Monday, October 31, 2005
  Dismantling the Justice System
I don't always agree with the New York Times, but today's editorial is spot on. Our government is setting about gutting basic rights and freedoms that have formed the fabric of our justice system since the beginning of our nation. This is going on largely unopposed. Either people don't care, don't know, or think, "it's not me they're coming after, so it's ok." At risk of quoting a poem that is so oft-quoted it is almost cliched... first they came for the jews and I was silent. Then they came for the catholics and I silent. Then they came for the gays and I was silent. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out. Today, the government is aiming at Muslims. No one is speaking up (except a few on the far-left). Tomorrow it will be Latinos (under the guise of attacking illegal immigration), will anyone speak up then? When they get to average Americans, who will be left to speak up?

According to the Times: "In a breathtaking afterthought at the close of debate, the House voted to triple the number of terrorism-related crimes carrying the death penalty. The House also voted to allow judges to reduce the size of juries that decide on executions, and even to permit prosecutors to try repeatedly for a death sentence when a hung jury fails to vote for death."

Again, people may say, so what, they are terrorists. But, as the editorial points out. "These would make it easier for prosecutors to win a death sentence in cases where a defendant had no intent to kill - for example, if a defendant gave financial support to an umbrella organization without realizing that some of its adherents might eventually commit violence."

As someone who sponsored an orphan through an organization that turned out to be siphoning off monies to fund jihadist campaigns, this is really scary. I had photos of the girl that my donations fed, clothed, and sent to school. I had letters from her, thanking my family for supporting her and wishing us happy holidays. Apparently, all this was accomplished for something less than the $30 a month I was paying. The rest of the money went to causes I neither support, nor knew about. But if the Times is correct, I could face a death sentence for my support of an overseas orphan! Scary indeed!!

Click here for the whole editorial.
 
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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


What I'm reading now



Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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