanced level of “security screening,” however, my life has been changed.

Now when I go to the airport, it’s an adventure.  I do not know which of those handsome young men will look me in the eye, put his hands in my pants and begin the fondling.  (To date the grabbing has generally been through fabric, but when I ran out of clean underwear on a recent trip to Hawaii, the surprise and excitement was so much that your fondler was glad he was wearing those rubber gloves, but I digress).

Their technique is always different.  Some, like Jane Fonda in Klute looking at her watch, are just going through the motions to get it over with.  Others, however, look me in the eye, give repeated firm strokes and clearly demonstrate they are enjoying this as much as I am.   I am impressed their stamina.  They must fondle hundreds of men a day.  Maybe you could sign a deal with the Catholic Church to provide an outlet for their priests.  It would be a win/grin situation. Continue reading

Animated Dialogue Between The West And The Muslim World

Daniyal Noorani

As a kid, I would sit in front of the television and watch cartoons, mouth agape, twiddling my toes, completely oblivious to the world around me. Little did I know that at that moment I was learning lessons that would stick with me for the rest of my life. I learned not to judge people based on their appearance but from what was on the inside from “Beauty and the Beast”. I learned to never be ashamed of who I was from Aladdin. I learned that good always triumphs evil from every single cartoon. Finally, from Elmer Fudd, I learned that gravity has no affect on you as long as you don’t look down (this lesson needs more empirical testing).

My passion for animated cartoons continued in adulthood. I found myself drawn towards Japanese anime, prompting my transformation into an “otaku”, a Japanese word for a person obsessed with anime. Not only was I able to see similarities between the implicit lessons found in Disney cartoons and those found in Japanese anime, but I also discovered a very interesting aspect of Japanese culture. This new found interest encouraged me to explore Japanese culture in its entirety.

This is the power of animation: it can present life’s most important lessons to an audience in a subtle way and it can provide the grounds for creating genuine interest in a foreign culture. These are the reasons why I am using animation as a vehicle to bridge the communication gap between the West and the Muslim world. I want to use animation to initiate a non-confrontational and constructive dialogue that focuses on noting criticisms from both sides and working on ways to address and alleviate them. In particular, I would like to use animation to encourage people to view predominantly Muslim countries like Pakistan in a new light. Pakistan encompasses a rich culture and historical legacy that, if given the chance, would remove some of the misconceptions the West has about Pakistan and Islam. Continue reading

Muslims, Please Spare the Animals This Eid

By Bina Ahmad and Farah Akbar

 

The first encounter that many Muslims across the world have with animals often comes from the celebrations of a joyous religious holiday – Eid-ul-Azha.  In many Muslim countries, families purchase a goat, cow or other domesticated animal from an animal market weeks before the holiday.  In some cultures, family members affectionately decorate the animal with flower necklaces, paint and colorful beads.   Children often become attached to the creature stemming from the natural affinity that kids have for animals.   However, when the day of Eid-ul-Azha comes, it can be a traumatic and heartbreaking experience for a child – the pet that they had lovingly bonded with is slaughtered with a sharp knife while it is fully conscious and in many cases, the slaughtering takes place on the actual grounds of the family’s home.   The meat of the animal is then typically distributed three ways: one-third for oneself, one-third for friends and family and one-third for the poor.

For three days, Muslims slaughter animals in commemoration of the prophet Abraham’s (peace be upon him) willingness to sacrifice his own son for the sake of God.  As Abraham was about to slay his son Ishmael (peace be upon him) which he believed came as a direct order from God, a sheep appeared before him in place of his son.

Muslims have a duty both religiously and culturally to evolve with scientific and moral progress.  The meaning behind Eid-ul-Azha will always stand, but in today’s world, we must look at things practically.  We must take into consideration the undeniable cruelty involved in killing millions of God’s creations, how environmentally damaging it is to raise animals for food, how unhealthy meat is for human consumption, and the lack of an actual requirement in Islam to eat meat.   Muslims, especially those of us that live in the Western world, have a duty to end the animal sacrifice of Eid-ul-Azha and replace our good intentions in other ways. Continue reading

How to Write an Intelligent Letter to Your Senator: Christopher Benz

A letter to a Senator by Christopher Benz

Sept 29, 2010

Dear Senator Begich,

Jim DeMint has announced that he plans to filibuster all Senate business until January, so that the government will shut down until Republicans are back in power.

This fact should be an enormous gift. Republicans have said, again and again, that they want America to fail during this administration. Republicans have made a record number of filibusters. They have stalled an unprecedented number of appointments.

Americans hate the partisan poison that has infected this country. Republicans have deliberately created it. The media feeds off it. Pundits are afraid to blame anyone for it (except for Fox News, who create it and then blame Democrats.) Using their own statements, you can prove that Republicans are responsible for stalling the machinery that keeps this country working. In our darkest hour, Republicans put partisanship first, and discarded their countrymen.

As long as people understand politics as a fight between big government and small government, Democrats and ordinary Americans will lose—and as our economy fails, all Americans will lose. It must be about results vs. partisanship, reality-based pragmatism vs. utopian daydreams.

Republican partisanship is a danger to all Americans. Make no mistake, Republicans do not care if our economy is robust, as much as they care that the powerful stay powerful. They would prefer stagnation to losing their status. A tea partier worries that he might count a Mexican as an equal in the job market. A corporate donor worries that he may have to improve performance to compete with small businesses, rather than just buying competitors. Our economy suffers as corporations manipulate laws to smother their competition.

You’re an Alaskan. We’re tougher up here. I urge you to rally your party to grow a spine. If you don’t hold Republicans accountable for the poison they inject into the campaign system, if you don’t make partisan obstruction a political liability, then it you reward it. If Democrats tolerate this poison, they encourage it, perhaps paralyzing America in the process.

In 1976, hockey in the NHL was a dirty game, led by the Broad Street Bullies, from Philly. Once the Flyers had some rings on their fingers, teams stocked up on goons, to emulate the Stanley Cup winners. But one team resisted. The Montreal Canadians were fast and talented, and size was not their first priority. They still had enforcers, though. In game two of the 1976 Stanley Cup Semis, Philadelphia’s Gary Doernhorfer raced over the Montreal blue line with the puck, bearing down on the goal. He thought he had enough space to score. Montreal’s Larry Robinson hammered him into the boards so hard the wood broke. That one hit changed hockey forever. Montreal won the Stanley Cup for the next few years, and teams emulated their fast style of play, paving the way for Wayne Gretzky and the early 1980s Islanders. Had Philadelphia won the ‘76 Stanley Cup, the age of skilled, fast hockey might not have emerged, and goons would have ruled. Wayne Gretzky, a skinny 17 year old kid, would have looked dubious, and he might have lacked a team to compliment his playing style. Instead, two decades of the most exciting hockey in history followed, all because when it counted, Robinson hit hard. Continue reading