Friday, December 23, 2005
  A history of torture
Naomi Klein (who I consider to be one of the best commentators around) in the Guardian wrote about the US's involvement in torture since Vietnam (and earlier). A lot of us who love the ideals expressed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the etching on the Statue of Liberty, etc, have a hard time looking squarely at the worst things our government has done since WWII. They make us sick, imbue us with feelings of rage and impotence and despair that a government that can at once be very good for its people and yet so horrible for other people's. Of course, many of us see that our government is growing less and less good for its own people -- how much worse then, will it get for other peoples as well!

The article is worth reading, if only to remind ourselves that we can never give up the fight for humane government, and also to force ourselves to look our government squarely in the eyes and access what it has done wrong and what we can do to correct it. Many Americans have an innocence born of ignorance when it comes to our government; we see the good and don't notice the bad (which of course, various agencies, etc have tried to keep from us). We can't allow that ignorance to continue, because it allows and facilitates atrocities that go against everything we believe America stands for. We can't allow our own feelings of discomfort at what our government is capable of allow us to be turn a blind eye, to become complacent. Like co-dependent wives of abusers or alcoholics, we only enable that we hate, when we refuse to get out of our own comfort zones.

Anyway, here's the article. I hope you read it, and I hope it spurs us all to action.

A History of Torture:
By Naomi Klein

The US has used torture for decades. All that's new is the openness about it. By ignoring past abuses, opponents of torture are in danger of pushing it back into the shadows instead of abolishing it.
Full story at:,12271,1664174,00.html
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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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