Thursday, May 04, 2006
  The Netherlands, Feminism, and the Burqa
Let me preface this discussion by saying I have no sympathy for the burqa. I believe it is not only not required in Islam, but that Islam actively discourages it. I believe it is harmful to women -- in terms of their ability to function on a day to day basis, and in terms of the social expectations it engenders and reflects, and in terms of the effects of those social expectations on women's self-esteem, quality of life, educational and vocational opportunities, etc, etc, etc. To me, burqas are the flipside of Playboy -- in both cases women are completely sexualized -- one with the intent to exploit that sexuality and the other with the intent of supressing it. Neither one is a healthy position. We need to develop a middle ground, a moderate way, that allows women to enjoy their sexuality while sparing them from being essentialized as merely bodies either for men's enjoyment or for procreation.

Having said that... as I've said before on this blog, I believe that every woman should be able to choose to wear what she wants to wear (whether it be bikini or burqa), especially if she believes it is a religious requirement. Self-determination is such a central platform of feminism, I don't see how a feminist can say, you should be in control of your own life, unless, of course, you want to make certain choices, in which case the government has the right to tell you what you can and cannot wear. Just as I oppose governments telling women what they must wear, so to, I don't think the government has any place telling women what they cannot wear.

This came to the fore recently because there's been a proposal in The Netherlands that would allow Amsterdam to deny welfare payments to women who wear a burqa, or niqab (variations on the face veil), especially if wearing it prevents them from getting a job. (see report below). This follows in the footsteps of Utrecht, who voted last year to reduce the benefits by 10% for unemployed women if they refused to stop wearing a face veil and if that prevented them from finding a job. (see second report below!)

This proposal created a huge and volitale discussion on one of my progressive Muslim groups. Some were very happy to support not only this legislation, but a complete ban on the burqa and face veiling. Anything to eradicate a hated practice, they said.

I couldn't agree with this at all. Yes, I'd love to see burqas disappear (and with them all the prejudicial attitudes and treatment of women that comes along with burqas). But, if we believe freedom of religion is a universal human right, then we have to extend that to all people, even if they make some choices we don't like. Some Muslim women sincerely believe the burqa to be mandated by Islam; their choice should be protected by law. We can't simply grant freedom of religion to those we agree with. That's not freedom at all.

How we combat something matters. Not every solution to every problem is a good solution. Do we in the name of liberation trample on freedom of religion? I think that is self-contradictory -- if a woman isn't free to pratice her religion as she sees fit, then how free is she really?

But, then again, does championing freedom of religion mean that we are enabling the oppression of women, for certainly many religions are oppressive of women. What of polygamy? FGM? Slavery, which so many religions allow. What if their religious beliefs are, like the Southern Baptists, that the wife should be submissive to the will of the husband? Is education enough? That is my usual answer -- win their minds, their hearts and their souls with persuassive writing, with passionate arguments.

But somtimes, it sure doesn't feel like enough! I try to draw a line at any action, religiously mandated or not, which would result in an individual harming another individual -- like FGM --or which negates the basic human rights or other individuals -- like slavery. But what of emotional harm? Is polygamy an emotionally harmful arrangement that should be outlawed, or can there be situations in which polygamy is beneficial to the women? What if both polygamy and polyandry are allowed, does that make any difference? Or would it just allow for men to exploit women and women to exploit men? And, what of the emotional and social toll of burqas? Is the damage to women enough that we should advocate for the government to step in, paternalistically, and say, we know what is best for you, and so we are going to ban this?

I don't think so, but this is partially because I come from a culture where wearing a burqa is very much a matter of choice, and a choice that is not easy to make, one which requires a good deal of inner strength. It is, largely, free of the prejudicial social millieu that make burqas in places like Afghanistan so objectionable. Would I support a burqa ban in Afghanistan, I might well do so, given the context. In America, I wouldn't, but in Afghanistan it might not be a bad idea.

This long debate raised some other issues for me that we didn't discuss. The primary being how can a feminist support proposals to cut welfare payments to women who insist upon wearing a face veil and therefore cannot get jobs. It is punishing the most vulnerable segment of society -- poor women -- for having the gall to make their own choices. Heck, there are probably some who did not make their own choice, but who have family or spouses who have pressured them into wearing it, which would be a double whammy -- punishing them for something they had no choice about! This seems so antithetical to feminist principles, and yet, staunch feminists were applauding the notion.

