My poem Drive Thru Iftar is up at Muslim Wakeup
now. It's getting some interesting comments... dance class? Flute and trumpet lessons?!? Haram Alaik! (Akin to God Forbid! for all y'all that don't speak Arabic) I reminded the commentator that authors write not only from experience, but also from observation. Given the threats to Muslim authors around the world it bears repeating -- authors do not have to directly experience everything they write about. That's why it is called fiction! Or, reporting.
I can write about domestic violence, for instance, even though my husband does not beat me. I can write about honor killing, although I'm still very much alive, and have never lost a family member of friend in this manner, thank God. I can write about prostitution and human trafficking, though I have never been on the giving or receiving end of such transactions. I write about Catholics, though I am not catholic; about blacks though I am not black; about Southerners though I'm a Yankee. I think you get the picture.
Perhaps more importantly, writers may tackle a subject purely with the intention of exposing it to light -- calling attention to it so that people can evaluate their priorities, their feelings about the subjecct matter, and, if it is a problem, come up with strategies to combat it. (This is, in fact, largely what Drive Thru Iftar was doing.) Writers do not have to have the answer; sometimes it is enough to pose the question.
Finally, as should be obvious, I don't agree that flute and trumpet are forbidden in Islam. And while dance can in certain circumstances be a questionable activity, in others it is not only perfectly acceptable, but even recommended.