Sunday, November 20, 2005
  On being a Reporter
I love being a reporter!

For one, I learn so much, and go to events I would not otherwise go to. For instance, today I went to a multicultural worship service on assignment for NUVO. This is not the sort of thing I would have gone to since it was specifically designed to bring together Christians of different denominations and races (white and black).

Yet, it was fascinating (from a sort of anthropological point of view). While parts of the sevice were uncomfortable for a person who isn't Christian (especially one who has consciously rejected the concept of Trinity), some of the songs would be totally acceptable as nasheed (Islamic songs of praise) and the sermon was a demonstration of what a sermon ought to be -- uplifting, emotional, personal -- most of which is missing in many khubahs (the sermon during Muslims' Friday prayers.) It seems too often the only time khateebs get worked up is when they are berating their congregation for assumed shortcomings, or when they are talking about the oppression of Muslims around the world. I wish more imams went to Christian churches to learn how to inspire their followers rather than try and scare them into behaving well!

Number Two benefit... being on assignment gives me an excuse to go up and talk to people I would never talk to. Believe it or not, I'm naturally shy. Get me in a crowd and I usually clam up. At an event like this, I would stand on the fringe, watching people greet each other and then slip out to my car without having said a word to a soul. With a title behind me (and the need to get quotes for a story), I manage to meet a lot of people.
 
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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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