Thursday, November 08, 2007
  More on Pakistan
Here's Ali' Eteratz's excellent piece about Pakistan. It really lays the issues out very well.

There are murmurings that elections will be held mid November. (which seems way to fast to organize, so I assume they are fake.) Let us hope they are held, and held in an open and fair manner, sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Like many, I've been watching with dismay as Musharraf's coup in Pakistan unfolded over the past few days. It seems to me that Pakistan is in for dark days. Of course, my feeling before the coup was that Pakistan was headed for dark days. One of those situations where the phrase damned if you do, damned if you don't seems to apply all too well.

Free elections were likely to have brought even more Talibanesque officials to power, further polarizing Pakistani society and increasing the likelihood of more repressive laws being enacted.

And yet this coup clearly strengthens their hand as well. The call for jihad and Islamic "purity" will be all the more appealing now that Musharraf can easily be categorized as a usurper and tyrant, a criminal even.

And the crackdown on pro-democracy forces from the human rights advocacy and the secularist communities who have protested the coup could easily leave a vacuum in the opposition to Islamist forces. With the left decimated, the far right could well have a field day.

Musharraf's record of fighting against Islamic extremists seems spotty at best, perhaps because we in the West get only isolated pictures of what is going on in Pakistan. But his handling of the Red Mosque militants seemed almost calculated to give them free reign. And this new move, while on the one hand temporarily keeping extremists out of the government, seems sure to give them more of an edge in the long run.

I wish I could see an obvious way forward for Pakistan. But I think that like race issues in the US, it is going to take a lot of hard work on the part of Pakistani moderates, liberals and progressives to counter the radicalization of Pakistani culture. And like the struggle against racism here, it isn't something that is going to be solved overnight, or even by enacting a few laws. A long hard struggle lies ahead for the Pakistani people.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I was on the Joe Teehan show out of Bellingham, Washington on Monday night. You can hear it here:

Pamela on Joe Teehan
I was on the Joe Teehan show out of Bellingham, Washington on Monday night. You can hear it here:

My Photo
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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