Wednesday, February 25, 2009
  Aasiya and an Islamic theology of equality
I have written a longish piece for newsweek/thewashingtonpost online about domestic violence and Islam.

Hopefully hard hitting and insightful about the Muslim community's response to Aasiya's murder. The response has been appropriate on many levels, but there is so much lacking on other levels.

Please click on the link to read it. That's how I get paid -- by the click.

Probably will post it here in it's entirety next week some time.
My letter to editor Mike Vogel of the Buffalo New, was rejected. It's below.

"I want to thank the Buffalo News for providing reading a wonderful insight into how misogyny is revealed in media. Three men reporting on a husband murdering his wife, including a mention of police knowledge of years of abuse. As for the many years of police inaction? Completely ignored. Readers were not reminded it's not the job of the victim to make the case.

Thus, in a male-dominated media, the Buffalo News chose three men to provide readers no insight at all.

My focus would have been on the police not doing their job. I would have reminded readers a basis for these murders is from the U.S. Supreme Court 2005 ruling (Castle Rock vs. Gonzales) which stated the police aren't legally required to enforce restraining orders.*

I would have reminded readers police officers have the power to make arrests with or without he victim's assistance. I would have reminded readers misogyny exists in government, particularly in law enforcement; and true throughout the country.**

Not reporting the long, storied history of police inaction - continuing reporting murders, getting the facts correct, yet entirely missing the story, isn't merely journalistic malpractice, it's Exhibit A for ensuring the public remains uninformed and ignorant to underlying problem, because media owns a part of the problem. This in part, is why exists.

It's only when media investigates why the police aren’t doing their job, when media fundamentally changes how murders are reported that they'll slow. And not a moment before.

* Ruling is on the top left of this page.

** See and


Most sincerely,

Bonnie Russell
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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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