Thursday, September 13, 2007
  Times
Today is both the beginning of Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah.

Ramadan is a time of rededication to piety, a time to live in humility and simplicity, with sincerity in faith and compassion for others. It represents both the renewal of the soul's commitment to God and purity, and the promise from God to bless those who strive in the path of righteousness, maintaining high personal morality and reaching out to their neighbors, particularly those in need, with mercy and generosity. It is a time of joy and hope, of communal closeness and closeness to God.

The start of the Jewish New Year also represents a time of hope and renewal. It is a time of reflection upon the past year, of atonement and the casting away of sin.

The coincidence of these two holy times serves as an occasion to acknowledge the similarities between our faiths, and to celebrate the diversity of human outreach to God. Although the holy days are different -- one being a month of fasting and the other ten days of reflection and atonement ending in Yom Kippur -- the human desire to connect with God and to live good lives is the same no matter what one's faith, ethnicity, nationality, or race. The world would certainly be a better place if we took more time to consider our innate sameness, and focused less on cultural differences.
 
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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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