A little object lesson in complexity vs. simplemindedness, real people vs. stereotypes, and positive engagement vs. bigotry and hatred.
Do you know of the Egyptian blogger who helped convict police officers for the sodomy of a bus driver by posting footage of the crime on YouTube? How about the Saudi woman blogger who challenges her country’s restrictions on women (she is married to a former officer of the morality police, who often enforce those restrictions). Or the lesbian blogger who runs a support site for lesbian and bisexual women and the transgendered in Lebanon? And have you heard of the young Bahraini activist and blogger who champions the rights of migrant workers in a region where they are largely invisible?
Pick up Gary Bunt’s “iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam” and learn that for every online al-Qaeda recruiter there are thousands more Muslims reforming Islam online. In recognition of the power of the internet, religious institutions such as Sunni Islam’s al-Azhar in Egypt and Shiite Islam’s schools in Qom, Iran, have websites. Interpretations and commentaries on the Quran fill the internet and recreate the vibrant intellectual atmosphere that many Muslims lament we’d long ago lost.
Bunt says many Muslims identify more with a website than to a mosque or a particular sect. I know exactly what he’s talking about. The majority of American Muslims don’t go to mosque. Soon after I moved to the U.S. from Egypt, I found my community through the now defunct website MuslimWakeUp! which became a virtual home for liberal and progressive American Muslims. The site inspired progressive Muslim meetups in several cities across the country and new groups such as Muslims for Progressive Values.
Speaking of the left’s willingness to provide cover for Islamic imperialism, the hippetty-hop mogul Russell Simmons was in Times Square this weekend to stand in solidarity with the Ground Zero mosque under the slogan “Today I Am A Muslim, Too”…
“Today I Am A Muslim, Too.” So, like, you can be a Muslim on a Sunday and something else on a Monday? Hey, that’s great! Who knew? Maybe Russell Simmons could pass the good news on to Said Musa? They didn’t get the memo on death row in Kabul, where he was imprisoned for converting to Christianity.
“Today I Am A Muslim, Too”
Come celebrate by joining in the 24 Hour Clitoridectomy.