Saturday, March 31, 2007
  Pakistan in Trouble
A few days ago in Islamabad, Pakistan, an armed group of young burqa-clad women, carrying staves raided a private residence which they claimed was being used as a brothel. They proceded to kidnap the owner, her two daughters, and a six month old granddaughter. In the following dustup, they took two police officers captive, and are still holding these people.

This is not the first time these women and their male counterparts -- members of the Jamia Hafsa -- have taken the law into their own hands. Previously, they prevented the government from removing an illegally constructed masjid, and occupied a children's library. They have been threatening retail outlets that sell products they don't approve of, and may have shut some of them down.

According to the bbc, the administration is either reluctant or helpless to take action against the school's teachers and students.

I cannot imagine why a government would be reluctant to close down a school/mosque that takes the law into its own hands, even kidnapping members of the police force. Unless they feel the consequences would be dire... a coup, or widespread revolt. Which, I guess, is the same as saying they feel helpless to take action against them.

Either way, this growing militancy in Pakistan, is extremely troublesome. Talibanization in an of itself is dreadful. That militants who believe they need to enforce morality on greater society might take over Pakistan -- and it's nuclear weapons -- is a nightmare scenario.

While I have no love lost for Musharraf, we need to do whatever we can to help Pakistan shut down operations engaging in criminal behavior such as kidnapping and threatening people.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
  What the #@!! is Iran doing?
Ok, so you've got the world community breathing down your neck because of your nuclear programme (which may or may not be justified), a cowboy president who has demonstrated that he has no fear of attacking other countries no matter what anybody says who has been rattling sabres at you, a corps of said president's cronies who have been softening up the public of that country to prepare it for an attack on you, and what do you do?

Seize British sailors who were not clearly in Iranian waters and hold them for days.

Of course, that makes sense.... if you are trying to provoke and attack by the US. Why the #@!! Iran would want to provoke an attack on itself, I don't know, but it sure seems like that's what they're angling for.

Do they think it will buy them clout in the region, to have been attacked by the "great satan?"

Don't they care about the potential death toll? Or about the fact that this rogue action will make it all the easier for warmongers to argue that Iran is a loose cannonball and its access to nuclear technology must be shut down, at all costs?

They could have made their point by seizing the sailors and returning them promptly. What use holding them for so long, turning it into a worldwide issues, except to thumb your nose at Britain? Is that supposed to make them look tough?

Someone needs to remind them that bullies don't look tough, they look like cowards hiding behind a show of bravado. And that lives are worth something.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
  The Media and Islam
This week at On Faith, we are discussing how the media handle religion. Needless to say, I have some less than complimentary opinions on how the media reports on Muslim communities and the total conflation of Islam and Muslim in the media.

To me, three glaring issues stand out:

(1) an enormous double standard on reporting crimes by Muslims; (2) a gross oversimplification of a vastly complex community into angry men with beards and demure women with scarves or face veils; and (3) the incredible levels of vitriol, misinformation, and neo-McCarthyism of talk show hosts.

The article is rather lengthy, but conveniently broken up into sections, with subtitles and all. (See, academic writing does have a purpose after all! It teaches us when to use subheadings...jk)

John Esposito also wrote in. Our essays overlap, although mine is worded more strongly, and his explores other faiths in the media as well.

Susan Jacoby also presents an interesting point of view that the media have really started kowtowing to religion in general. She points out that news writers regularly include closing phrases about how the anchor will keep victims (like, for instance, of Katrina or the tsunami) in their prayers. And reporting about the religious persuasions of politicians is almost required. I agree with her, and think this is a dangerous trend. Atheists or those who simply couldn't care less, should not be ignored as part of our religious landscape, but there is a trend towards ignoring that 20% of our community, especially in public spaces.

Anyway, you can find the posts here.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
  When to get out of Iraq
As soon as humanely possible. And yes, that is humanely, not humanly. :)

It's going to be a mess whenever we leave. The longer we stay, the bigger the mess is likely to be, the deeper the divides within the country, the longer and nastier the civil war that will surely follow our exit will be.

But that's just the military we're talking about. Getting the military out (and keeping it out of Iran) makes good sense. Both for their country and ours.

After that we need a Marshall plan for the Middle East. We destroyed Iraq's infrastructure. We should rebuild it. That's, no doubt, quite a bit cheaper than keeping our military there for a few more years or decades. In fact, we could probably fund a lot of reconstruction (after the civil war peters out) and still have plenty left over to rescue social security, increase funding to schools, and so on.
Monday, March 26, 2007
  Thank Goodness Easter is an Annual Event
And not any more frequent than that! Otherwise, I'd be a lot bigger than I am.