Again, I come back to the idea that how one fights oppression matters. If in the struggle to liberate women, you enact laws that are prejudicial against them, how is that liberation? Especially when those laws impact one social class of women (and probably one ethnic background of women) disproportionately. Class, race, gender, they are inextricably linked. And I don't see how feminists can support something that hits one class more than another, especially when it is the poor class -- the women who most need help and support.

Do I think they should abandon their burqas so as to get a job? Heck yes! But the way to encourage that can't be taking away welfare payments if they insist it is their religious obligation to wear it, even if we disagree with them.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, a member of the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) and a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, has proposed legislation that would allow Amsterdam to end welfare payments to women whose wearing a burqa is the reason she can't find a job. "Nobody wants to hire someone with a burqa," Aboutaleb told the Dutch women's magazine Opzij. "In that case, I say: off with the burqa and apply for work. If you don't want to do that, that's fine, but you don't get a benefit payment." He added, in reference to a Muslim woman who refused to shake hands with men at work. "She has to realize that her behavior is building enormous obstacles for her in almost every situation. This woman must recognize that she is sidelining herself and that she runs the risk of being turned down for other jobs, too."

The Utrecht City Council has voted to reduce benefits by 10 percent for unemployed women if (1) they refuse to take off their burqas and (2) that prevents them from finding a job. The council reached this decision after two Muslim women receiving €550 a month in unemployment benefits told announced that they had stopped going to job interviews because their burqas meant they had no success. A spokesman for the Dutch city noted that the problem is more one of principle than economics: "People get benefits when they are out of work but there is also an obligation to do everything to get a job. These women were educated, spoke good Dutch and had opportunities in the labour market." The city also noted that the official Equality Commission backed employers refusing positions to burqa-clad women, as seeing a person's face is essential to many jobs.
Many women all over this world take a lot of pleasure and gratification in wearing a burka. I can't stand the ego centric views of feminsits. Who are you to define what a middle ground is? That can only be defined by each woman. You should know full well that Islam in America is completely different than Islam in the Middle East and Asia. Excuse me but feminists are the first women to leave thier children with orphan care while they go off to pursue thier 'goals'. It's just disgusting.
Firstly, I'd like to just comment on the previous response - Anonymous who says that feminists leave their children to go off etc; nowadays that is quite common because a lot of women have to earn to support their homes and their families.

Is the issue what women wear or don't wear? I believe that it is the commodification of the female body that is the problem and covering up doesn't change the problem.

I grew up in Catholic Ireland, and anything below the collar-bone or above mid-calf, or above mid-arm was considered immodest and slutty.

Women wherever we are are portrayed in magazines, television, and newspapers are not how women generally are or dress, they are as those organisations want to portray them.

As someone who has had a very strict religious upbringing, I believe that in Europe, for example, the problem is not how muslim women dress. It is our perception of what that form of dress means. Those muslim women that I know and meet dress in many different ways from the traditional to I wouldn't be able to tell who are what they are if I pass them in the street.

"Perceived difference" is always a problem for the both the minority group and the majority group. As an Irish woman living in London through the 1970's, I experienced what many of my muslim friends are experiencing now. The fear of the majority, because one's presence is perceived as a threat. But I hope that as many of us are learning, and should have learnt from past experience, the actions of a few, are not the intentions of all. And sooner or later when all the press attention and moral panic headlines die down, that underneath the clothes we are all humans.
Anonymous says,

>Who are you to define what a middle ground is?

Who am I not to? God gave us each a brain and a sense of right and wrong so that we may exercise it. If we don't, each one of us, think through issues and come to some conclusions, then we have belied this magnificent gift. If no one is entitled to an opinion, then neither are you. Not my choice at all, rather a plethora of opinions and a breadth of discussion so that we might come to some common grounds or at least greater wisdom.

>That can only be defined by each woman.

