Saturday, February 07, 2009
  A Glimpse into the Past
Two men in Afghanistan face potential death sentences for the most "horrible" of crimes -- printing a translation of the Qur'an without the Arabic alongside. So much for trying to do good deeds! (The men in question thought that the translation would be a service since most Afghanis cannot understand Arabic.) It drives me completely nuts that Muslims can think this way, and that some of us seem to have a hyper-phobia of heresy. It's like looking through the wrong end of a telescope at the Inquisition.

And yet, what can one do but pray for a sense of balance, and of tolerance? There is no way for individuals here to change overzealous rigidity halfway across the globe. We can only stand by helplessly as people who want to convert to another religion, who ask questions about women's rights, who name teddy bears Muhammad according to the wishes of their second grade, Muslim students, all face sudden, and unexpected threats to their very life.

Signing petitions is good, but in the end I have to wonder if they really do any good. Unless scholars from other countries make an effort to educate these ulema, I doubt we will see change fast.

How long did the Inquisition last? It started in 1478, and wasn't officially ended until 1834. Over 350 years! Let us hope that sanity returns to those parts of the Muslim world that need it much sooner than that!
Religious intolerance is perhaps the most ignorant and passionate mistake made by the human race. Regrettably, it is not just limited to Muslims or the Taliban. A good number of "Christian" conservatives and conservative Republicans are every bit as intolerant and closed-minded as are the radical Islamists they love to condemn. God Himself (according to accepted Judeo-Christian dogma) gave all people the right to a free will. Why, then, do so many act as though they were His policemen, judges, and executioners? Absolutely insane!
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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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