Thursday, October 20, 2005
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.
Asalaamu alaikum sis. Well, I personally don't care for MWU, but I wanted to read your poem. And even more interesting that it was so controversial. Anyway, I cannot comment on MWU, so I wanted to just tell you here that I like the poem and I understand. Too bad people have to read so much into things and make such negative assumptions. The poem made perfect sense to me, based on in small part on my personal experience, and much more on my observations! AlhamdulAllah anyway. Ramadan kariim!
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

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. 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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