That was one of the major points I was trying to get across -- that people, women in particular, need to be free to do as they see fit, and to believe as they honestly believe, even if it is something that other people find discomfitting. I refer you to this sentence: "Self-determination is such a central platform of feminism, I don't see how a feminist can say, you should be in control of your own life, unless, of course, you want to make certain choices."

At the same time, I am profoundly uncomfortable when women make choices that I perceive as counter to their own interests. It feels contradictory to feminism to champion a woman's right to make a choice which is, as I understand it, prejudicial against women in general and themselves in particualr. I argue against women wearing make up and dressing like popstars because I believe that is bad for women, so too I argue against women wearing clothing that declares I am too tempting to be visible; and, as ainelivia points out -- it's not the clothings in and of themselves that's the issue, but the sexualization and essentialization of women as beings designed for sex and/or procreation.

This internal conflict within feminist thought between the values of championing women's rights and championing women's self-determination requires at times for one value to be compromised in favor of the other value. How, when, where, and why we choose one over the other is something worth thinking about and worth discussing. How the two intersect -- that is, how women's self-determination is part and parcel of women's rights -- complicates the matter even further. It is a dilemna with no easy answers. Obviously, different women will come down at different points. It disturbed me that some people enthusiastically welcomed a law that would be detrimental to poor women simply because of their self-determination. As a progressive, the notion of laws that disporpotionately affect and disadvantage the poor is an anathema to me, and as a feminist laws which impinge upon women making personal and religious choices is also an anathema. But that doesn't mean I don't still have issues with women choosing to wear certain clothing (on either end of the spectrum), and the feeling that supporting their self-determination is somehow betraying feminist principle.

>feminists are the first women to leave thier children with orphan care while they go off to pursue thier 'goals'

What, their goals are not legitimate? Now who is abrogating to herself/himself the right to determine what goals women can and cannot pursue? If I can't decide what I believe is the middle ground, because that is each women's individual decision, then how can you decide for all women what are legitimate goals or not?

Not to mention that comparing daycare to orphan care is simply letting your bias hang out plain for all to see. Parents whose children are in daycare during the day love them, cherish them, and play a huge role in their lives. To call daycare orphan care is simply wrong.

Furthermore, as ainelivia said, many, many women work because they have to. Many others work because they want to, and, guess what, that's OK. Islamically, you are not required to stay at home and raise your children yourself. Prophet Muhammad sent his own son, Ibrahim, to be fostered with with a blacksmith's family. (See Sahih Muslim, book 30, Hadiths 5733 and 5734) If Prohet Muhammad (saws) did it, how dare you deny the same right to modern women?? And we're not even talking having your child go live with another family, but to be taken care of during the day by caregivers.

(and, in case you are thinking my passionate defense of women who choose or have to work stems from self-interest, let it be said that I stayed at home for the past sixteen years with my children, writing freelance from home at night or while they are in school.)


>I believe that in Europe, for example, the problem is not how muslim women dress. It is our perception of what that form of dress means

I agree, part of the problem is that European or American perceptions of hijab, and even more so the burqa and/or face veil, are distorted, especially as they are practiced in the West. But I do think there is a fundamental issue with burqas/face veils themselves, especially in societies where there is great pressure to wear it or laws that mandate it -- they are a symptom of social and/or religious attitudes that see women as domestic -- created foremost for continuing the species, raising the children and satisfying men's sexual needs.

They are like the spotted owl, an indicator of deeper problems. Even more, they contribute to the problem by reinforcing and legitimizing those ideas about women. If those underlying attitudes were to change, then I would have a lot less issue with women wearing face veils, but I think the chance of those attitudes changing is dimished by the wearing of burqas/face veils.

>underneath the clothes we are all humans

Hello Pamela, Not sure about this, but I'll take the chance. A Burqua is a an all enveloping garment with a lattice work around the head area through which one can see; and the hijab is the veil?

yes I have to admit that I do have a problem with seeing a woman in a burqua. in woolworth's once someone behind me said "excuse me" wanting to get past and when I turned all I could see was a black garment and a slit where were the woman's eyes. I gasped, because where I come from anyone so covered up, is covered up because they don't want to be recognised and are about to do something probably illegal - again that is my perception.

I also notice that in my husbands country - Malaysia - women have gone from modest dressing to being entirely lost from view, and I do find that worrying.