One of my favorite candies -- Cadbury's Mini Eggs -- comes out at this time of the year. Usually in the post-Easter sales I get several large bags to last me till the next year. Unfortunately, my kids have discovered my stashing spot, so I'm going to have to hide them better this year because they go through them in a about a week, whereas it would take me about three months to go through 36 ounces of candy.

This theme dovetails nicely into a short story contest I'm writing for which is all about chocolate and cravings. Should be one hot story!

It also brings back memories of living around the corner from the NECCO factory in Cambridge, MA. If you've never visited a candy factory on fudge day, please do yourself a favor, and do so. The memory of that incredible aroma will never, ever leave you. It's like swimming in chocolate soup. Truly one of the more amazing experiences in life. We used to get lightheaded walking past the factory from sniffing so deeply and frequently.
Friday, March 23, 2007
  Happy Birthday Noora!
My baby is eight! Thankfully eight is still young enough that they want to listen to you read books aloud to them, to snuggle in bed with you in the morning, to hug you back when you hug them, to sit on your lap in the movie theater, to have you come to school and eat lunch with them, and they dance with joy to see you when you do.

With my oldest getting ready for college, it strikes me that one of the best benefits of spreading your kids out is that the time between snuggling your baby and snuggling your grandkids is shorter than if they were all born within a couple, three years. Plus, you get to focus on snuggling each one. When you've got too many little bitty kids, you never have time for those long, all afternoon reading sessions. Or you have an afternoon reading session, but the kids are squabbling over who gets to sit on your lap and who has to sit next to you, they're elbowing each other, or making faces. One of the earliest rules with my twins was that as soon as they started fighting, they both ended up off mom's lap (or away from my side) until they could live with each other peacably again.

Of course, the disadvantage of spreading your kids out is that if you want to be a stay at home mom, it takes a bigger chunk out of career and potential earnings.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
  Novelists' Heaven and Hell
I got this joke in my inbox and it was simply too good to pass up... Enjoy!

A novelist dies and arrives at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, "We offer a special deal to writers here. You can choose whether you go to Heaven or Hell. Let's look at Hell first."

He leads the author downstairs, and opens the door to a large room, where a number of writers toil away at word processors. They are scowling and sweating. Whenever they pause, a devil comes along and whacks them with a whip.

"This isn't very pleasant," says the novelist. "Let's see what Heaven looks like."

St. Peter leads him up to Heaven, and opens a door to a large room precisely like the first one. Here also a large number of writers sit hunched over word processors, scowling and sweating. Whenever they pause, an angel comes along and whacks them with a whip.

"I don't get it," says the writer. "What's the difference between Heaven and Hell?"

"The difference," says St. Peter, "is that here you get published."
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
  The End is a-Comin
This week's topic at On Faith -- what is the end of the world going to be like?

my answer here
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
  God Protect the MCC
My friends at the Muslim Canadian Congress have been receiving death threats. The lastest arrived by phone and promised slaughter to all the MCC members, naming in particular Farzana Khan and Tarek Fatah. (Hear a recording of the message here.)

This is not only shocking and disturbing; it is simply unacceptable, morally, Islamically, from whatever view point. Violence, intimidation, death threats have no place in Islam, or in an ethical approach to the world. Murder has even less place.

May God and the Canadian police forces protect the MCC, Tarek, and Farzana. And may all of us who are committed to a pluralism of voices, to freedom of speech and conscience stand beside them today.
Friday, March 16, 2007
  Who's Sorry Now
A great read by Bella Sander, free-lance writer

Reading Under the Covers: Who's Sorry Now

A quick excerpt:

"We're sorry for our opinions, and sorry for not being qualified to voice them. Because, of course, we're never smart enough, or accomplished enough, or important enough. "

I have written about this before, in the context of leading the prayers in the mosque, and how this feeling of inadequacy was one of the things that convinced me I had to lead the prayers, no apologies, no sorry I'm not better qualified (cause, honestly, I'm more qualified than half the men who give khutbahs in America). I'm a feminist, I argue all the time for women's equal worth and equal access, I have an appropriate education and public speaking experience, if I had doubts about my abilities, how then could I expect someone else to stand up and take the lead? The very fact that I felt insecure about my own capabilities meant I needed to do this.

Still, the very fact that I -- eduated at Dartmouth and Harvard, a frequent public speaker at universities and churches, and a decent writer -- would feel somehow inadequate was (and remains) baffling. My rational evaluation of myself clearly did not match my emotional evaluation. I've always put it down to the fact that I had a dad with very, very high expectations. But it seems, my feelings are not unique to my family situation, but rather reflective of our culture in general.

