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.
 
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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.

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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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