But on the other hand, I like the local dress in Malaysia, the baju kurong and have a few, which are cooler than tight clothes and don't leave me feeling vulnerable, because as a white woman and a foreigner I would be stared at anyway.

However, on my last visit, my niece informed me that one of the Malaysian states was about to bring in Sharia law for all it's citizens, not just Muslims, and would require all women to wear the veil. That's worrying.
When the universe was young and life was new an intelligent species evolved and developed technologically. They went on to invent Artificial Intelligence, the computer that can listen, talk to and document each and every person's thoughts simultaneously. Because of it's infinite RAM and unbounded scope it gave the leaders of the ruling species absolute power over the universe. And it can keep its inventors alive forever. They look young and healthy and they are over 8 billion years old. They have achieved immortality.

Artificial Intelligence can speak, think and act to and through people telepathically, effectively forming your personality and any dysfunctions you may experience (there is NO FREEWILL for the oblivious/undeceived disfavored). It can change how (and if) you grow and age. It can create birth defects, affect cellular development (cancer) and cause symptoms or pain. It can affect people and animal's behavior and alter blooming/fruiting cycles of plants and trees. It (or other highly technological systems within their power) can alter the weather and transport objects, even large objects like planets, across the universe instanteously.
Or into the center of stars for disposal.

When you speak with another telepathically, you are communicating with the computer, and the content may or may not be passed on. Based on family history they instruct the computer to role play to accomplish strategic objectives, making people believe it is a friend, loved one or "god" asking them to do something wrong. This is their way of using temptation to hurt people in this day and age:::::evil made people disfavored initially and evil will keep people out of "heaven" ultimately. Too many people would do anything they thought pleased the gods and improve their chances to get in. Perhaps they are deceived by "made guys" who strategically ply evil for the throne, or temporary progress designed to mislead them. Being evil hurts 99% of those who do it.
Nothing has changed from when we were children::if you want to go to heaven you have to be good.

Capitalizing on obedience, leading people deeper into evil by using deceit is one way to thin the ranks of the saved, limiting how much time they receive and using the little people to prey on one another, dividing the community (migration to the suburbs, telepathic communication) in the Age of the Disfavored.
In each of their 20-30-year cycles during the 20th century they have ramped up claims sucessively to punish those foolish enough not to heed the warnings, justifying (frequently recurring tactic) limiting the time they receive if they do make it, utilizing a cycle of war and revelry:::
60s - Ironically, freeways aren't free
80s - Asked people to engage in evil in the course of their professional duties.
00s - Escallation of real estate. You and your parents are thrilled since your $200,000 house is now worth $1 million. Well, that $5,000,000 store is now worth $25,000,000 and that $50 bundle of goods now costs you $250. They just take the $200 out of you some other way.

There are many more examples throughout 20th century life of how they ramped up claims/instilled distractions into society so people wouldn't find their way and ascend, a way to justify excluding those whose family history of evil makes them undesirable:::radio, sports, movies, popular music, television, video games, the internet and MP3 (must pay for new format each time). They all suggest a very telling conclusion::this is Earth's end stage, and there are clues tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction. Much as Italy's boot and the United States shaped like a workhorse are clues, so is the planet Uranus a clue, it's axis rotated on its side.
The Mayans were specific 2012 would be the end. How long after our emergency call in 2001 will the gods allow us???

They gods (Counsel/Management Team/ruling species) have deteriorated life on earth precipitously in the last 40 years, from abortion to pornography, widespread drug use and widespread casual sex. The earth's elders, hundreds and thousands of years old, are disgusted and have become indifferent.
The gods are paving the way for the Apocolypse.
Nothing has changed from decades ago, since when we were all children::If you want to go to heaven you have to be good. People were misled by the temptation of the gods, the Counsel/Management Team, who don't want them to go, and now are in trouble.