It's a travesty that so many women feel as though they are fakes, frauds, that they have to apologize for themselves, for their opinions, for their very existance practically.

I wonder why it is that so many American, feminist (or at least products of the feminist revolution if not actively identifying as feminists), professional, highly intelligent, highly educated, highly qualified women feel as though, at any moment, some child is going to shout out, "but the princess isn't wearing any clothes!" And the crowd, rather than laughing at the child's joke, is going to gasp in realization that s/he's right.

The self-esteem movement has fallen into disrepute. (As well it should, with its tendency to eliminate competition, give trohpies to both the winners and losers, and overdo praise in order to ensure no child's self-esteem is ever damaged...with the result that children have become adept at devaluing participation ribbons and have learned to distinguish when praise is deserved and when it is bs). But the women in this article aren't children being forcefed good feelings about themselves whether they are merited or not. Instead, they are accomplished women, professionals, authors, often highly educated. In short they are women who should have good self-esteem, but who for some reason suffer from a disproportionate self-image, a self-esteem that is inappropriately low.

The ramifications of low self-esteem range from the ubiquitous "I'm sorry" that the article talks about, to women negotiating less aggressively for salaries, resulting in major pay discrepancies between themselves and equally qualified men in the same job. (see the full story here) While there are clearly other factors involved, the lack of self-promotion due to self-doubt has got to be considered a significant factor in career success.

Not to mention personal happiness. No one wants to feel like their daily life mirrors that nightmare where you wake up to realize you have a huge exam you forgot to study for, or you are sitting in your bed in the middle of math class, totally naked. I wonder if men go about life feeling that way. Somehow I doubt it. Unfortunately, it seems many, many women do.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
  Terror Confession appears Delusional
The news that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad has confessed to planning 31 acts of terror (eight of which were carried out) as well as personally killing reporter Daniel Pearl has got to raise some eyebrows.

The list includes:

*The truck bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

*The 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon

*The bombing of a nightclub in Bali in 2002

*The plot in which Richard Reid was going to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb.

*A 2002 attack on a beach resort in Mombasa, Kenya.

This guy really gets around...

As much as I'd like to believe we've caught the mastermind for all these attacks, you have to wonder if this confession isn't the product of a mind that finally broke after years at Guantanamo, and interogation techniques included waterboarding. That he said whatever he thought would make the FBI leave him alone.

That or delusions of granduer.

The 23 attacks that he says he wanted to carry out reads like a terrorist wet dream. He claims he planned to attack NATO headquarters, the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower, and Library Tower in Los Angeles, US warships in the Persian Gulf, Gibraltar and Singapore, and, most incredible of all, to blow up the Panama Canal and several US nuclear power plants.

Not long ago we were hearing how Al-Qaeda is extremely independent, each cell operating in near autonomy. Suddenly it seems they were puppets run by one man.

Perhaps the confession is true. Perhaps we have caught the criminal that masterminded all of this. I tend to think we have caught a major player who has exagerated his role, either to make America look foolish for believing his outrageous claims, or to encourage others to follow his footsteps -- if I a single man can plan all this, so can you -- or to make himself look "good."

Unfortunately, our government is not planning to put him on trial. We tried Noriega, we should try Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. Universal human rights demand a trial. And the people of America deserve a trial. Cynical minds will say we don't want him to reveal on the witness stand exactly what goes on at Guantanamo. Proponents of no trial will say he could use the witness stand for spreading his anti-American propaganda.

Either way, we -- and he -- deserve to have a trial to determine the truth of his confession.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
  Independent Judiciary
It's become quite obvious that the current administration has no morals whatsoever. Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Plame, warrantless wiretaps, the suspension of habeaus corpus, abuse of the Patriot Act, and now the scandal over political retribution via firing attorney generals who didn't support Republican programs.

One wonders if it will ever stop. And how long it will be before the Congress finally decides to censure the President for overseeing and leading an administration whose main goal appears to be the centralization of power into the President's hands. This goal evidently trumps everything from ethics to personal friendships. The government has become a paragon of lies, deception, betrayal and politicking.

I can only hope that we see a major Democratic victory in 2008. Not so much because the Democrats are so much better (they are better, but still have their problems), but because we need to see a huge voter rejection of dirty politics. Of politicians who baldly lie through their teeth to the Congress and the American people.

