Monday, February 19, 2007
  Thick skin
Yes, you have to learn to grow one if you are going to post in very public forums.

I've often wondered how people like Hilary Clinton or George Bush deal with the absolutely rabid attacks against them. I suppose at some point you start ignoring your detratctors. Which, if you think about it, isn't very healthy for the American political system. Maybe it's time we start offerring debate in our high schools again, or at least start teaching basic principles like attack the ideas, not the individual.

The other thing that amazes me is that people seem to believe that others are going to be swayed by the vitriol and hatred they spew. My mom used to say, "you catch more bees with honey than vinegar." (Obviously this makes more sense to a farmer who needs bees to pollinate his/her fields, than to a city dweller who's disinclined to be stung.) I think that motto ought to be posted on all online discussion forums!
I thought of just that problem yesterday when I read your Washington Post "post." Some people clearly wanted to paint your comments as ludicrously simple-minded -- not in keeping perhaps with the high tone seriousness that they wanted!! I found myself having a hard time reading it as certain words made it clear that one reader considered your posting as "fluff!" I did defend you, as you probably noticed, but will try not to do it again or will keep it very general as I did yesterday, not defending you, but defending a position that reflects my attitudes. Once a parent....
congrats on the new column at newsweek. that's a big deal!

as for vitriol in comments, it's one of the things that fascinates me about the web, and about people in general: it appears that contempt is one of our species' favorite emotions, and that expressing it is endlessly satisfying to some people. recognized for what it is--in my opinion it's an expression of fear--contempt can be dismissed or ignored, unless there's reason to think that violence will follow it. i think that's how politicians and others on the world stage deal with it.

such comments can be very difficult to read, and those who write them are frequently impossible to engage with. i say don't bother.

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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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