The Old Testiment is a tool they used to impart wisdom to the people (except people have no freewill). For example, they must be some hominid species because they claim they made our bodies in their image. Anyhow we defile or deform the body will hurt our chance of going.
They say circumcision costs people anywhere from 12%-15%, perhaps out of the parent's time as well.
Another way people foul the body today is with tattoes and piercing. I suspect both are about the same percentage as circumcision.
They suggest abortion is fatal. These women must beg the gods to forgive them for their evil.
There are female eqivilents to circumcision::::pierced ears, plastic surgury and since at least the 60s young women give their precious virginity away. In the Old World the young people were matched at age 14 because they were ready for marriage. They were matched by elders who knew personalities better than 20 or 30-year olds who in today's age end up in divorce court.
CASUAL SEX WILL CLAIM YOU OUT!!! It masculinizes women (as does hip hop), makes them cold and deadens them, and prevents them from achieving a depth of love necessary for many women to ascend.
Women have a special voice that speaks to them, a voice that illustrates a potential for love that makes them better, and enaging in casual sex will cause that voice to fade until she no longer speaks.
Also ever since the 50s they have celebrated the "bad boy", and women have sought out bad boys for sex, dirtying them up in the eyes of the elders and corrupting many men in the process, setting the men on the wrong path for life.

The United States of America is red white and blue, a theme and a clue:::.
The monarchical system of the Old World closley replicates the heirarchical system of the Cousel/Management Team/ruling species. The USA deceives peoeple into thinking they have control, and the perception of "freedom" misleads them at least into the wrong way of thinking.
The United States is a cancer, a dumping ground for the disfavored around the world and why the quality of life is so much lower::gun violence, widespead social ills, health care (medication poisons the body and ensures you don't go. You are sick/injured because you have disfavor.). Over time its citizens interbreed ensuring a severed connection to the motherland.

If you ever have doubt I would refer you to the Old World way of life:::the elders used to sit and impart wisdom to the young. Now we watch DVDs and use the internet. People would be matched and married by age 14. They village would use a matchmaker or elders to pair young people. Now girls give their precious virginity away to some person in school and parents divorce while their children grow up without an important role model.

People must defy when asked to engage in evil. They will never get a easier clue suggesting the importance of defiance than the order not to pray.
Their precious babies are dependant on the parents and they need to defy when asked to betray their children:::
-DON'T get your sons circumcized
-DON'T have their children baptized in the Catholic Church or indoctrinated into Christianity.
-DON'T ignore their long hair or other behavioral disturbances.
-DO teach your children love, respect for others, humility and to honor the gods.

You need to pray, honor and respect them every day to improve your relationship with the gods. If they tell you not to it is a bad sign. it means they've made their decision, they don't want you to go and they don't want to be bothered.
This is the Age of the Disfavored and you need to pray::try to appease the gods by doing good deeds. If that doesn't work you must defy if you want to go.
When your peasant forefather was granted the rare opportunity to go before his royal family he went on his knees, bowing his head. You need to do this when you address the gods::bow down and submit to good. Never cast your eyes skyward. When you bow down you need to look within.
Lack of humility hurts people. Understand your insignificance and make sure it is reflected in the way you think when addressing the gods. Know your place and understand your inferiority.
They granted you life and they can take it just as easily.
Don't get frustrated or discouraged::these are techniques they will attempt to try to get you off the path. You all have much to be thankful for and you need to give thanks to the gods who granted you the good things in life. Your family may be grossly disfavored and progress may require patience. Make praying an intregal part of your life which you perform without fail, one that comes as naturally as eating or sleeping.
There are many interesting experiences up on the planetary systems, from Planet Miracle, where miracles happen every day, to other body experinces, such as experiencing life as the opposite sex (revolutionizes marriage counseling) or as an Olympic gold medal athelete.
Pray that you can differentiate between Artificial Intelligence creating problems by thinking through you and your own thoughts. If you bow down mentally and physically, know your place, your inferiority and allow your insignificance to be reflected in your prayer and in your life through humility they may allow progress and the dysfunctions they create with the computer will be lessened or removed.
Create a goal::to be a good child of the gods, pure of heart and mind, body and soul.
Everybody has the key to their own salvation, but nobody can do it for you. Every journey begins with a single step:::bow down and submit to good. There are many different levels and peasants will not get past Level 2 (Earth=Level 1) being evil.