If apathy is the order of the day in 2008 as it has been in the past... well... I can't help but think we'll get what we deserve.
Monday, March 12, 2007
  Like Mother,Like Daughter take two
Well, got home from an absolutlely FABULOUS weekend in Toronto (more on that later) to the delightful news that my youngest daughter tied for first place in the elementary division of the school poetry contest that my older daughters placed in last week. Oh, do they make their mama proud!

The Ocean
By Noora Khalid

The water rushing through my hand
As the waves crash upon the sand.
The ocean is so salty.
In walking I have some difficulty.
When it’s dark,
Come the sharks.
Gray as plain as the sea
If you don’t be careful, they’ll bite ye!

Ok, so it's second grade poetry. But she still makes her mama proud!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
  Like Mother, LIke Daughers
Beware... Bald-faced Bragging Ahead!

The newspaper at my younger daughters' school had a poetry contest. My girls, naturally, entered some of their poetry (although mom had to twist a couple arms...). This afternoon the upper grades held a poetry reading cum awards ceremony for the contest.

The poetry was pretty good, especially given that these are students in 4-8th grade, though they do need to work on their delivery! (they tended to rush and read without much feeling.)

Saara took third place, and Ameera took first.

Even more, the organizer of the contest (the writing and music teacher) told us about the judging procedure... three judges each had five categories in which they could award 5 points, for a total of 75 points. They could each also award bonus points if they felt something about the poem was really unique or special. Saara's poem got a total of 67 points. Second place got 68. Ameera got 80(!), the full 75 plus 5 bonus points. Plus her's was the only poem that got bonus points from all three judges.

Needless to say, I'm as proud as a mother duck.

My own coup of the day... I dressed up in a beat outfit -- black pants and turtleneck, tied the scarf behind the head, a wrist full of silver bangles and a brown suede hipster jacket... One of the girls in my youngest's class stared at me wide eyed and said in a slighly awed tone, "You look cool!"
  Like Mother, LIke Daughers
Beware... Bald-faced Bragging Ahead!

The newspaper at my younger daughters' school had a poetry contest. My girls, naturally, entered some of their poetry (although mom had to twist a couple arms...). This afternoon the upper grades held a poetry reading cum awards ceremony for the contest.

The poetry was pretty good, especially given that these are students in 4-8th grade, though they do need to work on their delivery! (they tended to rush and read without much feeling.)

Saara took third place, and Ameera took first.

Even more, the organizer of the contest (the writing and music teacher) told us about the judging procedure... three judges each had five categories in which they could award 5 points, for a total of 75 points. They could each also award bonus points if they felt something about the poem was really unique or special. Saara's poem got a total of 67 points. Second place got 68. Ameera got 80(!), the full 75 plus 5 bonus points. Plus her's was the only poem that got bonus points from all three judges.

Needless to say, I'm as proud as a mother duck.

My own coup of the day... I dressed up in a beat outfit -- black pants and turtleneck, tied the scarf behind the head, a wrist full of silver bangles and a brown suede hipster jacket... One of the girls in my youngest's class stared at me wide eyed and said in a slighly awed tone, "You look cool!"
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
  A healthy donut?
I was in the gas station today and glanced over at the donut display case. Much to my amusement, the variety of the month was a whole wheat glazed specialty donut from Krispy Kreme.

You've got to wonder what the people in the marketing department were thinking. Do they really imagine that people who care about eating healthy foods are going to see the whole wheat label, and say, "Wow! A healthy donut!" and buy a dozen to take home? I mean, a few flecks of wheat germ are not gonna rescue that baby from the bottom of the junk food list!

Besides, just the notion of a whole wheat donut makes my stomach turn.
Monday, March 05, 2007
  More on the Vice Fund
Forgot to mention the other outrageous piece in the puzzle when it comes to the Vice Fund. This suave guy was promoting it as a great investment vehicle because demand for tobacco, alcohol, gaming products (read casinos), and weapons stays pretty constant no matter what the economy does.

Duh! That's because three of the four are addictive. People can't stop buying them tobacco or alcohol because they quite literally have to have them. Food they can cut back on. Electricty and gas -- keep your house cooler, don't take such long showers, and wear your clothes twice before you wash them. But addicts will send their family to ruin in order to get the products they are addicted to. So too gamblers.

Do you really want to make money off someone else's inability to stop using a product?

And refusing to consider that is supposedly an "unbiased" decision. I'm sorry, that's a moral decision as well as a financial one.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
  The Vice Fund: Economics IS Morality
Over the weekend I heard an interview with an appalling young man who manages "The Vice Fund," a financial portfolio with investments in tobacco, alcohol, gaming, and weapons companies. This man blithely told the interviewer that the fund wasn't immoral. "It isn't about morality," he said, "It's about making unbiased, unemotional financial decisions."

