Tuesday, January 13, 2009
  Refugees twice over
I saw a piece on al-Jazeera which showed a glittering cloud of notices being dropped into Rafah City. The notices looked like silver confetti shimmering down out of a blue sky. But far from being glad tidings, they were warnings, instructing the residents of Rafah to flee for their lives as Israel was planning attacks upon the town.

Of some 130,000 people living in Rafah, 65% are already refugees, having fled their homes in Ashkelon or Beersheba and other towns that are now part of Israel proper. One wonders how these people must feel -- they fled before, expecting to return, only to find they were barred from going back to their homes. If they flee now, will they be able to return? Or will the be shunted into some other refugee camp somewhere else, losing yet again their home. Or, equally bad, will they return only to find rubble.

Someone posted a comment on this blog a few days ago that they should just move. It wasn't really clear if the "they" meant Israelis or Palestinians. In the case of the Israelis, that is an option and I'm sure many have done so. In the case of the Palestinians... it isn't so easy. Unemployment is at record highs. And the average wage of Palestinian workers amounts to $2 a day. How then, are they supposed to move? Carrying their posessions on their back, and walking? They obviously can't afford an airplane ticket to, say, the US, even if the US would take them, which as often as not they won't. We certainly wouldn't take all 130,000 of Rafah's residents, or the 1.5 million who are living in Gaza. And no one else will either.

Unless Israel is prepared to wipe out 1.5 million Palestinians (and we can assume they are not), they need to buckle down and work with the Gazans to come to some sort of arrangement which makes life livable in the strip.
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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.
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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