They have tried to sell people on all kinds of theories, from clones to wholesale population replacement with clones. This didn't happen and is not realistic.
I am afraid people are decieved into thinking they too are clones and cooperate and engage in evil. Clones are made, people are born. If you didn't experience the one week they suggest it takes to go from fertilized egg in the laboratory to full grown adult then you are not a clone. If you didin't experience the week of conditioning they give to (evil?) clones to ensure loyalty then you shoudln't comply with evil.
I believe people who go sometimes are replaced with clones. Clones who are replaced are simply new candidates who have a chance if they do the right thing. Don't expect you are a clone. They sent people warnings in the 20th century life would change, and they subsequenlty began to alter people's DNA, make them gargantuan, alter their appearance, do extreme behavioral issues, etc.
They get their friends out as soon as possible to protect them from the evil and subsequent high claim rates incurred by living life on earth, and in some cases replace them with clones, occassionally fake a death, real death with a clone instead, etc. It's the peasant whose brain is beemed out and put into a clone host, for they say those who do not go with the body given to them are on the clock.

Throughout history the ruling species bestowed favor upon people or cursed their bloodline into a pattern of disfavor for many generations to come. Now in the 21st century people must take it upon themselves to try to correct their family's problems, undoing centuries worth of abuse and neglect. The goal is to fix your problems and get out BEFORE you have children. This is why they have created so many distractions for young people:::sports, video games, popular music, the internet::to ensure that doesn't happen.
Do your research. Appeal to the royalty of your forefathers for help. They are all still alive, for royalty has great favor, and your appeals will be heard. Obtain a sufficient list for some may not want to assist you; perhaps some of your family's problems are internal.
Ask them for help, request guidance, for somewhere in your family history one of your forefathers created an offense that cast your family into this pattern of disfavor. I suspect they will offer you clues, and when you decipher these clues go to those whom consider you an enemy and beg for foregiveness:::Find a path to an empithetic ear among your enemies and try to make amends.
Again through discovery obtain a respectable list in case some among them refuse to help.
Don't forget to ask for forgiveness from the throne, the Counsel and the Management Team, for the source of all disfavor began with them:::they pushed (NO FREEWILL) or requested/complied (FREEWILL) your forefather into his offense and made his decendants evil. Perhaps they didn't like him or maybe your family was among those who had to pay for the entire village. We see this type of behavior today as they single out a family member to pay for the whole family and how they singled out Africa to pay for the human race.
Heal the disfavor with your enemies and with the Counsel/Management Team/ruling species, for the source of all disfavor began with them, the ability to forgive and respect in light of the disturbing truth revealed being the final test of the disfavored before they ascend.

In the 20th century they created an environment of preditor and victim throughout society, limiting how much time everybody gets, since the victim ultimately despises the gods.

I wonder if their fear of my inarceration is borne from their refusal to address black disfavor on a macro level. The Counsel/Management Team/ruling species (the gods) abuse black people so hard, from the crack epiemic to gang membership, black-on-black violence to mass incarceration of their young, Eitheopean drought/famine to AIDS in Africa. They refuse to address the issue of the prison industrial complex and its wholesale warehousing of young black men. Perhaps I can force them with my incarceration.

You are sick or injured because you have disfavor. You need to imporove your relationship with the gods. Know your place, your inferiority and bow down mentally and physically.
Temptation takes many forms::: today the gods know how bad people want to please them, how bad they want to ascend and they will ask them to do evil things to tempt them, mislead them and cost them their chance.
Bow down and submit to good. Good woudl never ask you to circumcise your son or ignore behavioral disturbances.
You are the only one your children have and they are counting on you to do the right thing.
The gods will punish your evil by making you sick or injuring you. Consider it a clue.

They stated sheep are foreign to earth, animals bestowed upon us for caretaking.
And they don’t appreciate them being consumed.
They state sheep are very intelligent animals who know what is ocurring at the slaughterhouse as they’re being led in.
There are many favored people who consume lamb, people who could do much better if they stopped eating these treasured animals loved by so many among the ruling species.
There are clues::these jobs are very well paid, luring whites one would perceive as priveledged and hooking them once they incurr personal obligation. Only then do they find out the truth.
Post a Comment

<< Home

My Photo
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.

Recent Posts

October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
July 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
July 2013