I'm sorry, but it is a moral decision. It is an emotional -- or perhaps emotion denying -- decision.

Investing in tobacco is making a moral choice to support an industry that lies bald-faced to the public and juries alike, manipulates it's products to maximize addictivity, and markets a product which kills its users, and those who live in close proximity to its users, at horrific rates.

Gambling isn't much better, although it ruins people financially, rather than stealing their health. (Of course, the stress involved in financial ruin and the destruction of family that often follows, could have serious repercussions on the health of those addicted to gambling, not to mention the problem of depression when your debts are overwhelming...)

Further, although this charming young gentleman may claim that investing in these companies is not an issue of morality but business acumen, that claim in and of itself is a moral judgement. He is saying that making money is more important than any other considerations -- like the havoc some of these products create, like getting rich at the cost of death and financial devastation of others.

This, to me, is the biggest bane of capitalism. The notion that profit is not bound by morality. Or the judgement that profit supercedes all other moral considerations. That has led to such sufferring -- from sweat shop factories, to the exploitation of consumers and the willingness to sell addictive products that kill their users, to increasingly impossible demands on corporate workers for ever increasing hours on the job and higher and higher rates of productivity -- it is downright evil.

When the moral component of these decisions, these value judgements is denied, it more than evil.

The reporter let him weasel away. When he asserted they were just making decisions on financial performmance, without regard to morality, or emotional responses to these companies and their products, she let him get away with it. She didn't pursue him, pointing out that it is a fallacy to think any decision can be made outside the realm of morality. Everything decision is a moral decision.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Today I spoke at a Women's Convocation held at St. Christopher's in Speedway, IN. I've given various talks at St. Christopher, and several of our family's close friends attend services there. The women were an amazing bunch... warm and welcoming, open and deeply spiritual, you could just feel the goodness oozing throughout the room.

Sad to say, before the Convocation began, other people, not so welcoming, were outside handing out anti-Islam leaflets. They were quite clever... the simply welcomed the women who were arriving and handed them a pamphlet. Possibly some of the women thought they were handing out brochures, or programs, for the conference.

The head organizer was in tears over this incident (which left me at a loss for words... the depth of compassion she had for my feelings was very touching). Of course, it represented the exact opposite of what she had tried to achieve by inviting me -- a chance for Catholic women to gain some insight into Islam, the lives of Muslim women, and to be able to ask those questions they always wanted to ask.

For me, the incident really raised the issue of what is the purpose of interfaith dialogue. Initially, the point is to simply be informed of what other people believe. But at some point, dialogue about theology needs to move into real touching as people. I remember the Focolare event where people of different faiths weren't sharing "what my faith says about family" but rather, their own experiences of family. Of love, and loss. Yes, their experiences were colored by their faith, but essentially they were human experiences that we could all relate to.

I think we need a lot more of that. We need to have dinners together, be in book groups together, talk about our hopes and dreams, our joys and sorrows, because in the end, we are all the same. Only once we have made that human connection will racism, ethnocentrism, religious bigotry, homophobia, etc, fade.

Either way, interfaith dialogue is not about converting people. I briefly glanced at the pamphlet. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. For instance, is stated, Muslims don't believe Jesus is God. Well, that's true. Of course, I wasn't going to try to sneak in under the radar on that one. But some of the other stuff was not so accurrate. Clearly, the authors of the pamphlet, and those who were handing it out, didn't want good Catholics to be seduced by "false" religion.

But that wasn't the point at all. The point was to share info and to build a relationship, a sense of common ground, either theologically or as humans. Unfortunately, the people who really needed that, didn't come inside.
Friday, March 02, 2007
  Update on IWD Juma
This news just in... The masjid that had invited me to be guest imam in 2005 has endosed the International Women's Day Juma prayer. I'm, obviously, delighted. The people at that mosque were so warm and gracious, and the imam is simply wonderful! So full of life and good cheer. Their continued support is so welcome!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
  Toward a Humane, Islamic Vision of Homosexuality
This week's topic at On Faith is gay marriage and gay clergy. My conclusion:

I find it hard to condemn an entire subset of humanity, who God created to be as they are, to either a life of celibacy (which the Prophet clearly discouraged) or a life of sin. The Prophet said we are not true believers until we want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves. I want a satisfying, committed, loving relationship with my spouse. How could I want to deny that to anyone?

The full column here.

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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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