Friday, June 02, 2006
So, at long last, here is the commentary on the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

First and foremost, I came away from the conference with a great sense that we are living on the cusp of momentous change. The organizers of NSP appear to be saavy, deliberate, sincere, charismatic, experienced, both practical and idealistic, and determined. Those characteristsics speak to me of a great probability for success. If the NSP can demonstrate even limited influence in the upcoming elections, in formulating policy, and then again in 2008, I think it will be cemented as a force to contend with in American politics.

The reestablishment of hope among the left is perhaps one of the most important goals for the next couple of years. During the anti-war protests, there was such a feeling of empowerment and hope that we could stop something horrible from happening. When Bush seemed to simply ignore the millions of Americans pouring into the streets, it delivered a crushing blow as to the impact even large groups can have on American politics. It left many of us feeling that there was little or no point to trying to work for change, because the government had no sense of accountability to the people or any need to do what the people willed. If NSP can demonstrate some success in changing public policy, it will breathe life back into the left, and, I believe, help bring about a sea change in the way the liberal public (especially the liberal public living in red states) feels.

Of course, I also hope that NSP can be successful in challenging corporate hegemony, and redirecting our nations resources to bettering life for people in need, both in this country and abroad, in encouraging a humane vision for the future where people are seen as more than consumers waiting to be sold to. It was so refreshing to be in a forum where the arts were celebrated, where people were celebrated for their ability to love, to create, to hold dear family and friends, to celebrate the Divine Impulse, and the divine within each other, not just as points in a political game or dollars in the race to create more wealth for the few. It was wonderful to hear people speaking about business as a place to provide for the needs of the many, to support families, not just vehicles to generate more capital, more profits.

I guess it is pretty obvious, I came away from the meeting hopeful and wanting to be a part of this movement, to the best of my ability.
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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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