Friday, November 24, 2006
  Happy Thanksgiving
We celebrate Thanksgiving in our home -- turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, the whole nine yards. (Ok, we don't watch the football, but we can still use football imagery! :D )

But we celebrate with some misgivings. Not because it's not Islamic -- a day to thank God for the kindness of others, for survival during a brutal winter, for the countless blessings we experience each and every second of our lives, is about as Islamic as it gets. Of course, devout Muslims aim for that attitude way more often than once a year, but there's nothing wrong with an entire nation coming together to celebrate our blessings. In fact, it's recommended for people to praise God together, and we are promised that when we remember the bounties of Allah in a group, then God is remembering us in a better gathering (the gathering of angels).

No, our misgivings have to do with the shameful history of the creation of our country. We arrived, the native population welcomed us, taught us to farm their lands successfully, shared their harvests with us so we wouldn't die, and how did we repay their kindness over the next three hundred years... not so nicely, to put it mildly. Heck, the very people who were saved by the were engaging in battles not long after.

I teach my children that reparations to the Native Americans are due. As are reparations to black Americans (I don't like hyphenated terms -- a what point does a person simply become American? Many, many, many "African Americans" have been in America way longer than us "plain" Americans of white skin. And when does a person stop being an Asian American, or a Latino, and start being American? Hypenated identities seem to me to be just another way to reinforce the normative nature of white Americans.)

And then we enjoy our turkey. :)


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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


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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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