Wednesday, January 16, 2008
  Sun Valley
A picture from my recent trip to Sun Valley to visit my mom and dad with my youngest daughter.

It was cold and sunny, and a lot of fun. The best was the hot tub in the backyard of the house my parents are renting for the winter.

Sorry... no pictures of me rising from the steam in all my glory...
Monday, January 14, 2008
  Barak or Hillary or Edwards?
There are times when you have an embarrassment of riches. And this year I'd say the Democrats are suffering from just that. I could vote for any of these three (or for my old favorite Denis Kucinich).

I am agonizing over this year's vote not because I don't like any of the candidates, but because I like things about each of them, but each has a caveat.

I want to vote for Edward because of his dedication to the working class and his analysis of the pernicious effect corporate America has had on politics and the quality of life of your average worker. He is right on in this issue which for me is a biggie. For that reason I really lean towards him. But... he represents the status quo in terms of being yet another while male.

I want to vote for Hilary. It is way past time since we had a female president. I am impressed with her dignity under fire, and I believe in the sincerity of her commitment to important progressive issues like women's rights, and universal healthcare. But... she seem too calculating, to willing to say or do what is politically expedient. I worry that under her leadership ideals would take a back seat to deal brokering.

I also want to vote for Barak. It is way past time we had a black president. He is eloquent, and I believe he is solidly for progressive values. But... I worry that he is inexperienced and will find it difficult to work with world leaders or even congressmen and women who perceive him as naive and overly idealistic, and thus not a real force to be contended with.

And voting for Barak means not voting for Hillary. Voting for Edwards means not voting for Barak.

I can only hope that if Barak wins the primaries Hillary is his choice for VP, and Edwards gets appointed as Secretary of the Treasury or some other high lvl cabinet position. And similarly, if Hillary wins, that she take on Barak as her VP. Then at least we'd get two out of three, with influence from the third.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
  A Land Called Paradise
Aside from the fact that Kareem Salama is the first self-proclaimed Muslim country musician (which is quite something in itself) this video is really wonderful. It brings tears to my eyes... which I guess goes to show the depth of my own need to be seen as an individual human, not some automoton of religiosity, some nameless faceslesss "Muslim other." That, of course, is indicative of the state of mind of the entire American Muslim community at this time. After 9-11, far too many of us have felt others viewed us as some how now quite fully human, not quite whole, but as a caricature of Islamic identity, a epitome of Muslimness, and a Muslimness which is understood in horrible terms - violent, irrational, full of anger and hate, misogynistic, homophobic, extreme and backwards. The depth of pain that our community feels at these terrible judgements shines through this video which is a testament to the humanity of average Muslims.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. If the video doesn't work you can find it at:


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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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