Category: Media

  • Can you Save Tigers by Eating More Chocolate? : A critique of consumer philanthropy

    The dominant discourse of philanthropy these days (both in the developed and developing world) is one of ‘marketized philanthropy’ or ‘consumption philanthropy,’ that tries to convince us that we can really save tigers by consuming a particular brand of chocolate. While proponents of this view point to the decreasing role of governments, and are calling […]

  • Ibn Battuta, Malcolm X and the tradition of student travelers in Islam

    Rihla, or traveling to seek knowledge is an Islamic tradition, whose roots extend as far as the Prophet Muhammad himself, who prioritized learning and knowledge. His famous Hadith “Learning is from the cradle to grave” has inspired billions of people to travel, seek knowledge, over the last 1400 years of Islamic history. This tradition of […]

  • Egypt and the Challenge of Islam in the Public Sphere

    “Know that you can have three sorts of relations with princes, governors and oppressors. The first and worst is that you visit them, the second and better is that they visit you, and the third and surest that you stay far from them, so that neither you see them nor they see you.” – Abu […]

  • Do We Need a New Civil Rights Movement for Religion?

      As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday this week, it is relevant to ask: Has religion taken the place of race in American society? What I mean by this is whether the taboos and other aspects associated with race in the 1960s and earlier have started to be associated with religion. While Dr. […]

  • A Life of Reinvention – Malcolm X: Book review

      Is America a ‘melting pot’ today? Has Martin Luther King’s dream of a post-racial society come true? Or are we still closer to the America that Malcom X saw, one that is segregated, racist and inherently unequal? While the answers to these are not simple and certainly not easy, looking closely at the inequality […]

  • New Year Resolution: Top 12 books for Charity and Philanthropy

    New Year Resolution: Top 12 books for Charity and Philanthropy

    Keeping up the tradition of recommending books to read in the upcoming New Year, here is my list of top twelve books for 2014– all focused on Charity and Philanthropy. For starters, the two words don’t mean the same. Hopefully, by the time you are done with the 12 books, you will know the difference. […]

  • Book Review: Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an by Denise A. Spellberg

    Book Review: Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an by Denise A. Spellberg

    If the only thing you learn from this book is that the founding fathers had the wisdom to use Islam as a test case, to set the limits of tolerance in America, then that’d be sufficient. Denise Spellberg: Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a well-researched book, that locates the debates during the time (and before) Jefferson […]

  • In God’s Land: Triumph of faith over facts

    Pankaj Rishi Kumar’s In God’s Land is a dystopian tale set in Tamilnadu, South India. While it brings together history, discourse of development and progress, there is an underlying tale that is not visible, even after watching the film in its entirety. This is one of the “land grab mafia” involving the local Vanamamalai Temple […]

  • What is the role of religion in philanthropic giving?

    A report I read recently claimed that British Muslims are more generous than all other faith communities in the U.K. The report said: “Followers of Islam gave an average of $567 compared to Jewish givers who donated around $412, according to the survey of just over 4,000 people in the U.K. Christians gave considerably less. […]

  • ” Jamsetji Tata established his philanthropic foundation in India before even that of Carnegie,” – John Godfrey.

    John Godfrey is a PhD Candidate at the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, exploring High Net Worth Philanthropy in India. In this short interview, he explains how he got interested in studying Philanthropy in India, its dimensions – social, cultural and religions and how, if at all, it differs from Western notions of giving.   […]

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