Trying something new. The “Friday Round Up” is sort of my way to wrap up the week. I am researching and contacting people and organizations for some of the articles I am writing, along with the blog posts I have been writing here and elsewhere, so I thought I could give a quick summary for folks who find my writing to be verbose. Also, this was the fourth khutbah (Friday Sermon) in a row that I walked out of feeling incensed by what I heard, Friday Round Up will feature that as well.
Today was not a good day for my ears or faith. The sermon’s focus, to me, seemed to be the idea of Quran in its Arabic form being a genuine article of the reality of God’s existence. The presentation, however, focused primarily at denigrating Christianity. I felt that I was sitting through a sermon at a Evangelical Church where the focus is “Muslims are decent people, I know a few, but the religion of Islam is a religion of terrorism. I am not being discriminatory or racist toward Muslims.” Except in the sermon I got to listen to I heard “Christians are decent people, but their religion is a lie and their beliefs are laughable. I am not being discriminatory or racist toward Christians.” Further, if the only argument in to support the existence of God is that the Quran tells me so, I find it hard that a Atheist will ever accept anything you say. The existence of God shouldn’t be presented on the notion that “the Quran tells me so, look at the signs in there” but rather, the fact that God’s non-existence can’t be proven- so without either proof to substantiate a claim, we have our belief and our faith. Let us move on and focus on the similarities that we share in our humanity. A preacher who focuses his Khutbah on denigrating another religion is not only presenting a weak argument but showcasing the weakness of their faith because the whole methodology is intellectual and spiritual laziness.
On the Blogosphere
This weeks most rancorous blog post was “5 Things Muslim Girls should know about the online matrimonial sites” which got over 700 reads this week. I didn’t get as much comments on the blog post, but definitely got several messages and IM conversations going regarding this. For the most part people were supportive and found the post to be spot on, however, their were folks who pointed out that I did this to raise my own marriage prospects (Preposterous! Me use social media to try to find a potential spouse!) but quite a few others who said that I just ruined my chances of finding a spouse by going on the record with this…whatever the case www.altmuslimah.com approached me to rework the piece and feature it over there (link here soon). Also out of this post came a few other requests from people, specifically- “Ways not to end a matrimonial communication” and “Things that Muslim Guys shouldn’t do” (titles are a work in progress).
Aside from that the two posts that were important to me were the one that deals with American Muslim school kids in public school (please take the CAIR Survey here, kids in California) and “MSA: New Year, New Board, Same Problems” which focuses on leadership and board development in Muslim Student Associations through a leadership retreat. Also worth checking out is this video I posted on Comedian Anthony Griffith, who had a emotional breakdown of “the worst of times and the best of times” he lived through. If you feel your life is going through a rough patch, watch the video.
Books I’m reading
My Kindle died this week, it was not a great week because of that. Before it broke I was able to finish Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why by a host of authors. However, I also was reading 3 other books- An Insiders Guide to the UN by Linda Fasulo and Global Agenda: Issues before the UN 2011-2012 edited by Irwin Arieff, for a couple of articles I am hoping to write on the presidential election and nominee stances toward the UN, UN Day (which is October 24) as well as a piece I hope to write about Ambassador Rice, Rwanda genocide as it relates to the ongoing Syrian insanity.
The other book I am reading is Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz-Ortiz (there’s a website too) to develop an idea of how Twitter is being used by a) election campaigns and propositions b) by non-profits c) by the State Department/UN and finally to just get an idea of advice to people trying to use Twitter. I read two really great articles on this one in the WSJ by Leslie Kwoh and Melissa Korn “140 Characters of Risk: CEO’s on Twitter” the other one in the Economist Sept. 22 issue “Digital Diplomacy- Virtual Relations: Foreign Ministries are getting the hang of social media”.
Other Things of Interest
So I ran across this letter that a father of a 13 year old boy wrote to his son after he discovered a crap load of pornography on his computer. I immediately thought if this was my Dad, I wouldn’t be alive right now. But then I got to thinking about how American Muslim fathers might address this issue if it were to happen to them, but more importantly, how would I handle this situation. It totally weighed down on me all week and I am still thinking about it. Its not easy and the society we live is saturated in sex that this issue is something that would drive a hormonal teenager insane- I lived through it, I don’t look back to that time period pleasantly. You might see a post eventually on it, but please do share your thoughts.
Aside from that I have been pretty insane on twitter, my goal is to get to 12,000 tweets by the end of this year so join me on the journey @socalmoslem. Part of what I have been participating in was the #mysubwayad campaign in response to crazy Pamella’s NYC “Savage Ads” in the subways and a take back “Jihad” campaign started by CAIR Chicago called #myjihad (read Seattle Times post here). According to Ahmed Rehab, CAIR Chicago executive director, #myjihad is a means to take back the religious term “Jihad” from the Right Wing crazies- the Taliban sort as well as the Pamela Gellers of the world.
Finally, if you’re in Los Angeles, please join me at South Asians for Obama Debate Viewing party at FarBar in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2012. You can check out the details and purchase a ticket here.