Wednesday, January 25, 2006
  Nasty Nasty
So you live in a country where a large numbers of a certain ethnicity are living in slums, isolated, angry, feeling that they cannot get ahead economically and socially, and that their civil rights are regularly violated. The situation is so bad that riots have broken out in the past few months with complaints of economic discrimination and unfair practices by the police. Knowing that a disproportionate number of these folks are poor, and that a significant portion of the poor come from that group, your charity kitchen decides to serve a food you know they can't eat.

I'm sorry, but that's just nasty. It wouldn't surprise me if God throws that bit of charity into the list of "bad deeds."

This, of course, is exactly what's going on in France, right now. Some right wing groups are serving pork soup in their kitchens, deliberately excluding poor Muslims from their charity. It's a clear provocation, though they claim like breathless ingenues that they're just serving a traditional French food.

There are plenty of traditional French foods which don't include pork, and they know it.

This is pure racism and utterly hateful. It certainly isn't going to help alleviate tensions between the French Muslim community and the mainstream French community. Indeed, it seems designed to exacerbate them.

How did we get to a world, where people who run charity kitchens are so hateful?? These are are our philanthropists, our paragons of virtue, and yet they are so lacking in compassion. Sigh.

AP's report on the situation:
This thing makes me wish I were independently wealthy so that I could fly to France and open up a halal soup kitchen, specifically geared towards the Muslim community. If the racists want to come, they would be free to do so, but I doubt they'd want to rub shoulders with so many Muslims at a time.

I worked for Mama's Kitchen in San Diego, a charity that delivers meals to poor HIV/AIDS patients, and there was no problem cooking special meals, including pork-free dishes. Even if they wanted to cook pork soup, they could cook up another pot of something different and they know it.

What a disgusting act of false charity.
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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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